Friday Five

Google ads, the male pill and secretive NHS data analysis

Google criticised for providing false hope to dementia patients

Google has been running and profiting from adverts that advertise unproven dementia supplements. These adverts give patients false hope and experts have stressed their concerns that these adverts appeared above those providing information from reputable charities.

Read more from the The Times.

Is there a link between genetics and sepsis recovery?

Scientists at Edinburgh University are conducting a major study into finding out what genetically makes people more likely to die from sepsis. They will compare the DNA of patients who both survive and die from sepsis and hope to find clues into how DNA variants might warrant sepsis recovery. These DNA signals can be isolated and used to identify future drug targets.

Read more on the BBC.

All NHS staff to be given working visas

Labour shadow health secretary, Jonathan Ashworth, announced this week, that under a labour government NHS staff working at any level will be given visas, which could be extended into staff in the social care sector.

“Fourteen per cent of nurses and 28 per cent of doctors were trained internationally and they make a vital contribution to delivering NHS services,” he said.

Read more in the HSJ.

Steps being made towards a male birth control pill

A birth control pill for men has passed initial human safety tests, but still has a long way to go if it is to get to market; up to a decade according to doctors at the Endocrine Society.

Previous male contraceptive pills for men have struggled with challenge of creating a hormone-based pill that doesn’t blunt sex drive or reduce erections. However this latest pill being developed by researchers from LA BioMed and the University of Washington, should hopefully temporarily block sperm production without lowering hormone levels to such an extent that it creates side-effects.

Read more in the BBC.


Quote of the week

“Outsourcing analytics is like outsourcing your central nervous system… It is an insane thing to do yet it has become the norm.”

Our quote of the week comes from Ben Goldacre, Oxford University clinical researcher and chair to Matt Hancock’s healthtech advisory board.

Dr Goldacre has criticised the secrecy and outsourcing of hospital performance data, calling it “insane”. The analysis of some hospital data was being outsourced to the private sector. Even when the data was handled within the NHS, such as the model hospital programme, the methods of analysis and full results were often kept secret.

Read more from the HSJ.