Friday Five

Medical miracles and shocking shortages – this week’s Friday Five

Ebola may soon be a “preventable and treatable” disease

An Ebola drugs trial in the Democratic Republic of Congo has identified two new drugs that have a 90% survival rate when used in combination.

The drugs, named REGN-EB3 and mAb114, work by attacking the Ebola virus with antibodies, neutralising its impact on human cells.

The drugs will now be used to treat all patients with the disease in DR Congo.

Read more at BBC News.

New service to deliver urgent medical supplies into UK after Brexit

The Department of Health and Social Care has set up a new service to deliver urgent medicines and medical products into the UK as part of Brexit preparations.

The £25 million contract for service will run for 12 months and should support other government plans to ensure there is a continual supply of medicines when the UK leaves the EU on 31 October.

Read more on PharmaTimes.

 

 

National emergency over shortage of feed babies and disabled patients

NHS national patient safety director Dr Aiden Fowler has issued a stark warning that the national shortage of feed for babies and disabled patients has been designated as an emergency incident, under the Civil Continencies Act, at the highest level.

Vulnerable patients that are dependent on intravenous nutrition are being left starving for days and even being re-admitted to hospital.

This is due to medical device manufacturers who have been reported to be failing to meet safety standards and state delays make last another four weeks.

Read more on The Telegraph.

 

Cystic fibrosis drugs rejected for use by NHS in Scotland

Two life-changing cystic fibrosis drugs, Orkambi and Symkevi, have been rejected for use by the NHS in Scotland due to concerns around their overall health benefits, in relation to their costs.

Cystic fibrosis is a life-shortening genetic disease that causes fatal lung damage, and affects about 10,400 people in the UK – around 900 of them in Scotland.

Orkambi and Symkevi have been proven to improve lung health in patients with cystic fibrosis, but cost about £100,000 per year per patient.

Manufacturer Vertex and the Scottish government are now working “as a matter of urgency” to find a way to enable patients access to the medicines.


Quote of the week

In response to the announcement that dementia is the now leading cause of death in England and Wales, Nicci Gerrard said;

“Dementia is our collective responsibility. We can’t ignore it any longer.”

Nicci is a journalist, campaigner and author of ‘What Dementia Teaches Us About Love’. In 2014, she founded “John’s Campaign” which strives to encourage the NHS to collaborate more with families in the care of dementia patients.

Read more at The Guardian.