News

Protests over prices, a workforce crisis and a catfish campaign – it’s this week’s Friday Five!

Protests to cut tuberculosis drug price

People have been protesting outside Johnson & Johnson offices around the world to urge the company to reduce the price of bedaquiline, a novel treatment for drug-resistant tuberculosis.

Drug resistant tuberculosis is becoming more prevalent all over the world and means that the disease is increasingly difficult to treat. In some cases, bedaquiline is the only drug that can be used. However, the drug costs nearly 1200 dollars for a course of treatment.

Researchers have said that bedaquiline could be produced for a quarter of the price.

Read more in the BMJ.

 

Continuing workforce crisis in the NHS

The latest annual census of physicians in the UK has revealed that there is continuing pressures on the medical workforce and NHS systems.

Key findings from the report include data such as: 40% of consultants and 63% of Higher Speciality Trainees said that rota gaps occurred on a daily or weekly basis.

The NHS has been spread thin for a long time, with performance statistics from earlier this year showing “strain on an already stretched system”.

Read more in The Pharma Times.

 

Statins prescribed to millions unnecessarily

Experts have said that millions of people are unnecessarily being prescribed statins.

Currently, the NHS recommends that that people at high risk of heart attack or stroke should take statins as a preventative measure.

However, recent research suggests that statin is associated with muscle problems, diabetes and haemorrhagic stoke.

Read more in The Telegraph.

 

Pfizer launches ‘catfish’ counterfeit medicines campaign

Pfizer has announced the launch of a UK-wide social media campaign dubbed “Don’t be catfished by counterfeit medicines”.

The campaign is targeted at students and sims to raise awareness of the dangers of buying counterfeit medicines online.

Neville Broad, lab research manager at Pfizer said that the company is “taking the threats of counterfeit medicines into account for the utmost patient safety, coming up with new digital material in order to educate the public about the dangers of the medicines.”

Read more in the PharmaTimes.


Quote of the week

In her outline of the government’s legislative agenda, the Queen said:

“Measures will be brought forward to support and strengthen the NHS, its workforce and resources, enabling it to deliver the highest quality care.”

She also mentioned the measures that need to be taken to implement the NHS’s long-term plan and to reform adult social care.

We’re looking forward to seeing how the government’s plans unfold over the next few months.