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Friday 5: the top health news stories this week

This week cancer drugs, NHS repairs and the right-to-die have dominated the news.

Research suggests more than half of all cancer drugs don’t work

A study published in the British Medical Journal reveals that 57% of cancer drugs approved by the European Medical Agency between 2009-2013 had no supporting evidence of improving quality of life or increased survival. There is uncertainty over the remaining drugs approved, with only 11 being judged to have a clinical benefit. Read more on The Independent.

Cost of urgent repairs to NHS hospitals reaches almost £1bn

A new report from the NHS into the cost of urgent repairs to hospitals across the country has found that it has jumped from £458m in 2014-15 to £947.1m in 2016-17. The statistics, compiled by NHS Digital, highlight that operating theatres are most in need of repair, along with equipment such as scanners. Read more on The Guardian.

High Court rules against right-to-die case

Noel Conway, the retired lecturer with Motor Neurone Disease who has been campaigning for the right to die, has lost his court battle for the right-to-die.  Three High Court judges rejected the case, which was supported by Humanists UK and Dignity in Dying. Mr Conway intends to appeal the decision. Read more on The Times (£).

The UK needs 50,000 care home beds by 2022

Which? has released new data highlighting the need for a further 50,000 care home beds in the UK by 2022 to meet current demand. The consumer group has found that 87% of councils will not have enough beds, with Bracknell Forest needing an increase of over 50% on current numbers. Read more on the BBC.

Global pledge to reduce cholera deaths by 2030

Health officials from across the globe are meeting in France to jointly create the first global pledge to prevent 90% of cholera deaths by 2030. The decision comes on the back of the latest outbreak in Yemen which has seen 2,000 dead and 770,000 infected.  Read more on the BBC.

Quote of the week – Helen Stokes-Lampard, Chair of the Royal College of GPs on patients turning to Google

“Dr Google enters 80% of consultations that I have now. I feel we need to raise that particularly with patients… and we have to work with it and we have to be bold and that’s a challenge for all of us I think” Read more on Pulse.

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