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Friday five: five top health stories this week

This week Charlie Gard, Boots and the CQC have dominated the news.

Charlie Gard

This week Charlie Gard’s parents decided to end the court case to allow them to take him to America for treatment. Instead they found themselves in court fighting to take him home to die. Yesterday, the deadline for reaching an agreement passed and Charlie will spend his last days in a hospice. Read more on the BBC.

The CQC and Hillgreen Care

The CQC have come under fire for not investigating and prosecuting care home provider Hillgreen Care when they discovered a suspected rape of an autistic man by a high-risk sex offender employed by the care company. The Times have the full story on their website.

Boots apologies for the way it responded to calls for reducing the price of emergency contraception

Pharmacy chain Boots has been at the heart of a row this week over overcharging for emergency contraception. It had previously said it would not lower the cost of the morning-after pill over concerns of “incentivising inappropriate use”. Boots have since apologised and publically stated that they are looking into cheaper alternatives. Read more in The Guardian.

Researchers question the age-old advice of completing a course of antibiotics

Researchers have declared that completing a course of antibiotics will not combat antibiotic resistance. Their studies suggest that finishing a course of antibiotics earlier may reduce resistance, with new messaging such as “stop when you feel better” potentially being developed. The group does accept that more research must be undertaken and that this may not apply to all infections. Read the full report in the BMJ.

MS Society calls for cannabis to be legalised

This week the MS Society has called for cannabis to be legalised as a last resort, as there is sufficient evidence of the drug’s effectiveness for pain relief. The charity claims that one in 10 suffers of MS cannot have their pain treated with medicines currently available on the NHS and that cannabis has a role to alleviate suffering. Read more in The Guardian.

Quote of the week – Skylar Baker-Jordan on John McCain voting to repeal Obamacare

 “John McCain served his country admirably in Vietnam and has been a beacon of civil political discourse for decades. There are many things to admire about the man. But his vote yesterday is most certainly not one of them, and when lives are at stake, the time for civil discourse may well be over.” – The Independent

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