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NEWS IN BRIEF: Lost Drugs; Pharmacists in GPs; Pill Price Cut; Vaccines; Illegal Behaviour; Life Expectancy


12 Feb 2016

Police issue warning over harmful medication lost in Prenton

POLICE are warning the public to be cautious after a potentially harmful medication was reported lost in Prenton, the Wirral Globe reports.

The medication is believed to have been stolen from a vehicle in the Woodchurch road area overnight on Monday, February 8.

Officers are warning people that taking any medication which hasn’t been prescribed for them can be dangerous and, in some circumstances, can prove fatal.

The medication was inside a small blue plastic container and comprises one strip of approximately 10 Morphine tablets, one strip of eight Tramadol tablets, one 100ml bottle of Oramorphe liquid morphine and a Glandosane saliva spray, in addition to migraine and hayfever medication.

Pharmacists working in GP surgeries to help improve medicines management for patients

Patients across Gwent are having their medicines prescribed and reviewed by pharmacists working in GP surgeries, through a care improvement programme, the South Wales Argus reports.

Thirteen practice-based clinical pharmacists are now working with family doctors, reviewing patients’ regular prescription medicines, providing expert advice to GPs, and prescribing medicines themselves.

They also visit patients who are housebound or in care homes.

The idea behind the programme is that having drugs experts on hand can ease the burden on doctors and improve the management of some chronic conditions, such as diabetes and respiratory illnesses.

The clinical pharmacists have been assigned to cover areas of Newport, Torfaen, Blaenau Gwent, Monmouthshire and Caerphilly.

Price cut sweetens pill after sales error

Hikma Pharmaceuticals has lopped $535million from the price it is paying for an American rival after it emerged that the company had overstated its sales, The Times reports.

The FTSE 100 maker of generic drugs announced the $2.7billion cash-and-shares deal for Roxane from Boehringer Ingelheim in July, a move designed to bolster its position in the United States.

However, it said yesterday that information in a prospectus issued to shareholders only two weeks ago was incorrect because Roxane’s revenue for 2015 had been inflated.

Calls for wider use of vaccines to fight ‘superbugs’

Vaccines should be used more widely in healthcare and agriculture as an alternative to antibiotics, according to a UK-led review into the problem of drug-resistant “superbugs”, the Financial Times reports.

Jim O’Neill, the Treasury minister and former Goldman Sachs economist heading the panel, said vaccines were a crucial part of the solution to a global threat he described as a “slow motion car crash”.

More widespread vaccination against bacterial infections would reduce the need for antibiotics, he said. This, in turn, would lessen the opportunities for drug-resistant strains to evolve.

A drug giant just got fined £37 million for ‘illegal behaviour’

Pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is getting a £37 million fine from the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) over “illegal behaviour that is designed to stifle competition at the expense of customers — in this case, the NHS and, ultimately, taxpayers”, Business Insider Australia reports.

The fine relates to a so-called “pay-for-delay” deals GSK reached with two generic drug makers between 2001 and 2004 to stop cheaper, non-branded versions of one of its “blockbuster” drugs being introduced to the market.

The CMA says in a statement on Friday that GSK “agreed to make payments and other value transfers totalling over £50 million to suppliers of generic versions of paroxetine,” an anti-depressant drug that GSK made £90 million from in the UK in 2001 alone.

Pensioners are living longer according to new figures

Life expectancy in old age in England has risen to its highest-ever level, the Independent reports.

The length of time pensioners can expect to live once they reach milestones in old age, based on figures for 2014, has gone up since the previous year, a new report from Public Health England reveals.

Men who reach 65 can look forward to another 19 years, a rise of 0.3 years on 2013, and can expect 12 years at 75, six years at 85 and three years at age 95.

Women who make it to 65 should anticipate a further 21 years, also a rise of 0.3 years on 2013, and then another 13 years at 75, seven years at 85, and three years at age 95.


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