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NEWS IN BRIEF: Leeds Study; Chinese Pharma; Valeant; Hunt Deaths; Talcum Powder


24 Feb 2016

Leeds study helps to show pharmacy care home roles could improve care and save NHS £135million a year

Employing pharmacists to work with GPs and care homes in Leeds and wider Yorkshire could boost care and make massive NHS savings, The Yorkshire Post reports.

A 21-month pilot project starting in July 2013 saw three pharmacists work in west Leeds specifically to review older people’s medicines and prevent avoidable hospital admissions, saving the local health service more than £120,000.

It was one of three studies which the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) has used to suggest that the model could save the NHS £135million a year if it was brought in nationally.

China pharmacies urge abolition of Alibaba Health drug tracking platform

A group of Chinese pharmacy chains has demanded the abolition of a medicine tracking platform run by Alibaba Health Information Technology, piling further pressure on the firm after China’s drug regulator suspended the system on Saturday, Reuters reports.

In a joint statement on Wednesday, the 19 firms called for the China Food and Drug Administration (CFDA) to close down the system completely and for Ali Health, an affiliate of e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, to play no further regulatory role.

“Ali Health getting involved in regulation of pharmaceutical information, both has a bearing on the safety of national data and creates unfair competition,” the pharmacy chains said in a statement.

Among the 19 are firms like Sinopharm Group Co Ltd’s Guoda Drugstore, China Jo Jo Drugstores Inc and Laibaixing Pharmacy Chain.

Valeant may restate earnings after second look at Philidor

Shares of Valeant Pharmaceuticals recovered some of their recent losses on Tuesday, after the beleaguered drug company said it will delay filing its annual report with regulators while it sorts out its former relationship with the drug distributor Philidor, the Daily Mail reports.

Meanwhile, the Canadian drugmaker still isn’t saying when CEO J. Michael Pearson will return to work. Pearson has been on medical leave since he was hospitalized with severe pneumonia in late December.

Valeant said it expects to lower reported 2014 earnings by about 10 cents per share and raise 2015 earnings by about 9 cents because about $58 million in sales to mail-order pharmacy Philidor were improperly recognized.

Valeant said the sales should have been recognized when patients received the products, not when they were delivered to Philidor.

Junior doctors’ row: Hunt’s 6,000 deaths claim ‘was unverified’

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt used unverified and unpublished study data to back his plans for a seven-day NHS in England, the BBC has reported.

Last July, in the pay row with junior doctors, Mr Hunt said there were about 6,000 deaths a year because of the lack of “a proper seven-day service”.

Emails show one of the paper’s authors was unhappy with the figure being used.

But the Department of Health said later analysis estimated about 11,000 excess deaths due to the “weekend effect”.

Johnson & Johnson to pay £51m to family of woman who died from ovarian cancer ’caused by talcum powder’

The pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson has been ordered to pay $72 million (£51 million) to the family of a woman who claimed her ovarian cancer was caused by talcum powder, The Telegraph reports.

A jury in St Louis, Missouri, said the company had failed to warn users of the potential dangers despite concerns raised by the American Cancer Society in 1999.

Although many talcum powder manufacturers in the US have since switched to corn starch following the scare in the 90s, in Britain most still use talcum.

However the ruling is likely to prove controversial because most cancer experts believe the link is unproven and law experts said British claimants would face a higher bar in trying to convince a UK judge that talcum was a direct cause of cancer.

 


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