Paracetamol “useless at relieving arthritic pain”

Paracetamol is next to useless at alleviating arthritic pain, according to scientists, The Times reports.

A comprehensive study of the most common form of arthritis has discovered that a daily dose of paracetamol has little more impact on pain and mobility than a placebo.

The most effective way to treat osteoarthritis, which affects about 8.75 million people in the UK, is with non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen.

However, high doses can damage the stomach lining and raise the risk of an irregular heartbeat, so instead doctors often recommend a daily dose of paracetamol.

Lillington pharmacist is asking customers to sign petition against funding cuts for chemists

A Lillington pharmacist is encouraging his customers to sign a petition at the counter which could save small chemists nationwide, The Leamington Spa Courier reports.

Ashni Awesti, 40, of the Lillington Pharmacy, says Government proposals to slash annual funding to chemists by £170 million - or six per cent - would mean that smaller establishments could be forced to close.

And although the chemist where he has worked for nine years is not under immediate threat, he is concerned for the future of those which serve villages and small communities.

Tampon tax to be scrapped as Government avoids Eurosceptic defeat

The “tampon tax” will be scrapped after European Union leaders agreed to allow a zero VAT rating on sanitary products

Despite George Osborne indicating in the autumn that he wanted to drop the 5 per cent VAT rate charged on tampons and other such goods, the Government is currently restricted by EU tax law.

But with Eurosceptic Tories threatening to join forces with Labour to embarrass the Government by calling for a zero-VAT rating, David Cameron raised the issue at an EU summit and swiftly won agreement.

Prescription gluten-free food on the NHS could be stopped - and coeliacs are angry about it P

eople with a painful digestive condition could soon have to fork out hundreds of pounds for gluten-free products under plans by health bosses in Bury to scrap “food prescriptions”, the Manchester Evening News reports.

Each year, NHS Bury Clinical Commissioning Group spends almost £80,000 on prescribing gluten-free items – such as bread, flour, bread mix, pasta, cereals and crackers – to those with the allergy known as Coeliac disease.

The products are often costly to buy from supermarkets, with the special bread averaging at around £3 a loaf, compared to 50p for a own-branded one.

Currently those living in Bury can get the products for free.

Threatened Slaithwaite Health Centre declares 'no confidence' in NHS England and CCGs

Patients of a GP practice, threatened with a 44% budget cut, have declared ‘no confidence’ in local and regional health chiefs, the Huddersfield Daily Examiner reports.

Slawit Health Centre SOS delivered a motion of no confidence to bosses of Calderdale and Greater Huddersfield CCGs (clinical commissioning groups), the organisations which manage local NHS services.

Patients also delivered a motion of no confidence to NHS England which has proposed to slash Slaithwaite Health Centre’s funding by 44%.

The Slaithwaite practice is one of approximately two-thirds of Huddersfield GP surgeries expecting substantial funding cuts.