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NEWS IN BRIEF: Boots Scandal; Closures; Methadone Drop; AMR; Obesity; Pharmacy Petition


14 Apr 2016

Boots “boosts profit with check-up scam”

Boots has been accused of carrying out pointless checks on customers in order to make millions of pounds from the NHS, The Times reports.

Some staff say they are pressured into reviewing more patients than necessary so that the retailer can hit internal targets and maximise revenue from the health service.

Such checks are worth about £30m to the company and it is claimed that staff have been told to carry them out on each other and on dementia patients.

Pharmacies are paid £28 for carrying out each check, known as a Medicines Use Review (MUR), under a scheme designed to make sure that the elderly and other patients are taking their tablets properly and are not on too many medications.

Pharmacies ‘will shut’ in Lincolnshire if Government cuts go ahead

Community pharmacies across Lincolnshire could be forced to close if Government cuts go ahead, the Lincolnshire Echo reports.

A Lincolnshire County Council report has warned £170m in new nationwide cuts would have a “significant” impact here – and says the hit would be harder on our pharmacies than elsewhere in England because of our rural county’s reliance on pharmacies.

And pressures on A&E in the county – where visits have risen by ten per cent in a year – could increase as more people are forced to go to hospital for help.

The Lincolnshire Local Pharmaceutical Committee fears chemists which provide prescriptions and health advice could each lose £22,000 over a six-month period next year as part of proposals put forward by The Department for Health.

Number of people on methadone in city drops by hundreds

The number of methadone prescriptions handed out in Dundee dropped last year for the first time in four years, the Evening Telegraph reports.

However, money spent on the substance in the city still remains more than twice the national average.

Figures obtained by the Tele show that last year, 20,387 prescriptions for methadone were administered, down from 20,957 for 2014. This was the only time that the numbers dropped in the last five years.

Spending by NHS Tayside in Dundee on the heroin substitute has dropped every year since 2011, by a total of more than £130,000, even when the number of prescriptions have increased.

Antimicrobial resistance a ‘greater threat than cancer by 2050’

Antimicrobial resistance to antibiotics will present a greater danger to humankind than cancer by the middle of the century unless world leaders agree international action to tackle the threat, George Osborne will say, The Guardian reports.

The chancellor will tell a panel of experts at an IMF meeting in Washington that 10 million people a year could die across the world by 2050 – more than the number of people lost to cancer every year – without radical action.

Osborne will warn of an “enormous economic cost”, which could cut global GDP by 3.5%, a cumulative cost of $100bn (£70bn).

The chancellor will say: “Unless we take global action, antimicrobial resistance will become an even greater threat to mankind than cancer currently is.

Dieting for one year can help you stay in shape for much longer, study suggests

People should stick to diets for a year to keep the weight off, scientists have found, the Independent reports.

A study has found 12 months of dieting may lead to long-term chemical changes in the body, allowing it to maintain its new weight.

Previous research has found the body reacts to diets with a surge in hunger-causing hormones, while cells store more calories as fat.

However, researchers from the University of Copenhagen have found the bodies own survival mechanism can be overcome after a year of dieting.

Candidate aims to protect village pharmacies

A would-be councillor is aiming to help secure the future of South Tyneside’s village pharmacies, The Shields Gazette reports.

David Townsley, a Labour candidate standing for the Cleadon and East Boldon ward in next month’s elections, is informing residents about proposed Government cuts which may cause problems for chemists.

Last December, the Department of Health wrote to the the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee to impose a 6% cut in community pharmacy funding.

Mr Townsley is now hoping people will sign an online petition against the move to help protect the pharmacies in the two villages he hopes to represent.


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