Watchdog look at claims Boots ripped off NHS

The pharmacy watchdog is considering investigating Boots over claims that the country’s biggest chain of chemists has been milking NHS schemes to increase profits, The Times reports.

The General Pharmaceutical Council has asked the Pharmacists’ Defence Association, a trade union for pharmacists, to provide evidence on claims it has made that Boots managers are coming under undue pressure to meet financial targets.

In a series of reports, the PDA has claimed it has a yet-to-be published survey of its members, which allegedly shows that more than 75 per cent of pharmacists polled felt that patient safety was “directly impacted” by financial cutbacks imposed by Boots’ senior management.

More than one in ten of all Boots chemists responded to the survey and said that they felt the impact of financial targets “at least half of the time”.

German pharmacy chain founder charged

The family behind a chain of German pharmacies, which became one of the country’s most high-profile insolvencies, is facing criminal charges along with its former auditors, the Financial Times reports.

Schlecker, once a big presence across Germany, filed for insolvency in January 2012 after its no-frills business model failed to draw enough customers away from rival chains.

Stuttart prosecutors have charged the former owner of the drugstore chain, his wife and two children, and two auditors with violating bankruptcy law by siphoning company funds into private accounts when they were aware the company was becoming insolvent.

Prosecutors said the “main accused” was former company owner, Anton Schlecker, who founded the group in 1975.

Skin cancer: Pair of drugs 'eliminate 20% of tumours'

A fifth of people with advanced melanoma have no sign of tumours in their body after treatment with a pair of immunotherapy drugs, the BBC reports.

The first survival data on using ipilimumab and nivolumab in combination showed 69% of patients, in a trial on 142, were still alive after two years.

UK doctors leading the trial said the results were "very encouraging".

Melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer, is the sixth most common cancer in the UK

It kills more than 2,000 people in Britain each year.

Polio: World Health Organisation launches new vaccine swap to eradicate the last few strains of the disease

Health teams in 150 different countries have launched a vaccine switch in what they hope will be the final push against polio, the Independent reports.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has said it is changing its strategy to eradicate the debilitating disease by tackling certain strains of the disease in hard-to-reach areas rather than conducting a mass immunisation programme.

Over the next two weeks, some 150 countries will engage in a synchronised switch to a two-strain vaccine which tackles the remaining variations of the wild polio virus - type 1 and type 3.