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NEWS IN BRIEF: Shkreli; Numark; Ebola; Alcohol; Zika; Dentists; STIs


05 Jan 2016

Biotech bankruptcy following pharma boss arrest

The last listed company associated with disgraced biotech entrepreneur Martin Shkreli has filed for bankruptcy in the US, the Financial Times has reported.

The news comes just days after Kalabios Pharmaceuticals’ shares were suspended following the businessman’s arrest on securities fraud charges.

Numark offers funding cuts advice Numark has announced a toolkit for its members to assist with raising local awareness of the planned cuts to pharmacy funding. The kit includes information on making contact with both the media and MPs and includes template letters and press releases. Managing director John D’Arcy says: “We are writing to the Minister and maintaining an open dialogue with pharmacy representative bodies in order to ensure a co-ordinated response to the cuts from across the sector. “However, our members are more vulnerable to the drop in remuneration than their multiple competitors and they are looking to Numark to provide assistance and leadership at this time.”

Life saving ebola tests went to waste

Britain withheld 10,000 rapid ebola testing kits tgar ciykd have helped save dozens of lives at the height of the epidemic, The Times has reported.

Leading scientists have also warned that the UK remains “incredibly vulnerable” to tropical diseases and could be overwhelmed by a outbreak , which would potentially arrive through the illegal bushmeat trade.

At the peak of the ebola crisis in Sierra Leone in December 2014, as the country was reporting at least 500 new cases each week, the Ministry of Defence developed a portable pregnancy test-like device that could give accurate results within 20 minutes from a single drop of blood.

Men facing alcohol crackdown Men will be advised to drink no more than a pint and a half of beer a day in a nanny state New Year health crackdown, The Sun has reported. In a highly controversial move, daily alcohol guidelines will be cut so lads are held to the same “safe level” cap as women. Currently men are advised to not regularly drink more than three to four units a day, around two pints of four per cent beer. But that will be cut to two to three units under new rules from the UK’s Chief Medical Officers due in January — while women’s guidelines remain the same.

Zika virus spreads north

The virus you likely never heard of is steadily marching north from Brazil. It’s Zika, spread by Aedes mosquitoes, Forbes has reported.

It’s a flavivirus related to yellow fever, West Nile, Chikungunya, and dengue.

The latest two that hit the U.S., Chikungunya and dengue, are painful and bad enough—and dengue can kill people who are infected more than once.

Zika adds an added nasty punch of perhaps causing microcephaly⁠, a birth defect where babies are born with abnormally small skulls and brains, and often have developmental abnormalities.

Dentists slam own ‘Third World’ service Standards of NHS dental care in England have been likened to a “Third World” service by dentists, the BBC has reported. The care, already “unfit for purpose”, is becoming even worse, a letter signed by 400 dentists, in the Daily Telegraph newspaper, adds. It says the creation by international charity Dentaid of a service for vulnerable patients in West Yorkshire is a sign of the mounting problems. NHS England said services were improving.

NHS cuts risk soaring rates of STIs

Labour analysis predicts £40m less will be spent on testing and treating infection in 2016 despite rates of gonorrhoea and syphilis soaring, the Guardian has reported.

Cuts to sexual health services will lead to more abortions, unplanned pregnancies and an “explosion” in sexually transmitted infections, medical experts warn.

Their warning comes as Labour claims that local councils in England will spend as much as £40m less than planned this year on services such as testing and treating infections such as herpes and syphilis as a result of George Osborne’s decision to cut £200m from the public health budget.


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