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NEWS IN BRIEF: Petition; Lincolnshire Closure Concerns; Nut Allergy; Childhood Epilepsy; Smoking; AstraZeneca


15 Mar 2016

Kingsclere villagers petition to save village chemist

Kingsclere villagers and councillors are petitioning to keep the village chemist in the face of government cuts, Newbury Today reports.

At a recent meeting of Kingsclere Parish Council, vice-chairman Mick Farey warned that the Government was reducing funding for community pharmacies, which provide a vital service for the elderly.

He said: “It could result in 3,000 small pharmacies closing.

“Anything we can do as a council and village to support the retention of our facilities we need to do.”

Cuts to pharmacies could hit Lincolnshire hardest

Pharmacies in Lincolnshire could be the worst hit in the country by government cuts, it has been claimed, the Lincolnshire Echo reports.

Up and down the country, pharmacies are having to manage cuts of six per cent to their budget for this year.

Chris Kenny of Watsons pharmacy in Lincoln said: “In Lincolnshire there are fewer pharmacies per head of population so the cuts will hit Lincolnshire pharmacies more than perhaps elsewhere.”

Watsons is one of many pharmacies in the county trying to cope with the cuts, which it has been claimed could lead to one in four high street pharmacies closing across the country according to campaigners.

Newry pharmacist saved nut allergy chef after anaphylaxis attack at carvery

A relaxing lunch out on Saturday afternoon turned into a terrifying near-death experience for Newry man Aaron McDonald, who suffers from a severe nut allergy, the Belfast Telegraph reports.

As he tucked into his carvery, the 25-year-old trained chef did not realise there were traces of nuts in his food.

Within seconds he went anaphylactic shock, which causes the throat to close over.

He had forgotten to take his life-saving EpiPen with him and was moments from death when a newly graduated pharmacist saved his life.

Drug made from cannabis to treat childhood epilepsy

A cannabis-based drug has successfully treated epileptic children, raising hopes for the medical potential of the plant, The Times reports.

Children with a rare form of epilepsy had a 39 per cent reduction in seizures when given the drug, which experts hope will now become the first treatment for the condition.

About 40,000 children in Britain have epilepsy, with many having frequent seizures.

Epidiolex uses the compound cannabidiol, a component of cannabis that is not psychoactive. It is thought to modulate signalling mechanisms in the brain and reduce nerve inflammation.

‘Cold turkey’ best way to quit smoking, study shows

People who want to quit smoking are more likely to succeed if they go “cold turkey” by stopping abruptly, a study in Annals of Internal Medicine shows, the BBC reports.

Volunteers who used this approach were 25% more likely to remain abstinent half a year from the date that they give up than smokers who tried to gradually wean themselves off instead.

The NHS says that picking a convenient date to quit is important. Make a promise, set a date and stick to it, it advises.

AstraZeneca debates linking executive pay with revenue targets

AstraZeneca has opened the door to a rethink on linking executive pay to the ambitious sales targets it sets in place to ward off Pfizer, the US company that launched a bid for it two years ago, The Times reports.

Pascal Soriot, the FTSE 100 drugmaker’s chief executive, outlined a plan in 2014 to boost sales to $45billion by 2023, a 70% increase.

Some investors have called for his long-term bonus to be linked to the revenue target, leaving the company facing a bruising encounter with shareholders at its annual meeting next month.


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