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Unlike the United States, Europe has no plan for coordinated action to mitigate drug shortages

Drug shortages: it’s time for Europe to act

Unlike the United States, Europe has no plan for coordinated action to mitigate drug shortages.

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Researchers dispute analysis that finds oseltamivir (Roche's Tamiflu) cuts flu symptoms by a day

Tamiflu shortens flu symptoms by a day, study findsSubscription

Oseltamivir (Roche’s Tamiflu) shortens the duration of flu symptoms by approximately a day, in infected patients, according to an analysis published in The Lancet.

Apremilast, an oral drug for psoriasis conditions, has been approved by the European Commission. Psoriasis (pictured) is an autoimmune disease

First-in-class oral drug approved for psoriasis conditions in EuropeSubscription

The European Commission has authorised apremilast (Celgene’s Otezla), a first-in-class oral drug for the treatment of chronic plaque psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis in patients who have failed first-line systemic therapies.

Strong placebo effect connected with the perception of drug cost in Parkinson's disease, study finds

Perception of drug cost influences placebo response in Parkinson’s diseaseSubscription

Treatment perceived to be expensive, even though it was a placebo, led to a two-fold improvement in motor function in Parkinson’s disease patients compared with a treatment perceived to be cheap.

European drug manufacturers have developed a communications framework which could help prevent medicines shortages

Drug manufacturers propose alert system to mitigate medicine shortagesSubscription

European drug manufacturers have developed a communications framework which they claim could help prevent medicines shortages or lessen their impact.

People aged over 65 who take some common over-the-counter or prescribed medicines for allergy, depression or an overactive bladder have an increased risk of developing dementia

Older patients taking anticholinergic drugs are at risk of dementiaSubscription

People aged over 65 years who take some common over-the-counter or prescribed medicines for allergy, depression or an overactive bladder have an increased risk of developing dementia.

EMA recommends suspending licences for 700 drugs manufactured by GVK BiosciencesSubscription

The European Medicines Agency is recommending that the marketing authorisation be suspended for more than 700 generic products manufactured by GVK Biosciences.

Researchers studying endometriosis (pictured) have developed two compounds, chloroindazole (CLI) and oxabicycloheptene sulfonate (OBHS), which bind to oestrogen receptors, control inflammation and reduce lesions in a mice model of the disease.

Oestrogen receptor ligands show promise for treating endometriosis Subscription

Researchers studying endometriosis have discovered a potential way to treat the disease that avoids many of the side effects seen with existing therapies.

EMA recommends approval of liraglutide as weight loss drugSubscription

The European Medicines Agency is recommending that the prescription-only injectable drug liraglutide (Saxenda) should be granted a marketing authorisation as a weight loss product.

Public health campaign highlights heartburn link to cancerSubscription

People who have daily heartburn for three consecutive weeks may be at risk from oesophageal or stomach cancer and are advised to visit their GP, according to a new public health campaign.

The Human Protein Atlas shows the locations of almost 17,000 different proteins in the human body could offer invaluable guidance for drug developers

Human Protein Atlas reveals drug targetsSubscription

The Human Protein Atlas shows the locations of almost 17,000 different proteins in the human body and could offer invaluable guidance for drug developers. 

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) approved AbbVie’s Viekirax and Exviera, licensed together for the treatment of hepatitis C genotype 1

EU approval of AbbVie’s hepatitis C combination therapies challenges Gilead’s HarvoniSubscription

A highly effective therapy for patients with hepatitis C is being launched by AbbVie in the EU over the next couple of months in direct competition with another treatment made by Gilead that was approved in 2014 and is now being rolled out. 

U.S. President Barack Obama launched a new Precision Medicine Initiative to help cure diseases like cancer and diabetes

US President launches ‘precision medicine’ initiativeSubscription

Precision medicine got a shot in the arm on 20 January 2015, when US President Barack Obama launched a Precision Medicine Initiative to help cure diseases like cancer and diabetes.

Male patients with type 2 diabetes, who have a degree and earn more than US$60,000 a here are more likely to take their prescribed medicines, recent survey shows

Study sheds light on factors affecting adherence in patients with diabetesSubscription

Patients with type 2 diabetes are more likely to take their medicines as prescribed if they are male, have a degree and earn more than US$60,000 dollars a year.

41.5% of US adults who drink alcohol report taking medicines known to interact with alcohol

Almost 42% of US drinkers report taking drugs that interact with alcoholSubscription

Some 41.5% of US adults who drink alcohol report taking medicines known to interact with alcohol, according to research published in Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.

The cost of vaccines recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) for developing countries has increased by 68%, warns Médecins sans Frontières (MSF)

Cost of vaccines becoming unaffordable in developing countries, charity warnsSubscription

The cost of vaccines recommended by the World Health Organization has gone up 68-fold over the past 13 years, according to international aid charity Médecins sans Frontières.

WHO calls for basic medicines to be made available to tackle deaths from non-communicable diseasesSubscription

Just under half the 38 million deaths in the world from non-communicable diseases could have been prevented, according to the World Health Organization.

Brain scan of a patient with Parkinson's disease. Safinamide has been recommended for approval as therapy for patients with Parkinson's disease

Safinamide recommended for approval as Parkinson’s disease therapySubscription

A new medicine that allows Parkinson’s disease patients to spend more of the day symptom-free has been recommended for approval in Europe.

Lisdexamfetamine dimesylate, drug for the treatment of attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) could treat binge eating disorder

Drug for ADHD shows promise for treating binge eating disorderSubscription

A drug approved for the treatment of attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder, lisdexamfetamine dimesylate, cuts the number of binge eating days in people with binge eating disorder, according to a study.

David Taylor, emeritus professor of pharmaceutical and public health policy at UCL

Cancer deaths in people under 80 can be eliminated by 2050, says UCL reportSubscription

Continued access to innovative treatments and improved prevention strategies will allow cancer deaths in people under 80 years of age to be eliminated by 2050.

Increased risk of severe skin reactions with expectorants containing ambroxol or bromhexineSubscription

Patients taking expectorants containing ambroxol or bromhexine have a small increased risk of severe skin reactions such as Stevens-Johnson syndrome.

Discovering how quickly a smoker metabolises nicotine could help identify the most effective method of smoking cessation, study finds

Smokers’ metabolism of nicotine could point to the best way to quitSubscription

The speed at which smokers metabolise nicotine may suggest the most effective smoking cessation method – either varenicline or the nicotine patch.

Shire announces US$5.2bn acquisition of NPS PharmaceuticalsSubscription

Shire has announced a US$5.2bn acquisition of the US company NPS Pharmaceuticals following unanimous approval by both company boards.

Depot medroxyprogesterone acetate (DMPA), a long acting birth control injection commonly known as Depo-Provera, increases the risk of HIV infection in the women who receive it by 40%, study finds

Depot contraceptive linked to increased risk of HIV infectionSubscription

Analysis finds the long acting birth control injection could increase the risk of HIV infection in women, with the highest risk observed in sex workers.

Clinicians overuse high-cost imaging tests to treat headaches instead of focusing on counselling and lifestyle changes, study suggests

Headache management overly focused on medical tests, study suggestsSubscription

Counselling and lifestyle changes could be better used to treat headaches rather than relying on advanced imaging tests and specialist referrals.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), main building pictured here, is set to approve the first 'biosimilar' drug in the United States

FDA plays catch-up with Europe as it moves towards first biosimilar approval Subscription

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)’s oncologic drugs advisory committee has given the green light to Sandoz’s EP2006, a biosimilar version of filgrastim.

Bursts of testosterone (image of testosterone crystals pictured) can curb prostate cancer that has spread to other parts of the body.

Testosterone rollercoaster tackles prostate cancerSubscription

Bursts of testosterone can curb prostate cancer that has spread to other parts of the body, according to a small clinical trial.

Teixobactin, a novel antibiotic without detectable resistance, has proven effective against drug-resistant strains of Staphylococcus aureus, including meticillin-resistance S aurus (MRSA, pictured here), enterococci and Clostridium difficile

Researchers unearth novel antibiotic without detectable resistanceSubscription

Researchers using an innovative process have discovered a new antibiotic with properties that appear to prevent the development of resistance.

Anaesthetists in Australia and New Zealand are campaigning for pholcodine-containing cough medicines to be made prescription-only products

Anaesthetists campaign for pholcodine cough medicines to become prescription-only productsSubscription

Anaesthetists in Australia and New Zealand are campaigning for pholcodine-containing cough medicines to become prescription-only products.

Ronald Evans, director of Salk’s Gene Expression Laboratory, has developed a compound called fexaramine that acts like an imaginary meal.

Scientists develop drug that curbs weight gain without reducing food intakeSubscription

Scientists have developed a drug that curbs weight gain and corrects the metabolic defects associated with obesity without reducing food intake.

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Moorfields Eye Hospital to close its specials manufacturing facilitySubscription

Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has decided to close its specials manufacturing facility in London, its board has announced.

Eculizumab — with £340,200 price tag — gets go ahead from NICESubscription

Eculizumab, dubbed “the world’s most expensive drug”, is being made available on the NHS in England following guidance from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence.

Pharmacist trainees who completed their training in the community sector are more likely to be dissatisfied with the experience according to a recent survey conducted on behalf on the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC)

Pre-reg pharmacists dissatisfied with their training more likely to have trained in community sectorSubscription

Pharmacist trainees who completed their training in the community sector are more likely to be dissatisfied with the experience, while a higher proportion of dissatisfied students trained in London.

North East London Local Pharmaceutical Committee (LPC) is recruiting pharmacies to take part in its new SelfCare Pharmacy practice

A new model of pharmacy in North East LondonSubscription

North East London Local Pharmaceutical Committee is recruiting pharmacies to take part in its new ‘SelfCare Pharmacy’ practice. Will its efforts result in a viable new model of pharmacy care?

Women taking valproate should be told about risks of developmental disorders in offspringSubscription

Women taking valproate should be told about the risks of developmental disorders in children exposed to the drug during pregnancy, says the UK medicines regulator.

Audit highlights problem of patients taking NSAIDs without gastroprotectionSubscription

Many patients taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are not co-prescribed gastroprotective agents, an audit of community pharmacies in England has found.

The Cancer Drugs Fund has undermined the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence and has provided a “get out of jail card” for pharmaceutical companies.

Cancer Drugs Fund has undermined NICE, its chair admitsSubscription

The Cancer Drugs Fund has undermined the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence and has provided a “get out of jail card” for pharmaceutical companies, its chair says.

NHS England has postponed plans for community pharmacists to name their pharmacy when they report patient safety incidents until after the law is changed to decriminalise dispensing errors.

Plans to name pharmacies in patient safety incident reports postponedSubscription

NHS England has postponed plans for community pharmacists to name their pharmacy when they report patient safety incidents until after the law is changed to decriminalise dispensing errors.

Expensive treatments for hepatitis C will now be available to more patients. Pictured micrograph of hepatitis C virus

More UK patients will now be eligible for two costly hepatitis C treatmentsSubscription

Sofosbuvir has received the green light from NICE but will not be available to patients until August 2015, while simeprevir will only be accessible through a patient access scheme.

NICE offers advice on gastro-oesophageal reflux in childrenSubscription

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has published its first clinical guideline on the management of gastro-oesophageal reflux disease in infants and children.

The public trusts the advice given by a community pharmacist but not to the same degree as other health professionals, shows a recent poll by the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC)

The public trusts pharmacists but not to the same degree as other health professionals, survey showsSubscription

The public trusts the advice given by a community pharmacist but the degree of trust is lower than that afforded to other health professionals, according to an IPSOS/Mori poll.

Oral diclofenac tablets (molecular structure pictured), used for short-term pain relief, will no longer be available as an over-the-counter pharmacy medicine in the UK

Risk of heart problems prompts removal of OTC diclofenac from UK pharmacy shelvesSubscription

Oral diclofenac tablets, used for short-term pain relief, will no longer be available as an over-the-counter pharmacy medicine in the UK.

Dulaglutide launched in the UK as once-weekly diabetes treatmentSubscription

The second once-weekly non-insulin injection for patients with type 2 diabetes became available in the UK from 13 January 2015.

A total of 25 clinical treatments for cancer will be dropped from the government's cancer drugs fund (CDF) list from March 2015, NHS England announces

NHS England drops therapies from cancer drugs fund to save £80mSubscription

A total of 25 clinical indications will be removed from the government’s cancer drugs fund list, NHS England has announced.

More UK news

More research briefings

Special report

Antimicrobial resistance

Last defence dam in antimicrobial resistance

Around 25,000 people die in the European Union each year from infections resistant to antibiotics. Third-generation cephalosporins are often useless against common bacteria like Escherichia coli, and fluoroquinolones are no longer the treatment of choice for gonorrhoea because resistance has become widespread. Here, you can find news stories and articles about the issue.

Read the special report

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