Press review

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England may end up with mandatory vaccines, says chief medical officer

LONDON, 11 Oct (APM) - England "might well end up with mandatory" vaccines, the outgoing chief medical officer said, the Daily Telegraph reported on Thursday.
Her comments come after some health experts condemned Health Secretary Matt Hancock for saying he is seriously considering mandatory vaccination.
Dame Sally told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "We need to up our vaccination rates. I hope we can do it by other means, but if we can't, we might well end up with mandatory."
The latest NHS figures show that fewer children are receiving all their routine vaccinations, including the combined measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine and those for meningitis.
The proportion of children vaccinated with all doses of the combined diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough), polio and Haemophilus influenzae type b (DTaP/IPV/Hib) jab by the age of 12 months fell to 92% in 2018/19, its lowest level since 2008/09 and below the 95% target.
For MMR, 90% of children had their first dose in 2018/19, down from 91% the year before and continuing a five-year downward trend, the paper said.
The Times and the Guardian also picked up Davies' Radio 4 interview, focusing on her warning that people could die as a result of shortages of medical supplies in the event of a no-deal Brexit
She said: "Everyone has worked very hard to prepare but I will say what I said before. We cannot guarantee that there will not be shortages not only of medicines but technology and gadgets. There may be deaths, we can’t guarantee there won't. [Patients' lives] are at risk."

Ireland faces disruption to medicines supply in event of no-deal Brexit

The Sunday Times covered a UK government report warning that Ireland will face potential disruption of medical supplies and customs delays if there is a no-deal Brexit.
The paper said that UK ministers have compiled a list of the issues that the country will face that will be used as "leverage" during last-ditch discussions in the event that negotiations break down.
Issues include the fact that 60% of Ireland's medicines come from the UK.

Purdue faces further legal challenge in opioid battle

U.S state officials have launched a legal counter-attack against Purdue Pharma's attempt to shield itself and its controlling Sackler family members from thousands of lawsuits, the Guardian said at the weekend.
The legal challenges relates to claims the maker of the OxyContin prescription painkiller helped fuel the opioid epidemic.
Attorneys general from 24 states and the District of Columbia objected to Purdue's request that a U.S. bankruptcy judge shield the company from more than 2,600 lawsuits seeking billions of dollars in damages, according to court filings.

Metformin could halt MS progression - study

Metformin, which is commonly prescribed to treat diabetes, could stop the disabling progression of multiple sclerosis and even repair damaged nerves, according to research at Cambridge University, the Financial Times reported at the weekend.
Professor Robin Franklin, who led the study at the Wellcome-MRC Cambridge Stem Cell Institute, said the "dramatic and clear effect of metformin" on laboratory rats with MS symptoms would lead next year to a clinical trial with patients. Findings are published in the journal Cell Stem Cell.
The MS Society, the charity that co-funded the project, cited the results on Tuesday as evidence that MS can be stopped, when it launched an appeal for £100 million to accelerate new research.
The Cambridge team investigated metformin because there is evidence that the drug can rejuvenate human cells, returning them to "a more youthful state".

GSK recalls Zantac

GSK is recalling the popular heartburn medicine Zantac in all markets, days after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) found "unacceptable" levels of probable cancer-causing impurity in the drug, The Guardian reported on Wednesday. (APMHE 64656)
Zantac, also sold generically as ranitidine, is the latest drug in which cancer-causing impurities have been found. Regulators have been recalling some blood pressure and heart failure medicines since last year.

J&J hit with $8 billion court order over Risperdal

Johnson & Johnson has been ordered to pay $8 billion after claims that it failed to warn that young men using its antipsychotic drug Risperdal could grow breasts, the FT reported on Wednesday. (APMHE 64657)
The world's largest pharmaceutical company must pay the punitive damages to Nicholas Murray, a man who had already won $680,000 in the lawsuit in the Philadelphia court.

Pill could deliver insulin orally

Researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have developed an insulin pill that can survive the journey through the stomach and make it into the small intestine, The Times said on Wednesday.
The paper said the technology could make insulin injections could "a thing of the past" for people with diabetes as it will be able to deliver dissolvable microneedles to the gut to administer drugs.
So far, the technology has been tested only on pigs as part of proof of concept trials, said the paper.
Giovanni Traverso, a gastroenterologist and assistant professor at MIT's department of mechanical engineering, said: "We can deliver insulin, but we see applications for many other therapeutics and possibly vaccines. We're working very closely with our collaborators to identify the next steps and applications where we can have the greatest impact."
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