Archive For The “Newspapers” Category

USA: 6 cancer patients developed rare blood infection after nurse tampered with opioids

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USA: 6 cancer patients developed rare blood infection after nurse tampered with opioids

Six patients at the Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center in Buffalo, N.Y., were infected with a bacterium known as Sphingomonas paucimobilis between June and July of 2018, according to a New England Journal of Medicine report . Three of the six were diagnosed within one week of each other, it noted. Sphingomonas paucimobilis is typically found in water and soil. It’s rarely known to cause blood infections, even in those with compromised immune systems, the report says. Baffled, medical professionals at the facility initially assumed the infection was caused by contaminated medication. Officials subsequently contacted pharmaceutical vendors and checked with the U.S. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) over recall alerts in an attempt to find a source of the outbreak.

Doctors then evaluated “intravenous fluids and medications” including syringes of the opioid hydromorphone, which were locked in a drawer that was connected to an automated medication dispensing system at the facility. The syringes tested positive for the bacterium that had infected the patients’ bloodstreams. It was determined that one of the center’s nurses, who was not identified in the New England Journal of Medicine report, allegedly had been tampering with the syringes to remove some of the opioids legally…

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USA: Drug shortages forcing hospitals to ration treatments

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USA: Drug shortages forcing hospitals to ration treatments

A shortage of a versatile medicine used to treat immune disorders and other diseases has forced U.S. hospitals and infusion clinics to suspend treatment for many patients. The medicine, immune globulin, contains antibodies harvested from plasma, a component of blood. The injected product helps people with compromised immune systems fight off infections, and treats certain muscle and nerve disorders. The drug’s shortage increases the risk of infection for patients and the amount of pain they are suffering, doctors say.

Recently, many hospitals and infusion clinics have received less immune globulin, or IG, than they need. Some have started to ration it, prioritizing it for patients who need it to stay alive and canceling infusions for patients deemed to have non-life-threatening conditions. The shortage has gotten to an acute status, said Michelle Vogel, vice president of patient advocacy and provider relations at CSI Pharmacy, a specialty pharmacy. IG manufacturers, including Takeda Pharmaceuticals Co. and CSL Ltd., say there has been increased demand for IG. They cite higher rates of diagnosis of conditions that IG has long treated, plus new uses for the drug. The global market for these drugs was $11 billion in 2018, projected to rise to $17 billion in…

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MoHAP, OIC discuss enhancing relations in health sector

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MoHAP, OIC discuss enhancing relations in health sector

MoHAP, OIC discuss enhancing relations in health sector

DUBAI, 10th August, 2019 (WAM) — Dr. Amin Hussein Al Amiri, Assistant Undersecretary of the Ministry of Health and Prevention’s (MoHAP’s) Public Health Policy and Licences, has recently met with Ambassador Askar Musinov, Assistant Secretary-General of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, OIC, to explore means of enhancing relations in the health sector.

The meeting was held at MoHAP headquarters in Dubai in the presence of Dr. Issa Al Mansouri, Director of the Undersecretary’s Office and Director of the International Health Relations.

Congratulating Musinov on assuming his new post, Dr. Al Amiri hailed the OIC’s endeavours in strengthening the concerted efforts in the health sector, pointing out the UAE’s health system efficiency and its high competitive ranks in the global health indicators. The flexible legislative environment, and the comprehensive and innovative health services based on modern technologies, in addition to the development of the preventive system and pharmaceutical sector helped achieve these accomplishments, he said.

Ambassador Askar Musinov highlighted the importance of the meeting to enhance relations between the UAE and OIC in the health sector.

Musinov commended the UAE’s role in bolstering the OIC’s strategic policies and plans, in particular, the OIC…

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UK government pledges £250m artificial intelligence lab for health services

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UK government pledges £250m artificial intelligence lab for health services

UK government pledges £250m artificial intelligence lab for health services

The new lab aims to develop new technologies in healthcare but concerns remain over data handling

Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson, second from left, and Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock, left, speak with staff members during a visit to an NHS hospital on Monday. AFP

Britain’s National Health Service is to receive £250 million (Dh1.1 billion) to set up a National Artificial Intelligence Lab to develop high-tech treatments for cancer, dementia and heart disease, the UK government has announced.

Health and social care minister Matt Hancock announced the creation of the fund, which aims to turn the health service (NHS) into a world leader in the use of artificial intelligence in healthcare.

It is the latest in a series of announcements intended to underline the British government’s commitment to the NHS under prime minister Boris Johnson.

On Tuesday, Mr Johnson announced £1.8bn in NHS spending, including an £850m hospital upgrade programme to improve care in 20 hospitals across the UK.

Critics of the policy said the money is not enough to fix the damage caused by years of budget cuts.

Mr Hancock, a technology enthusiast who has developed his own app,…

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Price Of Snakebite Drugs Still Sky-High, Despite Competition : Shots – Health News : NPR2

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Price Of Snakebite Drugs Still Sky-High, Despite Competition : Shots – Health News : NPR2

Dr. Steven Curry, a medical toxicologist and professor at the University of Arizona, has treated snakebites since the 1980s — long enough to remember when the treatment represented its own form of misery. The first medication Curry used sometimes caused an immune reaction called serum sickness — patients broke out in a severe, itchy rash. Then, about 20 years ago, the snake antivenin CroFab entered the market and dramatically reduced the adverse reactions associated with treatment, he says.

But the drug came with a sky-high price tag. In one case reported by NPR and Kaiser Health News , an Indiana hospital last summer charged nearly $68,000 for four vials of CroFab. Now, CroFab faces competition from a snake antivenin called Anavip . Curry says the health system he works for in Phoenix — Banner Health — is using the new drug as its first line of treatment. It is switching, he says, because Anavip could reduce readmissions by better controlling bleeding associated with a snakebite and lead to “substantial savings” for the hospital.

But few experts who study drug laws and drug prices expect this competition to reduce the cost for patients. Legal wrangling, the advantageous use of the…

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Can Canadian imports lower U.S. drug prices?

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Can Canadian imports lower U.S. drug prices?

Last week, Sen. Bernie Sanders joined a caravan of people with diabetes crossing the border to Canada to buy insulin to highlight the drastic price difference of the medicine — which can be one-tenth of what it costs in the United States. A new proposal from the Trump administration could make trips like these unnecessary in the near future. The plan would allow states, pharmacies and drug manufacturers in the United States to import prescription drugs from Canada.

Why there’s debate: Proponents of the idea say access to cheaper Canadian drugs would save the lives of patients who struggle to afford the medicine they need from American sellers. Drug companies in the United States would ultimately be forced to lower their prices to compete with less expensive imports, they argue. The U.S. plan sparked significant concerns from Canadians worried that demand from the massive American market would lead to drug shortages or price increases in their country, despite Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s pledge to maintain a “steady and solid supply” of drugs in Canada. Others point out that the plan may not apply to some of the most expensive drugs, including insulin. Skeptics on both sides of the border argue…

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Lebanon’s Saad Hariri downplays US Hezbollah warning over health ministry

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Lebanon’s Saad Hariri downplays US Hezbollah warning over health ministry

Lebanon’s Prime Minister Saad Hariri downplayed the importance of US warnings after a minister close to Hezbollah was appointed to the Health Ministry.

US officials on Friday cautioned the party against using the post, running a department that receives significant assistance from the international community, to line their pockets.

A statement from Mr Hariri’s office quoted the prime minister as saying that the comments were not “an embarrassment, [as] they come within what they always say about Hezbollah”. He said the US had laws against that type of behaviour but added that he did not believe “anyone will use his ministry for the interests of his political party”.

“A minister is a minister for all of Lebanon and all the Lebanese people, and the health minister said this after taking over the ministry,” Mr Hariri said.

He said that as long as the work of the ministry was carried out effectively and in a transparent way, there would be no issues.

The new health minister, Jamil Jabak, has said he is not a Hezbollah member but is believed to be close to the group’s leader, Hassan Nasrallah, and was his personal physician at one time.

But deputy State Department spokesman…

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South Africa: Patients will pay the price for delays to HMI, say activists

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South Africa: Patients will pay the price for delays to HMI, say activists

Patients will pay the price for the latest delay in the Competition Commission’s Health Market Inquiry (HMI), which has been suspended until the start of the new financial year in April due to budget constraints, says lobby group Section 27.

On Wednesday it emerged that the commission has cut back on investigations and slowed the pace of other market inquiries, including those into public transport and data costs, in a bid to avoid over-spending.

The HMI was established to probe the constraints to competition in the private healthcare industry and determine the barriers to patient access. It got underway in 2014, and originally aimed to publish its final report in November 2015, but it has been serially delayed due to a host of factors ranging from litigation to problems in getting the stakeholder data that informed its interim findings. It was due to publish its final report by the end of March, but that deadline will now not be met.

On Thursday, Section 27 questioned whether the government had the political will to see the HMI through to the end.

“If the HMI was a priority for government, the money would have been found. That the money hasn’t been found…

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South Africa: Policy incoherence is destroying the economy and jobs, says business

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South Africa: Policy incoherence is destroying the economy and jobs, says business

Policy incoherence and uncertainty has hampered business growth in the country leading to massive job losses, leaders of various sectors of the economy told delegates at a Business Unity SA (Busa) indaba on Tuesday.

They said that the country continues to lose billions of rands in direct investment and the capacity to create millions of jobs due to policy confusion and weak government support.

The gathering, hosted by Busa, is to try and find ways to revive the economy.

While the government, business and labour have held frequent summits to formulate joint plans, the new Public-Private Growth Initiative (PPGI), which was introduced at the indaba, is advocating the formulation of five-year, sector-based plans.

The PPGI — led by Toyota Europe and Africa CEO Johan van Zyl, the Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS) professor Nick Binedell, and former constitutional negotiator Roelf Meyer — has done work in 22 sectors, several of which made presentations at the indaba.

CEO of agricultural business chamber Agribiz John Purchase said the capacity of the agriculture industry is being inhibited by a  lack of “relevant feasible policy” and targeted incentives, which would accelerate job creation. He said the industry plans to create about 20,000 new jobs…

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South Africa: Capping claims against DoH only treats symptoms

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South Africa: Capping claims against DoH only treats symptoms

The headline to your editorial on January 30, “Staunch the flow of negligence”, is spot on. Regrettably it is not sufficiently well supported in the text of the piece.

True, there are a couple of paragraphs right in the middle that bemoan the general state of our healthcare industry, but the real issues have notbeen clearly highlighted.  Our healthcare industry is very unhealthy. In legislating to cap the obligations of the health department and the amount of damages to be paid to successful litigants, the justice department is doing no more than treat the symptoms that reveal the problem, rather than taking steps to eliminate the cause.

Can it be regarded as other than fair that those who have been betrayed by the incompetencies of the health department should be entitled to compensation for the pain and suffering that they have had to and will continue to endure?

Another card that is being overplayed is the total amount of the claims that the department is facing. It is seldom that a claimant is awarded the full amount that has been claimed.

What steps and procedures have the department put in place to limit and contain the incidence of negligence claims? The…

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