Posts Tagged “Cancer”

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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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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WHO Report Flags Distortion of Investment and Innovation in Cancer Research

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WHO Report Flags Distortion of Investment and Innovation in Cancer Research

The report says pharmaceutical companies set prices according to their commercial goals and focus on extracting the maximum amount that a buyer is willing to pay.

High prices of cancer drugs hurting desperate patients have caught the attention of policymakers everywhere. But do high prices of medicines that provide huge financial returns to pharmaceutical companies also distort innovation?

A new cancer report by World Health Organisation (WHO) has both countries and the pharma industry debating on just how much profit cancer drugs generate for pharmaceutical companies. At stake is not only how much money the drug industry makes from high priced cancer drugs, but also, as the report suggests – is this investment really efficient? Is too much money chasing too few cancer drug candidates with only marginal benefits, diverting funds away from other therapeutic areas?

The technical report that minced no words, said that “pharmaceutical companies set prices according to their commercial goals, with a focus on extracting the maximum amount that a buyer is willing to pay for a medicine”. The industry denounced the report as flawed.

The report showed that in some cases, the return on investment on research and development fetched companies as much as $14…

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MoH UAE unveils smart application for AI-based remote patient monitoring

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MoH UAE unveils smart application for AI-based remote patient monitoring

DUBAI: The Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) has unveiled the smart application “Medopad” for remotely monitoring the body’s vital signs in accordance with Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies, during its participation at Arab Health 2019.

The application aims to analyse patient’s information and generate predictive insights which will be able to detect life threatening medical conditions.

Medopad application, which has been tailored according to patients’ needs, collects data through devices connected to the platform and supports self-management through dashboard available on both IOS and Android systems. Thus, the application tracks the most important daily activities of the user, so that the medical care teams will be able to provide better care that suits every person by remotely analysing, reviewing and documenting patients’ data and information.

Medopad also has a wide range of educational and awareness content to assist patients including a wide spectrum of rare and complicated diseases such as cancer, multiple sclerosis M.S., kidney and heart diseases, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, Parkinson’s disease, pre and post-operative care and others diseases.

Commenting on the launching of the application, Dr. Youssif Al Serkal, Assistant Under-Secretary for the Ministry’s Hospitals Sector, underscored the importance of adopting this technology in light of the…

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WHO Holds Discussions On Roadmap For Improving Access To Medicines – Intellectual Property Watch

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WHO Holds Discussions On Roadmap For Improving Access To Medicines – Intellectual Property Watch

Unaffordable prices, unavailable medicines, a rising need for accessible noncommunicable diseases treatments – these set the stage as the World Health Organization Executive Board started discussion today on one of the more contentious issues of the week. For the Board’s approval is in particular a roadmap and action plan including a dual strategy based on safety and efficacy of health products, and their affordability.

WHO Executive Board Chair Ambassador Maria Nazareth Farani Azevêdo of Brazil WHO regional director for the South East Asia (SEARO) region Poonam Khetrapal Singh took the floor to introduce the proposed roadmap at the close of the morning session of the Executive Board, which is meeting from 24 January to 1 February.

Board members are expected to consider two documents on this topic: Medicines, vaccines and health products; Access to medicines and vaccines; and Medicines, vaccines and health products; Cancer medicines.

At the last World Health Assembly (in May 2018), member states asked that the WHO devise a roadmap and action plan to increase access to medicines, and requested that this roadmap be drafted in consultation with member states, which have been carried out, according to Singh.

The draft roadmap for 2019-2023 also reflects the aims…

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Sharjah, UAE: Health officials to discuss fight against HPV and cervical cancer

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Sharjah, UAE: Health officials to discuss fight against HPV and cervical cancer

A group of elite medical scientists, doctors and health officials are gathering this week at a forum in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates to address the latest updates on fighting the human papillomavirus infection, or HPV, and cervical cancer. The forum comes at a time when cervical cancer elimination is gaining traction as a global priority. HPV is a leading cause of cancer deaths in women worldwide, including in countries in the Middle East and North Africa. Nearly all cervical cancer is due to HPV with two types, HPV16 and HPV18, accounting for 70 per cent of cases. The forum, “Turning the Tide on HPV and Cervical Cancer,” is hosted by the UAE-based organisation, Friends of Cancer Patients, in collaboration with regional and global partners, on Thursday, at a local hotel in Sharjah. Already a top killer of women in the Middle East and North Africa region, cervical cancer is on track to have even higher mortality rates in the future. A main cause of cervical, oropharyngeal, ano-genital cancers in addition to other HPV-related diseases in men and women, HPV is also the most common viral infection of the reproductive tract.

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Both parties want lower drug prices but gridlock prevents reform

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Both parties want lower drug prices but gridlock prevents reform

I went to Walgreens recently to pick up my three-month supply of a prescription I have been using for years. Ho hum. Until I saw what it was going to cost.

All of a sudden the price had gone up by more than 20 percent. I paid it, of course, grumbling. But I decided to do some research into what’s going on with America’s prescription drug prices.

Bloomberg News looked into drug prices last year and found that “255 brand name drugs had increases between Feb.1 and July 13 … the most common increase was for 9 to 10 percent.”

It also tracked the prices for 40 commonly used drugs in six categories — diabetes, cancer, HIV, multiple sclerosis, asthma and chronic pulmonary disease, and autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis — over a three-year period from June 2015 to June 2018. During this period the consumer price index went up by 5.6 percent.

“For all six categories of drugs,” Bloomberg found, “list prices rose far faster than inflation.”

They report:

“Prices for 10 commonly used diabetes drugs rose 25.6 percent, on average, while average prices for rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune treatments rose 40.1 percent. The latter category…

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USA: Drug-pricing policies find new momentum as ‘a 2020 thing’

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USA: Drug-pricing policies find new momentum as ‘a 2020 thing’

The next presidential primary contests are more than a year away. But presumed candidates are already trying to stake a claim to one of health care’s hot-button concerns: surging prescription drug prices.

“This is a 2020 thing,” said Dr. Peter Bach, who directs the Center for Health Policy and Outcomes at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York and tracks drug-pricing policy.

Spurred on by midterm election results that showed health care to be a deciding issue, lawmakers — some of whom have already launched presidential run exploratory committees — are pushing a bevy of new proposals and approaches.

Few if any of those ideas will likely make it to the president’s desk. Nevertheless, Senate Democrats eyeing higher office and seeking street cred in the debate are devising more innovative and aggressive strategies to take on Big Pharma.

“Democrats feel as if they’re really able to experiment,” said Rachel Sachs, an associate law professor at Washington University in St. Louis who tracks drug-pricing laws.

Some Republicans are also proposing drug-pricing reform, although experts say their approaches are generally less dramatic.

Here are some of the ideas either introduced in legislation or that senators’ offices confirmed they are considering.

Make…

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India: Use compulsory license and put ceiling to curb prices of patented medicines: Govt panel

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India: Use compulsory license and put ceiling to curb prices of patented medicines: Govt panel

In order to cut prices of patented medicines for cancer and rare diseases, a high-level government panel has made a series of far reaching recommendations including granting “compulsory license” to any Indian pharma company to produce drugs without the consent of the patent holding firms.

The report, a copy of which is with PTI, also recommended putting a ceiling price on life-saving medicines after analysing the Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) of various countries, a standard followed in majority of the western world to fix medicine prices.

Multinational pharmaceutical companies sell most of the patented drugs in India and they have been vehemently opposing any sort of price cap or grant of compulsory licensing to any other company to produce drugs being sold by them.

The Indian pharmaceutical market has an annual turnover of around Rs 2.3 lakh crore. While majority of these revenues come from sales of generic drugs, around 30 per cent of it comes from patented drugs.

The committee noted that the prices of patented anti-cancer and antifungal drugs are “on the higher side” and cited the example of Rs 1 lakh being the price for just one injection for cancer treatment.

It said there is a need…

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India: Govt panel for ceiling on prices of patented cancer medicines

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India: Govt panel for ceiling on prices  of patented cancer medicines

In order to cut prices of patented medicines for cancer and rare diseases, a high-level government panel has made a series of far reaching recommendations including granting “compulsory license” to any Indian pharma company to produce drugs without the consent of the patent holding firms.

The report also recommended putting a ceiling price on life-saving medicines after analysing the Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) of various countries, a standard followed in majority of the western world to fix medicine prices.

Multinational pharmaceutical companies sell most of the patented drugs in India and they have been vehemently opposing any sort of price cap or grant of compulsory licensing to any other company to produce drugs being sold by them.

The Indian pharmaceutical market has an annual turnover of around Rs 2.3 lakh crore. While majority of these revenues come from sales of generic drugs, around 30 per cent of it comes from patented drugs.

The committee noted that the prices of patented anti-cancer and antifungal drugs are “on the higher side” and cited the example of Rs 1 lakh being the price for just one injection for cancer treatment.

It said there is a need to moderate the prices of patented anti-diabetic…

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