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NAPC News 16 August 2012
- Created on Thursday, 16 August 2012 08:22
- Last Updated on Wednesday, 30 November -0001 00:00
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NAPC News 16 August 2012
NHS Contracts To Ban Blacklists
Bans on drugs recommended by NICE being included in local treatment blacklists will be a standard clause in NHS contracts from April 2013, the Department of Health has said.
NHS Chief Executive, Sir David Nicholson, has written to SHA and PCT cluster chief executives setting out how they should remove drugs that are backed by NICE from local blacklists.
Sir David said that PCT clusters and clinical commissioning groups would need to publish clear online documents setting out which NICE technology appraisals are included in local formularies. NHS chief pharmacists will also be asked to review local formularies.
Last year, the press reported that one in four PCTs were blacklisting drugs recommended by NICR. Drugs on the lists were listed as ‘not recommended for use’ or ‘not prescribable’ because they were deemed too expensive or not effective enough.
Following this revelation, Andrew Lansley, Secretary of State for Health, said that NHS trusts would be forced to make NICE-approved drugs available through the introduction of an ‘effective compliance regime’.
Sir David Nicholson’s letter sets out the Department of Health’s view of the appropriate role of local formularies developed by NHS trusts.
‘Formularies have an important role in underpinning safe and effective use of medicines. However, they should not duplicate NICE assessments or challenge an appraisal recommendation.
‘Once on formularies, there should be no further barriers to the use or prescription of technologies or medicines’, he said.
Affordable Old Age
The amount of money that people will have to pay towards the cost of their care in old age is to be capped by the government, after a dramatic policy rethink by David Cameron.
While the plans have yet to be formally signed off, it is expected that they will closely mirror proposals put forward by the economist, Andrew Dilnot, last year.
Study Reveals Role Of Gene Defect In Autism Behaviour
Scientists have discovered how a gene fault causes brain changes that lead to the unusual behaviour seen in people with autism.
Autism is a developmental disability that affects how a person communicates and relates to other people. One of the typical characteristics of the condition is antisocial and prolonged repetitive behaviour and this trait is now thought to be triggered by a gene known to be defective in children with autism.
Researchers at the University of California conducted studies in mice which revealed that the abnormal gene disrupts energy use in neurons in the brain.
Senior author and professor of molecular biosciences, Dr Cecilia Giulivi, said: ‘A number of genes and environmental factors have been shown to be involved in autism, but this study points to a mechanism. ‘Once you understand the mechanism, that opens the way for developing drugs to treat the condition.’
The findings are published in the journal, PLoS One, and suggest that it may be possible to reduce some of the behavioural traits seen in people with autism by targeting the defective gene.
Migraine Not Linked To Cognitive Decline
A history of migraines does not appear to increase a person’s risk of accelerated cognitive decline, scientists have said.
Researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in the US looked at data on 6,349 women, aged 45 and older, who provided information on their history of migraine and underwent cognitive testing at two year intervals on up to three occasions.
They found no noticeable difference between the rates of cognitive decline for women who experienced migraine, with or without aura, and those with no history of migraine.
‘This is an important finding for both physicians and patients’, said the lead author, Dr Pamela Rist, whose findings are published in the British Medical Journal.
‘Patients with migraine and their treating doctors should be reassured that migraine may not have long-term consequences on cognitive function’, she added.
Around 15 per cent of adults in the UK are thought to be affected by migraine, including one in four women.
The condition is associated with and increased risk of depression, manic depression, anxiety and panic disorders.
Diabetes Prescriptions Have Risen 50% To 40m
A record 40 million prescriptions were made out for diabetes drugs last year – a rise of nearly 50 per cent in six years.
Nine out ten diabetes sufferers have Type 2 diabetes, which is strongly linked to being overweight or obese, leading a sedentary lifestyle and eating an unhealthy diet.
The diabetes drug went up from £514 million in 2005/6 to £760.3 million last year, and accounted for almost ten per cent of the overall bill for all drugs prescribed last year.
Barbara Young, chief executive of the Diabetes UK charity, said: ‘We face the real possibility of diabetes bankrupting the NHS within a generation.’
NHS Watchdog Claimed That Whistleblower Was Mentally Ill
Dame Jo Williams, the head of health and social care watchdog, was facing serious allegations about here conduct this week, after internal documents revealed how she referred a whistleblower on her own board for a mental health assessment without her consent.
Today she will be asked to explain to MPs why she tried to discredit a colleague by casting doubts about her mental health. Dame Jo Williams’ position hangs in the balance after members of the Commons Health Select Committee expressed outrage at a report in the Independent which stated that she asked an occupational health doctor to carry out a psychiatric assessment of the whistleblower, Kay Sheldon, with her agreement
67,000 Patients On A&E Trolleys
Data from the Department of Health has revealed that almost 67,000 patients waited up to 12 horus on hospital trolley in accident and emergency units before getting a bed, an increase of almost a third, during the first half of 2012.
The figures were revealed in a Nursing Times investigation, which assessed trusts using the old ‘trolley wait’ target used by the government in the early 2000s.
Cosmetic Surgery Faces Major Inquiry
The UK’s cosmetic surgery industry faces tough new regulations over fears that patients are being misled over the safety of procedures.
Sir Bruce Keogh, the NHS medical director, will make recommendations to the government after heading an inquiry into concerns raised about cosmetic surgery, after breast implants mad by the French company, Poly Implant Prosthese, were found to contain industrial silicone.
Blood Group Link To Risk Of Heart Disease
Blood type helps determine a person’s risk of heart disease, a US study has found. People from group A, B and AB are more at risk than those with type O.
Rise In Suicides Blamed On Impact Of Recession
More than 1,000 people in England may have killed themselves because of the impact on their lives of the economic recession, according to a new analysis.
A paper published in the British Medical Journal suggests that a pattern is now visible. Researchers looked at information on suicides in 93 regions held by the National Clinical and Health Outcomes Database for the decade from 2000-2010, and also examined from the Office for National Statistics the numbers of unemployed people claiming benefits.+
Dementia Patients To Be Asked How They Want To Die
Directions drawn up by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence are to give people in the early stages of dementia the right to say how and where they want to die.
The guidance will require local authorities and health trusts to give patients an opportunity to discuss their end of life care as early as possible, while they still have the mental capacity.
Patients Feel The Benefit Depending On The Hospital
New data from the NHS states that the degree to which patients feel their general health has improved following common operations can vary significantly, depending on the hospital where they were treated.
New Prostate Cancer Drug Extends Life By Five Months
A new drug for men with advanced prostate cancer gives them five months’ extra life when they have run out of opions.
Trials showed men taking enzalutamide survived for more than 18 months compare with less than 14 months for those on a placebo.