End war on drugs, says police chief

28 September 2013 Last updated at 19:54 ET

Syringe and heroin powderMike Barton compared current drugs policy to the alcohol prohibition era in America

Class A drugs should be decriminalised and drug addicts “treated and cared for not criminalised”, according to a senior UK police officer.

Writing in the Observer, Chief Constable Mike Barton of Durham Police said prohibition had put billions of pounds into the hands of criminals.

He said a controlled environment would be a more successful way of tackling the issue.

Mr Barton suggested this could be done through the NHS.

‘Route of supply’

Flu vaccine offered to toddlers

28 September 2013 Last updated at 19:45 ET

Girl being given flu vaccine nasallyThe Scottish government’s senior medical officer said the nasal spray was more effective in children

The flu vaccine is for the first time being offered to every child in Scotland, in the form of a nasal spray.

Previously, only children in “at risk” groups were offered the protection.

The country’s largest ever immunisation programme was launched by First Minister Alex Salmond, who received the vaccine in a surgery in Aberdeenshire.

He said that as an asthmatic, he gets the injection every year and urged other eligible Scots to get protected before the winter.

U.S. House passes bill to regulate drug compounding

WASHINGTON | Sat Sep 28, 2013 3:26pm EDT

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. House of Representatives on Saturday passed legislation that would give the Food and Drug Administration more authority to regulate companies that compound sterile drugs and ship them across state lines.

The bill, called the Drug Quality and Security Act, now goes to the Senate for a vote. House and Senate committees agreed on the legislation on Wednesday.

Introduced after a deadly outbreak of fungal meningitis killed more than 50 people last year, the act would also create a national set of standards to track pharmaceuticals through the distribution chain to help thwart the introduction of fake medication into the drug supply.

Race to get Obamacare online sites running goes to the wire

Get Covered America buttons are seen during a training session in Chicago, Illinois September 7, 2013 before volunteers canvas a Chicago neighborhood to talk with residents about the Affordable Care Act - also known as Obamacare. Picture taken September 7, 2013. REUTERS/John Gress

Get Covered America buttons are seen during a training session in Chicago, Illinois September 7, 2013 before volunteers canvas a Chicago neighborhood to talk with residents about the Affordable Care Act – also known as Obamacare. Picture taken September 7, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/John Gress

By Sharon Begley

NEW YORK | Sat Sep 28, 2013 11:52am EDT

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Just days before the launch of the new U.S. state health insurance exchanges that are the centerpiece of the Affordable Care Act, a nationwide push is still under way to test and patch the technology behind the online sites.

Cancer drugs fund ‘to be extended’

27 September 2013 Last updated at 20:08 ET

Patient receiving chemotherapyThe £650m fund has paid for treatment for over 28,000 patients

A £200m-a-year fund for life-enhancing cancer drugs is to continue until 2016, the prime minister has announced.

The Cancer Drugs Fund was set up in 2011 to help patients in England access certain drugs before they get approval for widespread NHS use.

The scheme was due to end next year, but David Cameron has pledged £400m to keep it running.

Cancer charities have welcomed the move, but Labour accused the prime minister of “letting down” patients.

Failing GP surgeries 'face closure'

28 September 2013 Last updated at 09:26 ET

Doctor in consulting roomGPs will face tougher scrutiny under a new system being introduced by the CQC

Failing GP surgeries in England have been warned they face closure by the NHS’s first chief inspector of GPs.

Prof Steve Field, who starts his role on Tuesday, also wants local doctors to offer services seven days a week.

However, the Royal College of GPs says the profession is already at “breaking point” and longer working hours could put quality of care at risk.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has reiterated his calls for GPs to improve their care for the elderly.

Failing GP surgeries ‘face closure’

28 September 2013 Last updated at 09:26 ET

Doctor in consulting roomGPs will face tougher scrutiny under a new system being introduced by the CQC

Failing GP surgeries in England have been warned they face closure by the NHS’s first chief inspector of GPs.

Prof Steve Field, who starts his role on Tuesday, also wants local doctors to offer services seven days a week.

However, the Royal College of GPs says the profession is already at “breaking point” and longer working hours could put quality of care at risk.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has reiterated his calls for GPs to improve their care for the elderly.

Thrombectomy Outcomes Poor in Elderly

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Meeting Coverage

Published: Sep 28, 2013

By John Gever, Deputy Managing Editor, MedPage Today
Reviewed by Robert Jasmer, MD; Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco

Action Points

  • This study was published as an abstract and presented at a conference. These data and conclusions should be considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.
  • Only about one-quarter of stroke patients 80 and older who underwent endovascular treatment after thrombolysis had good functional recovery.

Fewer Cardiac Deaths When Insulin Started

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Meeting Coverage

Published: Sep 27, 2013

By Todd Neale, Senior Staff Writer, MedPage Today
Reviewed by Robert Jasmer, MD; Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco

Action Points

  • Note that this study was published as an abstract and presented at a conference. These data and conclusions should be considered to be preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.
  • In patients with established type 2 diabetes, starting insulin therapy was associated with a small reduction in the risk of cardiovascular death.

Moving Forward on Arkansas’ Innovative Plan to Provide Health Coverage to 200,000 Arkansans

By Cindy Mann CMS Deputy Administrator and Director, Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services

Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced the approval of the Arkansas Medicaid 1115 Demonstration to expand Medicaid coverage to over 200,000 people that do not have access to health coverage.  This demonstration is part of the state’s larger initiative to create affordable, quality coverage options for all its residents. This coverage is possible thanks to the Affordable Care Act.