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The Cancer Drugs Fund: was it worth it?

The Cancer Drugs Fund (CDF) was launched in England in 2010 to provide patients with access to anti-cancer drugs not available through the NHS because the drugs had not been appraised, were in the process of being appraised, or had been appraised but not recommended by the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE). read more

expert reaction to trial of drug for treatment of asthma symptoms

Inflammation of airways is often found in asthmatic patients and a group of researchers publishing in the Lancet Respiratory Medicine journal have reported that a drug taken as a pill alongside standard inhaler treatment was associated with reduce asthmatic inflammation, increase lung function and improved asthma control in a group of people with severe asthma. read more

expert reaction to new study on the effectiveness of alcohol dependence drug nalmefene

A group of researchers publishing in the journal Addiction have performed a systematic review of evidence supporting the efficacy of the drug nalmefene, approved in the UK for the treatment of alcohol dependence. They report problems in the methodology of clinical trials upon which this approval was based, and suggest that their conclusions may create dilemmas for clinicians prescribing the drug. read more

expert reaction to study on cannabis vaping using e-cigarettes

Cannabis is a class B drug in the UK but is in use for therapeutic purposes in a number of countries for various diseases, and a paper published in the journal Scientific Reports has reported that e-cigarette devices could be effective in administering therapeutic doses of the drug. read more

mefloquine and mental health in the armed forces

Mefloquine (also known by the trade name Lariam) is an anti-malarial drug that has been in use for over thirty years and is on the World Health Organisation’s List of Essential Medicines. It is the primary anti-malarial drug prescribed to members of the armed forces in the UK, but recent controversy about psychiatric side effects have led some to call for it to be replaced with a different anti-malarial treatment. While potential psychiatric side effects from mefloquine use have been documented for many years, the extent to which psychiatric issues in the armed forces may be due to the drugs is complicated and unclear due to the elevated risk of certain psychiatric conditions within this group. The Ministry of Defence has opened into an inquiry into the use of mefloquine in the armed forces, and is currently hearing evidence from various experts and individuals. read more

expert reaction to alternative for animals during toxicity testing

Studies which assess the toxicology of new drugs typically have some element of animal testing, and a paper published in the journal Nature Communications has described a method using in vitro tests which are carried out without animals. The authors report that these tests were better than animal models at predicting toxicity of drugs to humans. read more

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