Two cannabis-based medicines used to treat epilepsy and multiple sclerosis have been approved for use by the NHS in England. Guidance issued by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) recommended the substances after examining cannabis-based products for several conditions. Charities welcomed the move, but said thousands of other people who could benefit from cannabis-based medicines were left in limbo. Nice said people with chronic pain should not be prescribed drugs containing THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol), the psychoactive ingredient in cannabis. Millie Hinton, from the campaign End Our Pain, said the guidelines were “a massive missed opportunity” to prescribe medical cannabis for thousands of people with a range of conditions. “It is this kind of whole plant extract that has been shown to be life-transforming for a significant number of children, including these involved in the high-profile cases of last year which led to medical cannabis … [Read more...] about First cannabis-based medicines approved for use on NHS
Supply shortages and rising prices for some medicines are being reported by pharmacists and GPs. The possibility of a no-deal Brexit is being blamed. So what is going on in the pharmaceutical world and what might it mean for patients?There is nothing new about occasional shortages of certain types of medicine. But there are reports of more acute problems than usual and some are citing a market reaction to the risk of the UK leaving the European Union without a deal.Public may have to stockpile drugs in no-deal BrexitSix key questions Brexit poses for the NHSBrexit: NHS managers warn about impact of no dealThe organisation that negotiates drug pricing on behalf of pharmacies told BBC Radio 5 Live's Wake up to Money that Brexit is already affecting the supply and price of some key generic drugs. The programme was contacted by a patient unable to obtain the usual anti-inflammatory for her arthritis who was told she had to have a substitute because of shortages.Simon Dukes, chief … [Read more...] about Brexit: Is NHS already finding it hard to get medicines?
Ex-corporal Andy Neal has been locked up in a Dubai prison since October after being wrongly being arrested on drugs charges A British Army veteran who suffers from PTSD and has spent five months locked up in Dubai on drugs charges says he was subjected to a fake therapy session in an attempt to extract a confession. Andy Neal, 44, a former corporal, was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder after a tour of Afghanistan before being locked up in the United Arab Emirates in October last year. His family has been begging jailers to allow him to continue therapy, fearing he will suffer a major psychotic break otherwise, but say the treatment he got was actually a barely-disguised attempt to pressure him into confessing. Mr Neal maintains his innocence and even prosecutors have admitted that there is no evidence against him, but have refused to let him go. Sue Neal, Andy's mother, told campaign group Detained in Dubai: '[Andy] met with the "psychiatrist" - if that's what he … [Read more...] about Fake psychiatrist tried to trick British soldier being held in Dubai into confessing to crime he ‘didn’t commit’ and offered him mysterious medicine
I was born with spina bifida, and have been a wheelchair user for 46 years. One thing that has always surprised me is how many people throughout that period have said to me, “It’s so sad you’re in a wheelchair,” and even at times, “You must have thought of killing yourself.” These comments are as infuriating as they are ridiculous. I’ve had ups and downs, like most people, in my personal and professional life. But I value those – and it is disappointing that others sometimes don’t. I fear that the MP Rob Marris’s assisted dying bill, which will get its second reading in parliament on Friday, would exacerbate the assumption that because there may some things I cannot do, everything must be negative. The prospect of changing the criminal law on encouraging and assisting suicide, as this bill would do, fills me with dread. It raises legal and ethical issues that have been debated for many years – yet to which I had given … [Read more...] about This assisted dying bill is unsafe and unworkable – parliament must reject it
There is a line in the television series Chernobyl that comes as no surprise to those of us who reported on the 1986 nuclear disaster in what was the Soviet Union – but that still has the power to shock: “The official position of the state is that global nuclear catastrophe is not possible in the Soviet Union.” It was not possible, so in the days and months after the world’s worst such accident, on 26 April, the Kremlin kept up its pretence. It dissembled, deceived and lied. I began investigating Chernobyl in the late 1980s after Ukrainian friends insisted authorities in the USSR were covering up the extent of the human tragedy of those – many of them children – contaminated by radiation when the nuclear plant’s Reactor 4 exploded, blasting a cloud of poisonous fallout across the USSR and a large swathe of Europe. When photographer John Downing and I first visited, the Soviet Union, then on its last political legs, was still in denial about … [Read more...] about The truth about Chernobyl? I saw it with my own eyes…