OPPOSING CHANGES TO THE NHS
The Guardian (p37) carries a lengthy comment piece about how opponents of the new NHS health act "are finding new ways to fight the law".
The piece says that a new political party, National Health Action, was formally registered this week, led by Clive Peedell, co-chair of the Consultants Association.
The paper says if the party chooses good candidates in the right seats and takes care not to split anti-government votes, it could have some impact.
Meanwhile, The Daily Telegraph (p2) reports that the National Health Service spends less per English patient than its devolved administrations. Northern Ireland and Scotland have the highest spending rates per patient, and Wales is still more than £100 extra per patient than in England, the paper says. (See OnMedica article 29/06)
CALLS FOR ANTI-DOPING POLICY
The head of the international anti-doping agency has called for more prosecutions against suppliers of drugs misused in sport, reports the Financial Times (p4).
David Howman, head of the World Anti-doping Association, is quoted in the run-up to the Olympic Games, as saying: "Athletes are the only ones that take the fall. Governments have to look at exercising their jurisdiction."
The paper points out that pharmaceutical companies have sometimes become unwitting suppliers when doctors write prescriptions "off-label" for conditions beyond a drug's authorised use.
Amgen found out that its erythropoietin (Epo) for patients with kidney disease was being used by cyclists and others in endurance sports, the paper says. And Roche's Micera, a third generation Epo, was being abused in 2003 even before it was launched.
"The discovery suggested batches had been stolen during clinical trials," the paper says.
Elsewhere, the FT says such treatments are readily available over-the-counter. Howman calls for greater global regulation and legislation to preclude such sales.