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Also in the press

Killer flu created in lab; and ABPI rejects profiteering claims

Friday, 03 May 2013

KILLER FLU CREATED IN LAB

The Independent (p1, p14) has a story that senior scientists have criticised the "appalling irresponsibility" of researchers in China who have deliberately created new influenza strains in a veterinary laboratory.

They warned there is a danger that the new viral strains created by mixing bird-flu virus with human influenza could escape from the lab to cause a global pandemic, killing millions, according to the newspaper.

Lord May of Oxford, a former government scientist and past president of the Royal Society, denounced the study in the journal Science as doing nothing to further the understanding and prevention of flu pandemics.

"The record of containment in labs like this is not reassuring," he reportedly said.

ABPI REJECTS PROFITEERING CLAIMS

The Independent also has a letter (p18) from the UK pharma trade body defending itself from claims earlier this week that high drug prices were condemning patients to death.

According to the letter from the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI), medicine prices in the UK are already among the lowest in Europe.

Pharma companies can only create medicines if they can cover the 1.15 billion pounds R&D costs for drugs, says ABPI chief executive Stephen Whitehead.

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