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Diabetes drug for prostate cancer; antibiotics; and free access to UK science

Monday, 16 July 2012


A diabetes drug costing as little as 2 pence could "offer a major breakthrough" in the treatment of prostate cancer, according to the Daily Mail on Monday (p12). Research has shown that metformin causes prostate cancers to shrink and has raised the possibility that men could be given the drug as soon as they are diagnosed, the paper says.


The Daily Telegraph (Telegraph Magazine, p30-37) reported that lethal bacteria are staging a fierce fightback against antibiotics.

The Telegraph wrote that while many of the largest pharmaceutical businesses have said in public they are committed to developing antibiotics, the boards of these same companies are shy of backing new investment because of the costs of bringing new drugs to market.

The profits from antibiotics are small compared to statins or pills to control heart conditions or diabetes because the former are generally only taken for a week or two, rather than for prolonged periods.

Of course, regulatory reform would help drug developers argued the Telegraph, particularly in the U.S. where the FDA stands accused of having regularly raised the bar for antibiotics approval. The Telegraph also pointed out drugmakers need to look at alternative ways of financing their research. 


Free access to British scientific research may become reality within two years, The Guardian reports via its biggest front page story on Monday. The paper says open publishing of British taxpayer-funded research would be the biggest shake up in academic publishing since the internet.

However, the 50 million pound cost will have to come from existing government science budgets and this is controversial - particularly given that anybody, including overseas companies, will have free access to the research, The Guardian says.

Monday's Times also runs the story along the same broad lines (p17).

How would qualify the communication between primary and secondary care services? (See OnMedica News 20/04)

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