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Also in the press

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

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PILL TO TREAT CHRONIC HEART FAILURE APPROVED

The Daily Mail (p25) reports that a pill costing less than 1.40 pounds a day for the treatment of chronic heart failure has been approved for use in the UK.

Servier's Procoralan (ivabradine) is proven to slow heart rate and improve its pumping ability, the paper says. Studies show it cut deaths by 17%. The paper quotes Dr Terry McCormack, a council member of the Primary Care Cardiovascular Society, saying the drug would benefit many patients who cannot take beta-blockers.

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) said it had recommended the treatment in its draft guidance.

INSULIN PATCH

A patch which delivers insulin through the skin for patients with diabetes is being tested in the U.S., reports the Daily Mail (p36). The U-strip has undergone an initial clinical trial in 100 patients and is now starting a larger study with 500 patients.

The patch, which may offer an option to avoid daily injections, delivers a dose of insulin through the skin when a hand-held device, called a sonic activator, is placed next to it. The device delivers sound waves which open up pores in the patch to release insulin. U.S. firm Transdermal Specialities is the company behind the technology.

STATINS SAFETY TEST

Researchers have identified a genetic marker which they say can show who is at increased risk of the serious statins side-effect myopathy, a disorder which causes pain and weakness in the muscles, reports the Daily Mail (p36).

Researchers at Oxford University say a simple mouth swab DNA test could identify those with the gene that makes them susceptible to the side-effect, and it could be launched in three years.

SHRINKING TUMOURS

Researchers at the University of Wisconsin have found that a chemical in pomegranates may help to shrink the size of tumours, reports the Daily Mail (p36).

Tests in mice found that those given water with 500ml of pomegranate juice had significantly less cancer growth than those receiving water alone. The researchers say antioxidants known as ellagitannins may be responsible.

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