Hello and welcome back to the weekly News Summary here at The Medic Portal. This week’s blog will cover the highlights in medical news articles from the 10th to the 17th of April.
A new method is being implemented to tackle the increasing number of GPs prescribing antibiotics. The new system allows GPs to see how many antibiotics other surgeries are prescribing in an effort to reduce the number of drugs prescribed. The tool is being introduced to help GPs tackle the increase in antibiotic resistance by reducing the number of antibiotics they prescribe to patients.
Comparing the number of antibiotics they prescribe to other GP surgeries will allow doctors to identify whether or not they are high prescribers and if so, aim to reduce the amount of antibiotics they give to patients.
This will hopefully encourage GPs to use other treatment strategies where possible to treat patients rather than resorting straight to antibiotics.
A recently published study of more than 500,000 people have found that 13 people who should have developed genetic conditions such as cystic fibrosis, did not. Unlike many genetic studies, this study tested healthy people and looked for mutation in single genes that are linked to childhood diseases such as cystic fibrosis.
The researchers are unsure as to what makes these individuals resistant to disease mutations however, unfortunately they are not able to follow them up as the study protocol stated that all data would remain anonymous. The study was published in the peer-reviewed journal Nature Biotechnology and has highlighted a previously unknown area for future research.
This week US research has highlighted a risk in the long-term use of heartburn medications. A link has been found between the long-term use of heartburn drugs and kidney damage. The group of drugs concerned are proton pump inhibitors, which work by reducing the amount of stomach acid produced. These include drugs such as esomeprazole and lansoprazole.
Usually these drugs are prescribed by a GP. However, some are available over the counter. In the US it is thought that as many as 170,000 people are taking proton pump inhibitors.
Over a period of five years of taking the drug there was a 28% increased risk of developing chronic kidney disease and a 96% greater chance of suffering with kidney failure. The study published in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology has highlighted the importance of reducing the prescribing of proton pump inhibitors and ensuring patients are not taking them for long periods of time.
Uploaded by Joelle on 19 April 2016
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