Welcome to the latest edition of the News Summary blog. This week’s medical and health news will cover highlights from the 28th of March to the 3rd of April. Get the latest updates on how the imposed junior doctor’s contract affects women, new tactics to widen drug access in poorer countries and a study that has linked a commonly prescribed drug for diabetes to cancer.
New junior doctors contract could force female doctors to quit
There are concerns that the new contract impacts disproportionately on women and that wording such as “any indirect adverse effect on women is a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim” does not reflect equality.
To achieve this, GSK will not file patents in these countries. Instead, they will implement a graduated approach to intellectual property based on the wealth of a country.
By removing patents in poorer countries GSK hope that independent companies will make and sell versions of their drugs in the areas that need them most, widening public access to them. The company hope that Africa will benefit most from the new patent free areas.
GSK has worked with the international guidelines set out by the United Nations and World Health Organisation to create a list of 50 countries that will no longer have patents.
Latest health news on bladder cancer & diabetes drug
Interestingly, previous studies have linked pioglitazone to bladder cancer. However, their results were inconclusive. This new study looked at whether 145,806 people who took the drug over a 14-year period had a greater chance of developing bladder cancer than those who were taking other oral diabetes drugs.
The researchers found that those taking pioglitazone were 63% more likely to have been diagnosed with bladder cancer than those on other drugs. The new results will help doctors and patients form decisions about which medications are prescribed to treat diabetes.