The United Kingdom Sets Limits on Experimental Treatments: The Case of Charlie Gard

JAMA. 2017;318(11):1001-1002
Author: Robert D. Truog
“The case of Charlie Gard in London, England, has been the focus of international attention, generating polarized views about the use of experimental treatments. On one side are those who hold that patients should be able to purchase whatever treatments they desire and can afford; on the other are those who maintain that governments must play a regulatory role in protecting patients from harm and that unproven therapies must meet a threshold of scientific validity before they are offered, regardless of the ability of the patient to pay.”
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‘Shocking’ disregard for safety in U.S. meningitis case -prosecutor

Reuters, 21 September 2017
Author: Nate Raymond
“A federal prosecutor on Tuesday accused a Massachusetts pharmacist charged with murder for his role in a deadly 2012 U.S. meningitis outbreak of showing a “shocking” disregard for patients’ lives, while his lawyer argued the man was no killer.”
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Suicide and self-harm in prisons hit worst ever levels

The Guardian, 29 June 2017
Author: Rajeev Syal
“Prisons have “struggled to cope” with record rates of suicide and self-harm among inmates following cuts to funding and staff numbers, the public spending watchdog has said. The National Audit Office said it remains unclear how the authorities will meet aims for improving prisoners’ mental health or get value for money because of a lack of relevant data. Auditors said that self-harm incidents increased by 73% between 2012 and 2016 to 40,161, while the 120 self-inflicted deaths in prison in 2016 was the highest figure on record and almost double that for 2012.”
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Microneedle Patches for Flu Vaccination Successful in First Human Clinical Trial

Georgia Tech, 27 June 2017
Author: John Toon
“Despite the potentially severe consequences of illness and even death, only about 40 percent of adults in the United States receive flu shots each year; however, researchers believe a new self-administered, painless vaccine skin patch containing microscopic needles could significantly increase the number of people who get vaccinated. A phase I clinical trial found that influenza vaccination using Band-Aid-like patches with dissolvable microneedles was just as effective in generating immunity against influenza. The microneedle patch vaccine could also save money because it is easily self-administered, could be transported and stored without refrigeration, and is easily disposed of after use without sharps waste.”
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A Clinic Mix-Up Leaves Pregnant Woman In Dark About Zika Risk

KHN, 21 June 2017
Author: Jonel Aleccia
“Hospital officials in Washington state have apologized after failing for months to inform a pregnant woman she was likely infected with the Zika virus that can cause devastating birth defects. Andrea Pardo was tested for the virus in October, after becoming pregnant while living in Mexico. The results were ready by December, but she wasn’t notified until April just before she delivered her daughter. The delay, blamed on a mistake at the University of Washington clinic where Pardo received care, deprived her of the chance to make an informed choice about her pregnancy.”
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Aspirin increases bleeding risk in older stroke patients: study

MedicalXpress, 14 June 2017
Source: The Lancet
“Long-term, daily use of aspirin to prevent blood clots in very elderly patients leads to an increased risk of serious or fatal internal bleeding, researchers said Wednesday. Heartburn medication would allows people 75 years and older to keep the preventative benefits of aspirin while avoiding its dangerous side-effects. Even among people with no history of heart problems or stroke, the risk of gastrointestinal bleeding goes up with age for aspirin users.”
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Merck & Co. Halts Enrollment in Two Keytruda Trials, Citing Deaths

GEN, 13 June 2017
Source: Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News
“Merck & Co. said it has stopped enrollment in two Phase III trials assessing its cancer immunotherapy Keytruda® (pembrolizumab) in combination with other therapies to treat multiple myeloma, following reports of patient deaths. Patients currently enrolled in the two studies will continue to receive treatment, Merck said, adding that its other clinical studies of Keytruda will continue unchanged.”
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