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Daily digest July 24 2015

Missed the news? Read our summary of the latest health stories here

NHS bosses paid by drug firms

Senior health staff who help decide which drugs are used by GPs and hospitals, are being paid to work as consultants for pharmaceutical companies who want the National Health Service to ‘switch’ to the medicines they produce.

An undercover investigation by the Daily Telegraph has found that some NHS staff charge up to £15,000 to organise ‘advisory board’ meetings for drugs companies.

Many of the meetings take place in five-star hotels around the world, with some attendees telling the Telegraph newspaper that they were taken to ‘flashy’ restaurants and paid large sums while considering whether to ‘switch’ drugs.

Read more on the Telegraph website

NHS England announces new plan to meet emergency care targets

A drive to make more one-stop shops for urgent and emergency care will be announced today as the NHS in England seeks to remedy its failure to meet its target for dealing with 95% of A&E patients within four hours last winter.

NHS England announced eight ‘vanguard’ areas to transform services.  Among the measures is the acceleration of the development of GP services in hospitals, mobile treatment centres using ambulance staff and same-day crisis response teams, including GPs and other acute home-visiting professionals. 

More mental health street triage services will also be rolled out, along with initiatives involving a broader role for community pharmacists.

Read more on the Guardian website

Thousands of breast cancer deaths could be prevented by a drug that prevents bone thinning 

Pills costing just 5p a day could save the lives of thousands of breast cancer sufferers, according to research.

Drugs used to prevent bone thinning slash the risk of dying from tumours by 20%.

Researchers say that if the pills – called bisphosphonates – were routinely given to women with breast cancer, they would prevent 1,300 deaths a year and ‘several thousands' of deaths within a decade.

Read more on Mail Online

First malaria vaccine gets 'green light' as scientists hope to eradicate deadly disease

The world’s first malaria vaccine has been recommended for use in Africa, bringing scientists a step closer to preventing hundreds of thousands of deaths each year.

It is hoped that the Mosquiriz jab, developed by GlaxoSmithKline and the Melinda Gates Foundation, will help stem the half a million malaria deaths every year.

More than 198 million people in sub-Saharan Africa were affected by the disease in 2013 alone, and 80% of those that die are children under five.

Read more on the Independent website

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