Daily Express front page March 6th 2010:
‘WARNING OVER SLIMMING PILL’
‘Drug used by thousands has serious side-effects‘
‘A major health alert has been issued over an anti-obesity pill that hundreds of thousands of us are buying over the counter with no prescription’.
‘Drug safety watchdogs fear the slimming tablet Alli could trigger a raft of issues, including pancreatitis, kidney stones, liver problems or severe fits in people with epilepsy’.
‘New figures show that there have been 31 reported cases of adverse reactions since it went on sale at high street pharmacies in January 2009.’
On what was clearly a slow day for news, the consumer trying to learn more about this news would no doubt have been surprised by the languid tone of the comment (on page 7) from GlaxoSmithKline: ‘The update to the label for Alli expands the information available to consumers and healthcare professionals to help product use.’ Yes the ‘major health alert’ turned out to be a label update announced to healthcare professionals in November 2009 which highlighted particular groups of patients that should consult a doctor before taking Alli. If label updates for self-medication products become front page news then there really are reasons to worry.
The Times March 16th 2010. Front page under ‘In the news’
‘WIMPS CRIPPLING NHS’
‘The NHS is coming under unsustainable pressure from the ‘worried well’ say health professionals. A big proportion of visits to GPs are by adults for minor ailments such as coughs and colds.’
The trigger for this and an article on Page 3 was a letter to the editor from 17 leading healthcare professionals representing the newly founded ‘Self Care Campaign’. This decried the current waste of NHS resources (estimated at an astonishing £2 billion annually) on ‘common disturbances to good health’ which could be managed by ‘self care’. The basis for this campaign was data from an IMS survey sponsored by the PAGB (Proprietary Association of Great Britain). SelfCare is pleased to feature in this issue a ‘research opinion’ piece by Dr Ian Banks which examines the findings of a follow-up survey looking at the attitudes and behaviours behind this finding.
On a more encouraging note ‘Worried Well’ was excited to see that the secret of eternal life had been discovered.
Metro 12th March 2010 reported:
‘Taking the Pill cuts the long-term risk of dying from ‘any serious illness’ including cancers and heart disease, new research suggests.
Women who take the contraceptive are 12 per cent less likely to die compared with those who have never taken it’.