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Co-proxamol ban throws GP surgeries into chaos

Saturday surgery axed

A PCT has been forced to close a Saturday morning out-of-hours service due to lack of interest from patients.

Just seven patients had used the service in Bury St Edmunds since it was set up last October. A spokesman for West Suffolk PCT said: 'It was a waste to have a GP sit at a base and see just one or no patients a session.'

GPs came under fire in many areas last year for ending Saturday surgeries as a result of the new contract.

'Ignore NICE on dyspepsia'

GPs should ignore NICE guidance and continue to refer patients with dyspepsia for endoscopy, one of Britain's most senior gastrointestinal specialist insists.

In a letter to the BMJ, Professor Michael Griffen, head of the Association of Upper Gastrointestinal Surgeons of Great Britain and Ireland, criticised NICE guidance for being poorly researched and unsubstantiated. It advises GPs to refer patients only if they are showing alarm symptoms.

Atomoxetine liver risk

The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency has issued new advice to GPs on atomoxetine (Strattera) after finding it might very rarely be associated with liver reactions.

The agency said GPs should use an alternative treatment for ADHD if they thought liver reactions might be occurring.

Concerned parents should discuss the matter with their GP and patients and parents should be advised of the risk.

Death not linked to statin

The recent death of a patient taking rosuvastatin (Crestor) was not associated with the drug, manufacturer AstraZeneca insists.

The company said the patient's doctor had concluded an infection was the 'most likely' cause of death and not rhabdomyolysis, although the patient did have the condition at the time.

The doctor diagnosed neuroleptic malignant syndrome related to the use of neuroleptics.

BMA anger over public health

The BMA has condemned the Government's 'fuzzy thinking and faulty logic' over its public health reforms. Dr Vivienne Nathanson, head of science and ethics, said ministers had not listened to medical experts who had called for a total ban on smoking in enclosed public places.

Proposals on alcohol abuse were the weakest part of the public health white paper, she added.

Dr Nathanson said: 'Why do we have to wait so long for legislation to tackle the public health crisis?'

Job advisers in GP practices

Ministers have announced plans to put employment advisers in GP surgeries, as part of an overhaul of incapacity benefit.

Alan Johnson, Work and Pensions Secretary, said GP surgeries should be 'the first step back to work, not the route to a life of inactivity'.

The new benefit system will effectively cut support for people who refuse to look for work and pay bonuses to those who secure jobs.

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