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Daily Digest 2 November 2009

Today's roundup – including the latest developments in 'Tsar wars', a revamp for breast cancer screening advice and encouraging news on malaria vaccination.

By Steve Nowottny

Today's roundup – including the latest developments in 'Tsar wars', a revamp for breast cancer screening advice and encouraging news on malaria vaccination.

A massively busy day for Fleet Street's health correspondents today – and we start with a story that makes the front page of the Times, Guardian, Telegraph and the Sun, who go with the headline ‘Tsar Wars'.

The Government is facing mass resignations from the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs after Proessor David Nutt was sacked by home secretary Alan Johnson on Friday over the row about the relative harm caused by drugs and alcohol.

Two more advisers – chemist Les King and pharmacist Marion Walker – resigned in protest yesterday, and the Times splash claims ‘it is possible the 28 remaining members will quit if their concerns are not addressed before a council meeting next week.'

The Daily Mail, it's fair to say, doesn't share the general outrage at Professor Nutt's sacking – a Melanie Philips leader column is headed: ‘Fatuous, dangerous, utterly irresponsible – the Nutty professor who's distorting the truth about drugs.'

Swine flu continues to draw headlines, with the Sunday Times yesterday claiming that the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation ‘is expected to recommend the vaccination of 10 to 18 year olds begins by the end of the year'.

And a number of papers, as well as the BBC, report Chief Medical Officer Sir Liam Donaldson's comments yesterday that hospital intensive care wards are now under a ‘lot of pressure' as a result of the pandemic.

The Daily Mail and the Telegraph report that the Department of Health is to rewrite its patient information leaflet for breast cancer screening, after concerns that thousands of women may have undergone unnecessary surgery

The Times reports on a ‘milestone moment' in the final-stage drug trials of a malaria vaccine – the first vaccine is now likely to be distributed in Africa ‘from 2015'.

Spotted a story we've missed? Let us know and we'll update the digest throughout the day..

Daily Digest

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