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GP sees tsunami suicide horrors

Pledge over drug trials data

Pharmaceutical companies are pledging to publish more data from clinical trials.

Under an industry-wide plan, all data would appear on a publicly-accessible register within a year of a trial's completion.

Although voluntary, companies are likely to be under pressure to comply with the agreement to demonstrate increased transparency.

However, critics have condemned the move as a ploy to ward-off legislation for mandatory disclosure of information and have called for tighter controls.

Hep C very high in injectors

The incidence of hepatitis C infection among injecting drug users is 'extremely high', say researchers who also found a higher than expected rate of HIV infection. Although sharing of injecting equipment is rare, some patients are still putting themselves at risk and sharing of other drug paraphernalia is common, according to the Centre for Research on Drugs and Health behaviour at Imperial College, London. In London, recent figures suggest syringe distribution only provides one new needle per drug user every two days.

Body of missing GP is found

The body of Tayside GP Dr Alisatair Boyd, who went missing after embarking on a hill-walking trip in gale-force winds, has been found.

Dr Boyd, who practised in Dumbarton, was reported missing after he failed to return from climbing Meall a' Choire Leith.

'Conserve your diamorphine'

GPs are being told to conserve stocks of diamorphine after the Department of Health warned of critical shortages.

The calls came after Chiron, the manufacturer of diamorphine, announced it had limited stocks and would not be able to provide further supplies until the end of March.

RCGP prescribing spokesperson Dr Jim Kennedy said he was very concerned about the shortage and advised GPs to use alternatives where possible.

The postgraduate way ahead

The Postgraduate Medical Education and Training Board has published a consultation paper outlining its aims for next three years.

The board, which has been beset with problems since it was set up last year, said it was confident of being able to take over postgraduate training from September 2005.

The paper proposes standards for education and training, applications for certification, the approval of education programmes and visiting panels.

Ex-GP named health minister

Former GP Dr Brian Gibbons is the new minister for health in Wales.

Irish-born Dr Gibbons, 54, replaces Jane Hutt, who was demoted this week after five years in the post.

Ms Hutt had increasingly come under fire for failing to bring down waiting lists in Wales.

Call for health advice at work

Three-quarters of people would be less likely to visit their GP if they were given health information at work, a survey by the charity Developing Patient Partnerships has found. Nearly half of the 1,116 people questioned said they would like to receive advice about common ailments, such as headaches or indigestion, from their employer.

The survey marked the launch of the charity's Better Health at Home and Work campaign.

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