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Independents' Day

GPs to 'snoop' on colleagues, young fathers are more likely to pass on genetic defects and dementia research 'despair'

A round-up of the morning’s health news headlines

GPs are being told to ‘snoop’, ‘spy’ and ‘snitch’ on their colleagues’ prescribing of antibiotics according to a variety of reports in papers including the Mirror and Independent.

They come from NICE proposals aimed at ‘turning the tanker round’ on antibiotic prescribing rates.

Professor Mark Baker from NICE told the BBC News: ‘I think peer pressure has to be a part of any strategy to reduce antimicrobial use. Health professionals should question the practices of colleagues when they are not in line with local and national guidelines.

‘We have to turn this tanker around.’

Read Pulse’s report on what the guidelines hold here.

A Cambridge University study has found that younger fathers are more likely to pass on genetic ‘flaws’ to their children, the Telegraph reports.

The ‘unexpected’ findings from a study of 24,000 parents and their children found that sperm cells of teenage fathers had 30% higher rates of DNA mutation – increasing the risk of birth defects – than those of men in their twenties.

Lead author Dr Peter Forster said: ‘It appears that the male germ cells accumulate DNA errors unnoticed during childhood, or commit DNA errors at an especially high level at the onset of puberty.’

Lastly, drug companies’ are ‘despairing’ at ever finding an effective treatment for dementia, leading to withdrawal of funding for research into the disease, the Independent reports.

According to a report from the Dementia Forum of the World Innovation Summit for Health (Wish), drug companies are cutting investment after ‘repeated and costly’ failures to develop a marketable drug; it says 101 unsuccessful attempts were made between 1998 and 2012 while only three treatments were approved for treating symptoms.

The Wish report claims that without a major drug breakthrough, dementia will ‘move from a major health challenge to a global economic crisis’, the paper says.


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Readers' comments (1)

  • Prof Mark,
    It is not peer pressure that will help. Give GPs access to checking inflammatory markers, do not entertain useless complaints and ask the media help to get the message to the public.
    Secondly, every doctor will tell you it is easier to prescribe amoxicillin than to go through the dialogue of no antibiotics and have a complaint letter the next day.
    The public should take responsibility.

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