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Invest in new antibiotics to stem resistance, poor lifestyles cause quarter of deaths and the pop stars fighting dementia

A round-up of the morning’s health news headlines on Thursday 8 May.

The NHS needs to invest in developing new antibiotics to stem the development of antimicrobial resistance because large pharmaceutical companies will not, The Guardian reports.

According to the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, this is because of the effectiveness of antibiotics, which cure ills in weeks but means they generate little income.

RPS’s chief scientist, Professor Jayne Lawrence, said: ‘The current crisis in antimicrobial resistance is in part due to the lack of new classes of antibiotics coming on the market. Antibiotics can cure infections in weeks, so the volume of sales of drugs is low. This doesn’t allow the tens or even hundreds of millions required for research and development to be recouped.’

A poor lifestyle could be behind almost a quarter of deaths in England and Wales, the Daily Express reports.

The Office for National Statistics looked at all deaths in 2012, concluding that 23% were ‘the result of certain conditions which should not occur in the presence of timely and effective health care or through wider public health interventions’.

However the research also showed that the rates of deaths that could be prevented have been in steady decline over the past decade.

Increased prescribing of antipsychotic drugs to the mentally ill could lie behind an unexplained decrease in violent crimes in the western world, writes the Independent.

Oxford University forensic psychiatrist Dr Seena Fazel, whose paper was published in the Lancet medical journal today, said: ‘Around 2% of people are prescribed these medications… some have severe mental illnesses, such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, a group which contributes to up to 10% of violent crime in most western countries.’

And finally, ITN reports that celebrities including Lily Allen and Coldplay singer Chris Martin have teamed up to feature in new TV adverts highlighting the Government’s dementia campaign.

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