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Teenager slams Pill for under 16s, GSK goes head-to-head with NICE over lupus drug and why children prefer live animals to toys

A round-up of the health news headlines on Friday 27 April

It seems Pulse's exclusive on the on the prospect of girls as young as 13 being given the contraceptive pill without seeing a doctor is the gift the keeps on giving in term sof national news coverage. The tabloids follow it up today with the story of a 15 year old girl who suffered a stroke after taking the pill.

The Sun says Gemma Hill from Leicester, who was left in a wheelchair with damaged speech and eyesight after being given the contraceptive pill "reacted in horror" at the plans.

Gemma, who has now recovered fully said: "I think 13 is way too young for a girl to make a decision on contraception. I'm convinced I suffered a stroke because of the Pill and it could've killed me. Girls need to know the side effects."

Pill manufacturer Bayer Healthcare said: "The venous thromboembolism risk is slightly increased for women taking combined oral contraceptives."

The Guardian says Britain's largest drug company has launched a forthright attack on NICE, accusing it of blocking innovation after it failed to approve the first new medicine in a decade to treat the disabling condition lupus.

GlaxoSmithKline was unusually critical of the decision by NICE and the Scottish Medicines Consortium to reject its drug belimumab (brand name Benlysta) in final draft guidance. The UK's appraisal system, said GSK, was "a fundamental problem".

In a statement, Simon Jose, general manager of GlaxoSmithKline UK, warned that the system for approval of drugs on the NHS needed to change. "The failure to recognise and adopt innovative new medicines continues to be a systemic problem in the UK … The UK is a world leader in the research, development and manufacture of medicines, but is one of the slowest to enable patients to have access to innovative new treatments. This is a situation that must be addressed."

NICE defended its final draft guidance, which now goes out to consultation. Chief executive, Sir Andrew Dillon, said the independent appraisal committee had looked very carefully at the evidence and taken into account the views of people with lupus and their doctors, according to The Guardian.

Some of the broadsheets report on the case of a care home inspector arrested over bribery claims.

The Daily Telegraph says a 43-year-old woman, from Northamptonshire, was sacked from the Care Quality Commission, the health and social care regulator, for gross misconduct after an internal inquiry was launched on information provided by a whistleblower.

It is understood she allegedly pressured care home managers into paying fees for a favourable reports, the paper says.

She has been arrested on suspicion of bribery and money laundering by City of London Police, which specialises in financial crimes.

She is currently being questioned by police as part of an ongoing investigation concerning allegations that proprietors of care homes were being pressurised into paying fees for favourable inspection reports, the Telegraph says.

On a slack news day, the Telegraph also reports on a study which suggests humans have a natural affinity with wildlife. As a result, young children prefer live animals to playing with toys.

US researchers Rutgers University and the University of Virginia conducted a series of experiments with young children aged between 11 months and just over three involving live animals and toys.

The study revealed that children spent more time with both benign and scary animals than with the toys and they gestured more towards animals, talked about the animals more, and asked their parents more questions about the animals than about the toys, the Telegraph says.

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