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Untested drugs 'a step closer', new mums' lack of mental health support and potential role for Viagra in heart disease

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

A new law to allow experimental drugs to be tested on terminally ill people has been backed by the Government, the BBC reports.

Apparently amendments to Lord Saatchi’s Medical Innovation Bill - which could see people dying of cancer treated with unlicensed drugs - have satisfied Department of Health concerns over safeguards.

A DH spokesman said: ‘We are pleased that Lord Saatchi has tabled amendments to the bill to help ensure patient and staff safety.’

Lack of mental health support for new mums is costing the UK £8 billion a year, reportsThe Guardian.

A report by the Maternal Mental Health Alliance said the NHS would only need to spend a relatively small sum - £337m a year - to bring maternal mental health care up to recommended levels, however.

And researchers say Viagra could have a new lease of life as a heart drug, according to The Telegraph.

The Italian team found the drug helped reduce left ventricular hypertrophy and improve cardiac function in people with coronary heart disease.

However, senior cardiac nurse at the British Heart Foundation Maureen Talbot said ‘large randomised controlled trials are needed on both men and women to support this study’s findings before it could be recommended to heart patients’.

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