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Deadly opiate dose errors, questions over swine flu advisers’ links to drug firms and the McStatin with chips

Our roundup of health news headlines on Friday 12 August.

The Guardian front page reveals figures regarding dosage errors with opiate drugs that they claim show patient safety directives ‘are not being met'.

The figures show NHS workers have made more than 1,300 mistakes with painkillers such as morphine, diamorphine and other opiates, with one in five dosage errors resulting in some harm to patients. Up to three patients have died, according to the newspaper, and severe harm was caused in two patients.

The Daily Mail is continuing its myopic coverage of the ‘pandemic that never was' long after everyone else has forgotten it.

Today it is looking at the ties that experts at the World Health Organisation have with companies that produced vaccines for swine flu.

They say that five of the 15 specialists that sat on the emergency committee had received funding from the drug firms, or had links with them through their research. Quite whether this had any effect at all on their advice remains unclear.

Finally the Telegraph provides some light relief this morning with a story that a researcher at Imperial College London has called for fast food outlets to provide lipid-lowering drugs to customers as a side order to their double bacon cheese burger and chips.

Dr Darrel Francis said ‘it made sense' to make statins as readily available as the food that causes the problems in the first place.

‘It would cost less than 5p per customer – not much different to a sachet of ketchup,' he said.

Spotted a story we've missed? Let us know and we'll update the digest throughout the day...

Daily Digest - 13 August 2010