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GPs blamed for poor vaccine uptake, NICE rules against breast cancer drug and the Sun on women’s wobby bits

By Mark Pownall

Our roundup of health news headlines on Thursday 10 June.

Falling vaccine rates are the fault of GPs, according to the new head of the Medical Research Council, who's quoted today as saying that GPs need to be trained to address individual concerns and fears. Low levels of swine flu vaccination among healthcare professionals, for example, set a bad example, Professor Sir Leszek Borysiewicz told The Times.

‘How do you expect to try to convince others if the people who are supposed to be promoting this activity do not actually believe in it themselves?' he said.

‘Scientists are on the brink of a blood test for autism' says the Daily Mail, and ‘Test for childhood autism closer after genes discovery' says the Telegraph. Both were reporting on Oxford research, published in Nature, that found characteristic DNA duplicates and deletions in people with autism.

NICE gets a bad press again, as it rules in final draft guidance that the breast cancer drug lapatinib, which costs £27,000 a year and prolongs survival by a mean 10 weeks, is too expensive for the NHS. '"Last chance" drug denied to breast cancer sufferers' is the Telegraph headline.

Makers GlaxoSmithKline point out that the treatment is funded in other European countries such as the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Slovenia. The Mail finds a case study that lends a more emotional spin to its story: ‘Cancer drug ban means I won't see my son start school'.

And the important news: ‘Three quarters of women worry about their wobbly bits while having sex', according to, you guessed it, the Sun, in a trademark story mentioning ‘romps' (one of those words never seen or heard anywhere but in newsprint).

Extensive market research has revealed that few Pulse readers are currently subscribers to the Sun online, behind the new Murdoch paywall, so you can read an almost identical story in the Star. If you must.

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

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