Saturday, 31 May 2014

Doctor Stranger | Chicken faecal contamination | Plagiarism in medical publications | Generic chemotherapy drugs |

A Korean medical soap opera “Doctor Stranger” has become hugely popular in China, with over 100 million viewers this month. The success is attributed to the star power of the two male leads, Park Hae-jin and Lee Jong-suk.

A major outbreak of hand foot and mouth disease has been reported in Jiangsu, with the Suzhou hospital seeing a three-fold increase this month, and up to 80 children a day with the infection treated at the hospital.

Indian-made generic copies of expensive drugs for conditions such as cancer are becomong popular on the Chinese 'black market'. Chemotherapy agents such as AstraZeneca's Iressa cost 15,000 yuan per pack but can be bought on the generic market for 600 yuan, even though it is unapproved and unregistered in China.

Pregnant women in China have high levels of mercury in their bodies from eating fish, a study from Shenyang has found. The high level pose a risk to their baby's health, say researchers.

China has the dubious distinction of leading the world in the number of medical and scientific academic papers retracted due to plagiarism, according to a new report. A review of retractions from 2008-12 found that China withdrew  24 plagiarised papers (18% of all papers retracted for plagiarism) and 42 duplicate papers (28% of all papers retracted for duplicate publication).

Boys of middle school age are  four times as likely as girls to smoke, a Shanghai survey has found. The Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention said 2.2 percent of boys and 0.6 percent of girls said they were regular smokers. A further 11 percent of boys and 6 percent of girls said they “tried” smoking last year.

China's State Council has said it will relax limits on foreign investment in joint-venture hospitals as part of the ongoing healthcare reform process. The move will reduce restrictions on the percentage of foreign ownership in medical joint ventures and increase the number of locations where Hong Kong and Taiwan investors can set up wholly-owned medical centres. Other overseas investors will be allowed to set up wholly-owned hospitals only in areas such as the Shanghai free trade zone.

One of the main barriers to foreign investors setting up new health facilities in China is the high price of  real estate, according to analysts. Investors are instead looking at proposals to take over and run existing hospitals.

James Murdoch, son of the right-wing media owner Rupert Murdoch, was on the board of GSK and gave advice on corporate ethics when the company was  bribing doctors and hospitals in China, according to reports from the UK. He resigned from GSK when he was investigated over the bugging of private citizens by his newspapers.

About a third of chicken meat sold in retail outlets in China is contaminated with faecal campylobacter bacteria due to unclean conditions  the slaughterhouse, a study has found. Another showed that 43% of chicken contained Salmonella.

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