Thursday, 15 May 2014

HPV vaccine delay | Baidu medical fraud | Malaria system success | Gassers in short supply | GSK case won't stop bribery

1. China may be delaying approval of HPV vaccines made by foreign companies until the country has a homegrown competitor, according to Global Times. The HPV vaccines Gardasil and Cervarix are still not available in China despite 30,000 women dying in China every year of HPV-related cervical cancer. Some Chinese doctors and officials claim there are ethnic differences in vaccine responses between Chinese and Europeans, and clinical trials that in Chinese people are needed to ensure of the vaccines' safety and efficiency on Chinese.

2.  Baidu earns its fortune by promoting fraudulent medical information at the cost of health and even lives, critics say. The search engine site is the main avenue used by illegal drug manufacturers and illegal hospitals to advertise in China, they claim. Many drugs that are explicitly banned by the China Food and Drug Administration (CFDA) are still on promotion on Baidu, an article in Daily Kos says.

3. A '1-3-7' system of dealing with malaria cases that is very successful and could be a model for other countries, researchers from the Jiangsu Institute of Parasitic Diseases claim. The system is based on case reporting within one day, case investigation within three days. and focus investigation and action within seven days.Since the system was implemented in 2012 the proportion of cases investigated in 3 days has reached 100%, and seven-day action rates are 50% and rising.

4. China has a shortage of 200,000 anesthesiologists as doctors avoid the speciality due to low salaries, heavy workloads and lack of a strong training system, experts say. A conference was told that China has only 100,000 anesthesiologists but needs 300,000. Eight anesthesiologists died of overwork last year, according to Yu Weifeng, head of the anaesthesiologist branch of the Chinese Medical Doctors Association.

5. A cure for the endemic corruption in China's healthcare system is still far away despite the scare campaign against executives of British pharma company GSK, the online magazine Caixin says. While the crackdown makes the authorities look like they are being tough on bribery for prescribing, the reality is that doctors still accept commissions and there is no fix for the 'demand side' of the bribery equation, the magazine says. The health ministry cannot afford to alienate doctors, who are central to the problem, it concludes.

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