In brief

BMJ 1998; 316 doi: (Published 28 February 1998) Cite this as: BMJ 1998;316:645

Merger talks collapse: The planned merger of Glaxo Wellcome and SmithKline Beecham has been called off after the two companies failed to agree final terms (14 February, p 494).

Founder of infertility unit accepts out of court settlement: Dr Reshmi Varma took her case to an industrial tribunal after the infertility unit at St George's Hospital, London, closed last March. St George's agreed to pay Dr Varma an undisclosed sum towards her legal costs, to name a new operating theatre for in vitro fertilisation after her, and to establish in her name an annual lecture and an annual prize.

Netherlands to import medical cannabis from Britain: After the Dutch government's ban on prescribing medical marijuana, the Netherlands Scientific Institute for Pharmacists announced it is to import synthetic tetrahydrocannabinol from Britain.

Cloned calf born: A calf named Mr Jefferson has been produced by nuclear transfer—the same technique used to create Dolly the sheep. Although the calf is not transgenic, the birth is another step towards generating transgenic cattle, which can then be used to produce large quantities of therapeutic proteins.

Hospital mergers will not save money: A survey by the Institute of Health Services Management found that most managers believe that although hospital mergers in the NHS are inevitable they will save less than £1m ($1.6m) each in revenue costs.

Mixed wards on way out: A progress report on ending mixed wards for men and women in NHS hospitals in England shows that 70% of all health authorities will have achieved segregation by the end of 1999 and 95% by 2002.

Review Body writes to all GPs in Britain: The Review Body has sent out a letter to clarify its pay recommendations. The move is seen as a way of distancing itself from the government's decision to stage the pay award.

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