In brief

BMJ 2004; 329 doi: (Published 28 October 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;329:994

European agency to review safety of COX 2 inhibitors: The European Medicines Evaluation Agency has announced that it will review “all aspects of cardiovascular safety” of all COX 2 (cyclo-oxygenase-2) inhibitors in the light of newly available data and the withdrawal of rofecoxib (Vioxx) (BMJ 2004;329: 816, 9 Oct).

Byrne takes up post in WHO: David Byrne, the European Union's commissioner for health and consumer protection, is to take on a new role as a special envoy for the World Health Organization, in charge of updating the international health regulations on the control of infectious diseases, which were first adopted in 1969.

France announces another vCJD case: French health authorities have announced an eighth case of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD), the first where the patient had donated blood, which has been used in making clotting factors and other blood products. The donations occurred between 1993 and 2003, and the 10 patients who received the blood are being traced, while the blood products, some of which have been used, are being recalled.

Court refuses to revoke its earlier ruling in right to die case: The Florida Supreme Court has declined a request by Governor Jeb Bush to reconsider its 7-0 decision deeming “Terri's law” unconstitutional. The law, passed in November 2003, enabled the governor to order the reinsertion of a feeding tube in Mrs Terri Schiavo, who has been in a persistent vegetative state since a cardiac arrest in 1990 (BMJ 2003;327: 1010).

Slovakia to charge for minor treatments: Slovakia's parliament has passed a health reform package under which patients will pay directly towards their treatment for less serious illnesses. The bills, aimed at cutting the health service's debt of £66m ($120m; €95m), extend charges introduced last year for GP consultations and stays in hospital.

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