In brief

BMJ 2005; 330 doi: (Published 26 May 2005) Cite this as: BMJ 2005;330:1226

China blocks AIDS information website: The Chinese government has blocked a popular Chinese language website (, set up by a professor at the University of California at Los Angeles and run by volunteers in China, that provides information about safe sex practices. It received 50 000 to 65 000 hits each day.

Most Dutch patients' groups are sponsored by drug companies: Dutch patients' organisations have agreed to launch guidelines on industry sponsorship after a survey showed that more than half the 300 groups get financial or other support from the drug industry. The survey by the Dutch Association for Responsible Use of Medicines concluded that on average 8% of annual budgets are covered by such sponsorship, but in one case the figure was 59%.

Doctors object to renaming of medical faculty: A group of senior doctors in Hong Kong has launched a campaign to fight the University of Hong Kong's decision to rename its faculty of medicine after a local tycoon, Li Ka-shing, who made a $128m (£70m; €102m) donation to the institution. One alumnus initiating the campaign described the decision as shameful.

Canadian companies refuse to hire smokers: Some Canadian companies are refusing to hire smokers, on the grounds that they are absent more often than non-smokers. Corporation, a company specialising in internet services, has advertised for “non-smokers only.” Employment protection for smokers in Canada is untested.

MRC funds research into cannabis for multiple sclerosis: The Medical Research Council has awarded £2m ($3.7m; €2.9m) for a trial to determine whether cannabis based medicines can reduce disability in patients with multiple sclerosis. The cannabinoid use in progressive inflammatory brain disease (CUPID) study will be led by Professor John Zajicek of the Peninsula Medical School.

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