In brief

BMJ 2012; 344 doi: (Published 06 March 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;344:e1599

RCP surveys its members on the health bill: The Royal College of Physicians has sent a survey to all members and fellows on attitudes to the Health and Social Care Bill. The survey, which was sent out by post and email, will close at noon on 15 March, before the final debates on the bill in the House of Lords and House of Commons.

Chinese organ trafficking ring is busted: China’s biggest organ trading case to date has resulted in 16 people being charged for involvement in an organ trafficking ring. They sold 51 human kidneys for a total of more than ¥10m (£1m, $1.6m, €1.2m), report media sources.

Cholera infection is 10 times worse than official numbers: About 1.4 billion people live in places where they are at risk of cholera infection, says a study in the Bulletin of the World Health Organization (doi:10.2471/BLT.11.093427). It estimates that around three million people are infected with cholera every year and that around 100 000 people die from the disease, more than 10 times the official number reported to WHO.

Comments sought on novel neurotechnologies: The independent Nuffield Council on Bioethics is running a consultation on novel technologies that intervene in the brain, such as brain-computer interfaces, neurostimulation, and neural stem cell therapy, for the development of new treatments for diseases such as dementia and conditions such as severe brain injury ( The deadline for responses is 23 April 2012. A report will be published in autumn 2013.

Thousands are left hungry and homeless in Sahel: The International Committee of the Red Cross is appealing for €10m (£8.3m; $13.2) to help 700 000 people in Mali and Niger who need food and shelter. The Sahel region of west Africa has been affected by drought, and armed confrontations in northern Mali have caused tens of thousands of people to flee their homes and seek refuge in Mali or neighbouring countries, the Red Cross has said.

EC closes antitrust investigation: The European Commission announced on 1 March that it had dropped the investigation it had launched on 30 November 2010 into AstraZeneca and Nycomed after suspecting them of trying to delay the entry to market of generic drugs to treat gastro-oesophageal reflux disease. If the suspicions had been confirmed, the companies could have been fined for breaking European Union competition rules.


Cite this as: BMJ 2012;344:e1599