Intended for healthcare professionals


In brief

BMJ 2005; 331 doi: (Published 21 July 2005) Cite this as: BMJ 2005;331:176

Dutch GPs settle dispute: GPs have settled a bitter eight month dispute with the Dutch government over the funding of primary care in a new market oriented health insurance system. The dispute sparked national strikes (BMJ 2005;330: 1409, 18 Jun). But independent arbitration resulted in a deal that strengthened the position of GPs in negotiations with insurance companies.

Canadian province funds breast cancer drug: British Columbia has become the first Canadian province to provide the breast cancer drug trastuzumab (Herceptin) to women who may benefit from it. It costs up to $C50000 (£23 500; $41 000; €34 000) a year per patient.

UK to tighten hospital hygiene rules: The UK government has launched new legislative proposals to improve hygiene in hospitals. The proposals, which will eventually be incorporated into a parliamentary bill, make good infection control and hygiene practice a statutory duty for NHS bodies. See

Development group seeks new drug: The “drugs for neglected diseases” initiative, a non-profit drug development initiative established in 2003, has signed an agreement to conduct a joint research project with the Kitasato Institute in Japan to find a treatment for African trypanosomiasis. Under the agreement the institute will test 300-400 natural substances for activity against the Trypanosoma brucei parasite.

German research body censures professor: The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (German Research Foundation) has admonished Rolf-Hermann Ringert, director of the urology department of Göttingen University Hospital, for scientific misconduct. Professor Ringert was lead author of a paper, published in 2000 in Nature Medicine, claiming to have found a safe and effective vaccine for kidney cancer (BMJ 2001;323: 184). The paper had to be withdrawn in 2003.

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