Intended for healthcare professionals


In brief

BMJ 2015; 351 doi: (Published 12 August 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;351:h4357

UK competition watchdog investigates price of phenytoin: The drug companies Pfizer and Flynn Pharma have been accused by the Competition and Markets Authority of charging “excessive and unfair” prices for the epilepsy drug phenytoin. Before September 2012, when Pfizer made and sold phenytoin under the brand name Epanutin, the NHS spent about £2.3m (€3.3m; $3.6m) on the drug. But, after it sold distribution rights to Flynn Pharma, it increased the price by as much as a factor of 17, and Flynn then hiked the price again to 25 times what Pfizer had been charging, which cost the NHS £50m in 2013. The authority will now decide whether competition law was infringed.

Background music can adversely affect surgery teams: An analysis of video footage taken during 20 operations shows that some operating theatre teams are negatively affected by background music during surgery. The study, in the Journal of Advanced Nursing, showed that communication within the theatre team can be impaired when music is playing.1 For instance, requests from a surgeon …

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