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Seven days in medicine: 24-30 October

BMJ 2015; 351 doi: (Published 29 October 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;351:h5730

Saturday 24 October

Mental health detentions rise: Detentions under the Mental Health Act in England rose by almost 10% in 2014-15 to 58 400, the Health and Social Care Information Centre has said. Marjorie Wallace, chief executive of the mental health charity SANE, said that doctors were being forced to use the act to secure an inpatient bed for treatment. “What we need is more rather than fewer beds where those who need sanctuary and healing can receive help without having to be deprived of their liberty,” she said.

Sunday 25 October

Backing grows for sugar levy: More than half (53%) of 2191 people who were asked said that they supported a levy on sugary drinks and food, a poll conducted by ComRes and commissioned by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health has found. Neena Modi, president of the college, said, “The groundswell of support for taxes on unhealthy food and drinks in order to improve the health of the nation is becoming increasingly difficult for the government to ignore.”

Hikes in generic drug prices revealed: Drug companies are “milking” the NHS by increasing the prices of some drugs by more than 2000%, a Sunday Times investigation showed. In August the Competition and Markets Authority said that it had reached a “provisional view” that Pfizer and Flynn Pharma had charged “excessive and unfair” prices for phenytoin …

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