Intended for healthcare professionals


Seven days in medicine: 24-30 April 2019

BMJ 2019; 365 doi: (Published 02 May 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;365:l1947

Public health

Opioids will carry addiction warning

All opioid medicines will carry a message warning that they can cause addiction, including those for sale over the counter. England’s health secretary, Matt Hancock, said, “Things are not as bad here as in America, but we must act now to protect people from the darker side to painkillers.” From 2008 to 2018 the number of opioids dispensed in the community increased by over 60% from 14 million to 23 million, while codeine related deaths in England and Wales more than doubled and co-codamol related deaths also increased.

Cosmetic clinics will assess patient suitability

The UK’s Joint Council for Cosmetic Practitioners agreed that its members will be trained to spot mental ill health in customers and refer them to NHS services. Stephen Powis, NHS national medical director, said that the checks were a “major step” in improving the duty of care that companies show towards customers. But he warned that not all providers were members of this council and that consumers should check the status of clinics.

General practice

Most doctors ever have entered GP specialty training

Recruitment to GP specialty training in England was the highest ever for this time of year: 2598 trainees were accepted on courses, up from 2533 in the same period last year, showed figures from Health Education England (HEE). The GP specialty training fill rate for round 1A is up 2% on last year and, if current trends continue, HEE is on course to meet its target of 3250.

Drive to curb OTC prescribing falls short

A major policy push by NHS England to save £100m …

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