Intended for healthcare professionals


Seven days in medicine: 2-8 Oct 2019

BMJ 2019; 367 doi: (Published 10 October 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;367:l5902


UK follows US and recalls potential cancer risk drug

GlaxoSmithKline is recalling all unexpired stock of Zantac (ranitidine hydrochloride) prescription-only medicines from UK pharmacies as a precautionary measure owing to possible contamination with an impurity, N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), which has genotoxic and carcinogenic potential. Doctors are advised to tell patients not to stop taking their medicine and to review treatment at the next routine appointment. The US FDA recalled batches of over-the-counter and prescription ranitidine last week. The European Medicines Agency and other regulators are reviewing ranitidine medicines after finding NDMA in some products. (Full story doi:10.1136/bmj.l5933)

Breast cancer

UK death rates almost halve in 30 years

The death rate among UK women with breast cancer has fallen by 44% over the past 30 years, showed figures from Cancer Research UK. In 1989, when deaths from the condition reached a record high, 59.8 deaths per 100 000 women were recorded, but data show that this fell to 33.4 by 2017. The charity said that improvements in surgery, radiotherapy, new drugs, and screening had all contributed to the trend.

Duty of candour

Trust is fined for regulation failures

The Care Quality Commission in England issued 13 fixed penalty notices totalling £16 250 (€18 100; $19 900) to the Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust for failing to comply with the duty of candour regulation and apologise to patients within a reasonable period. The notices relate to seven safety incidents from September 2016 to October 2017. In all cases the trust failed to notify patients or their family of the available facts as soon as reasonably possible. The incidents included medication errors, delays in diagnosis, and missed opportunities to investigate a patient’s …

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