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Seven days in medicine: 9-15 Oct 2019

BMJ 2019; 367 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.l6012 (Published 17 October 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;367:l6012

Interstitial cystitis

NICE recommends drug for chronic bladder condition

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) reversed its decision not to recommend the drug pentosan polysulfate sodium for treating bladder pain syndrome with glomerulations or Hunner’s lesions in adults who have not responded to other treatments, after negotiating a confidential discount on price with the manufacturer. Pentosan polysulfate sodium may be better than pregabalin, gabapentin, and bladder instillations, although the evidence is not high quality, said NICE.1 Pentosan polysulfate sodium should be used in secondary care, it said, and could benefit 1000 people a year.

Tuberculosis

J&J is urged to cut bedaquiline price

People protested outside Johnson & Johnson’s offices in cities around the world to pressure the company to lower the price of bedaquiline, which is used to treat drug resistant tuberculosis. The drug costs nearly $1200 (£938; €1087) for a course of treatment through the Global Drug Facility, a UN scheme to keep drug costs down for poorer countries. But researchers have said that it can be produced for a quarter of the price. The humanitarian charity Médecins Sans Frontières has called for the price to be halved to $1 a day to scale up treatment and save lives.

Environment

Single use plastics will be cut in NHS hospitals

High street names and suppliers including Marks & Spencer and WHSmith are backing a call by NHS England’s chief executive, Simon Stevens, to reduce single …

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