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Swallowable pill cameras to be used to spot bowel cancer tumours

Swallowable pill cameras to be used to spot bowel cancer tumours

Technology
Tiny cameras that are small enough to be swallowed and can film tumours in the gut are being trialled in the fight against cancer.Called PillCams, they are encased in a capsule to make them easier to ingest, and it is hoped they can replace more invasive methods of screening. Around 11,000 patients across England will take part in the initial trial in more than 40 areas of the country.Professor Peter Johnson, the NHS clinical director for cancer, hopes the new technology will save lives. Image: Medics hope the new technology can save lives "Every year in England, we diagnose around 42,000 people with bowel cancer, that's more than 100 people a day," said Prof Johnson. ...

Once-a-month birth control pill? Experiment works in animals

Health
Scientists are developing a once-a-month birth control pill that would gradually release the drug over the course of weeksBy LAURAN NEERGAARD AP Medical WriterDecember 4, 2019, 10:06 PM4 min read Birth control pills work great if women remember to take them every day but missing doses can mean a surprise pregnancy. Now scientists have figured out how to pack a month’s supply into one capsule. The trick: A tiny star-shaped gadget that unfolds in the stomach and gradually releases the drug. The experimental capsule is still years away from drugstores, but researchers reported Wednesday that it worked as designed in a key test in animals. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is investing $ 13 million for further development of the once-a-month pill, in hopes of eventually improving family p...
Four-in-one pill prevents third of heart problems

Four-in-one pill prevents third of heart problems

Health
A daily pill containing four medicines can cut the number of heart attacks and strokes by a third, a study shows. The polypill contains blood-thinning aspirin, a cholesterol-lowering statin and two drugs to lower blood pressure. The researchers - in Iran and the UK - said the pill had a huge impact but cost just pennies a day.They suggest giving it to everyone over a certain age in poorer countries, where doctors have fewer options and are less able to assess individuals.Coronary heart disease and stroke are the top two causes of death worldwide, killing more than 15 million people a year. Smoking, obesity and doing little exercise all increase the risk of an unhealthy heart. The study, published in the Lancet, was based in more than 100 villages in Iran...
Drug epidemic ensnares 25-year-old pill for nerve pain

Drug epidemic ensnares 25-year-old pill for nerve pain

Health
The story line sounds familiar: a popular pain drug becomes a new way to get high as prescribing by doctors soars. But the latest drug raising red flags is not part of the opioid family at the center of the nation's drug epidemic. It's a 25-year-old generic pill long seen as a low risk way to treat seizures, nerve pain and other ailments. The drug, called gabapentin, is one of the most prescribed medications in the U.S., ranking ninth over the last year, according to prescription tracker GoodRx. Researchers attribute the recent surge to tighter restrictions on opioid painkillers, which have left doctors searching for alternatives for their patients. Those same forces are changing the drugs that Americans abuse, according to experts. "We're basically squeezing people into other drugs becau...
Boots staff 'harassed' by morning-after pill campaigners

Boots staff 'harassed' by morning-after pill campaigners

Health
Boots has accused a pregnancy charity of encouraging the "harassment" of its senior employees in a dispute over the cost of its morning-after pills.Lawyers for Boots said the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) helped supporters to send a "torrent of personal abuse" to members of staff.Members of the public contacted Boots using an online form provided by BPAS.Boots has cut the cost of its emergency contraception following criticism from BPAS and some MPs.The pharmacy said it would offer a £15.99 alternative to Levonelle, which costs £28.25, and a Boots-branded £26.75 pill, from next month.It follows the launch of a "Just Say Non" BPAS campaign in July, which invited people to email senior executives at Boots via an online form.'Vile, nasty'In a letter from law firm Schillings, Boots...