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Stem cell treatment found to ‘freeze’ multiple sclerosis

Nursing Notes

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Researchers believe they have found a treatment which “resets” the immune system and can “freeze” progression of the disease in nearly half of patients.

The treatment could give hope to 100,000 people in the UK who are affected by multiple sclerosis (MS), for which there is no known cure at present.

The study, led by Imperial College London, found that 46% of patients who underwent the treatment did not suffer a worsening of their condition for five years.

The trial treatment, autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (AHSCT), was given to patients with advanced forms of the disease who had previous failed to respond to other treatments or medications.

In the trial patients are given a drug which encourages stem cells to move from the bone marrow into the bloodstream, where they are harvested from the body. Following this chemotherapy is administered to kill all immune cells, before the patient’s own stem cells were put back into the body to “reset” the immune system.

What is Multiple sclerosis (MS)? Multiple Sclerosis is a, currently incurable, degenerative disease that effects the central nervous system (CNS). The disease is caused by the immune system malfunctioning and mistakenly attacking nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord.It leads to problems with movement, vision, balance and speech. Symptoms usually start in your 20s and 30s and it affects almost three times as many women as men (MSSociety).

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Primary Care

Morning after pill can now be bought online for £4.99

Sarah J

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Online pharmacy Chemist 4 U has revealed they will be selling the morning after pill to women for just £4.99 per pack.

Initially, the online-only pharmacy was praised for making the morning after pill more accessible for women at an affordable price but some have criticised the move.

Women will be able to buy as many as three packs of Levonelle, a generic version of the pill, from the online pharmacy in six months.

Campaigners on reproductive ethics have been quick to condemn the initiative, explaining that the accessibility presents the morning-after pill as regular contraception, when professional advice is to only use it in emergencies.

Shamir Patel, Managing Director of Chemist 4 U, told The Independent;

“We always advise women in an emergency situation, to go to their nearest pharmacy that day, rather than waiting a day to receive it from an online pharmacy.

“However our belief is, an advanced supply from us avoids the panic in the unlikely event of barrier method failure. We advise all patients that EHC should not be used as a regular contraceptive method”.

Other retailers such as Boots and Superdrug have recently drastically reduced the cost of the morning after pill following calls from the British Pregnancy Advisory Service.

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Primary Care

May set to end public sector pay cap

Sarah J

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Reports indicate that Theresa May and Phillip Hammond are drawing up plans to remove the public sector pay cap.

Experts say that Theresa May is drawing up plans to end the seven-year cap on public sector pay, which currently restricts annual public sector pay increases to 1 per cent. It is thought mounting from public sector unions and finally contributed towards this change in policy.

Despite voting against the removal of the pay cap earlier this year, several senior ministers, including Boris Johnson Michael Fallon are in reportedly in support of dropping the unpopular policy.

The announcement is expected to take place when Liz Truss, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, sends guidance letters to the pay review bodies, including the NHSPRB, later this month.

Removal of the pay cap for all 5 million public sector employees would cost an estimated £4 billion a year.

A Downing Street spokesperson said;

“We are listening.

“We know that many people in the public and private sector feel they are just about managing.”

Many claim removal of the pay cap will help with staff shortages in certain areas, such as nursing, teaching and the senior civil service.

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