The ebola to come

A worldwide ebola pandemic is looking increasingly likely. This may not be the time to come over apocalyptic, but it probably is time to reflect on why the world is so susceptible to such diseases. And why the consequences could be so devastating to society – and also to the economy.

Physical health risks are . . . → Read More: The ebola to come

Where does innovation come from?

Drug manufacturers think it comes from protecting profits. No doubt this leads to the development of drugs that can be patented – tweaking an existing drug usually does the trick with minimal effort. But the Indian courts have ruled that tweaking an existing drug does not create a new drug that merits a patent. And . . . → Read More: Where does innovation come from?

Carry On Guzzling

The Lancet, the academic community, the government and the World Health Organisation all agree that obesity is a serious threat. Interestingly, so does the food industry.

So, as a nation, should we:

a) just take individual responsibility and eat less? (Requires a strong and persistent public education campaign. People may also need a little help . . . → Read More: Carry On Guzzling

Junk Accountability?

What is the Department of Health for? For promoting health of course. But exactly whose health is being promoted?

The objectives of the Department of Health are these:

Better health and well-being for all: helping people stay healthy and well; empowering people to live independently; and tackling health inequalities. Better care for all: the best . . . → Read More: Junk Accountability?

Co-moderator of Nanotechnology Regulation Conference

I shall be running sessions at the 5th Nanoregulation Conference at Rapperswil, Switzerland on 25th and 26th November 2009.

What is it about? In the light of the European Parliament calling for adaptations of the regulatory framework regarding manufactured nanomaterials, what will be the strategy of the European Commission? Which nano-specific information is indispensable for . . . → Read More: Co-moderator of Nanotechnology Regulation Conference

Seeing justice done – a NICE decision

A court has decided to uphold NICE’s analysis of the non-cost-effectiveness of four drugs for the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease. There are issues about whether this is the correct judgment and whether the analysis takes a wide enough account of social and other non-commercial costs.

But there is also an issue about transparency. Two . . . → Read More: Seeing justice done – a NICE decision

Lovesick teens turn to junkfood

Junk food makes us ill – but of course only when we eat too much of it. Companies which make junk food routinely say that their product is fine “as part of a healthy diet”. But that rather begs the question of how much junk food you can eat and still have a healthy diet. . . . → Read More: Lovesick teens turn to junkfood