Category Archives: Nature Medicine

Sacked drugs advisor launches private panel

The scientist fired from the British government’s Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) last year has launched a privately funded scientific committee to advise the public on the risks of drug use.

David Nutt, a psychopharmacologist from Imperial College in London, was dropped from the ACMD in October after his remarks contradicting the government’s classification of marijuana reached the press. Last month he announced the launch of his group, the Independent Scientific Committee on Drugs (ISCD). Continue reading

Sluggish generics entry prompts calls for European patent reform

Nature Medicine November 2009 coverThis past July, the European Commission released  estimates that if generic drugs were to enter markets immediately after patents expire—instead of the present average of seven months later—EU patients and national health services might save €3 billion ($4.5 billion) annually. But regulators acknowledge that costly and time-consuming patent disputes, and possible anticompetitive practices in the pharmaceutical industry, mean that such savings remain elusive. Continue reading

Sequencing push brings new UK genome analysis center

naturemedicine_cover_0908Last month, DNA sequencing in the UK got a boost with the launch of the Genome Analysis Centre (TGAC) in the eastern city of Norwich. The £13.5 million ($22 million) facility hosts biologists and bioinformaticians who will perform genome sequencing on plants, animals and microbes, as well as develop new bioinformatics tools for handling the data, which will be distributed via the European Bioinformatics Institute. In the future, TGAC will build commercial partnerships and offer doctoral and mid-career sequencing and bioinformatics training. Continue reading