This 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 Sluggish generics entry prompts calls for European patent reform
One minute you’re feeling festive and the next you’re wishing you’d had one less drink. This spring, a pair of studies sent equally mixed signals about long-term alcohol consumption that might baffle even the most sober teetotaler. Continue reading Mixed Drinks, Mixed Messages
Kirsten Timmons was navigating a frozen overpass one night when a passing car skidded out of control and slammed into her vehicle. As her car came to a stop, Timmons’s head probably snapped around its own axis, decelerating sharply when it struck the seat-belt holder next to her. Continue reading Duct Tape for the Brain
Researchers have devised a treatment that mechanically repairs burst cell membranes in the brain, somewhat like puncture sealants used in bicycle tyres, and could therefore help to avert brain damage after serious head injuries.
Brain-injured rats that are injected with a polymer called polyethylene glycol (PEG) soon after their injuries recover certain behavioural abilities better than untreated rats, report researchers in this week’s Journal of Biological Engineering. Continue reading Cellular ‘puncture repair kit’ may minimize brain trauma