Health & Lifesciences Talking Points 16-06-2016



Report reveals significant Australian overuse of antibiotics

A national report regarding the usage and resistance of antimicrobials has shown that although nearly half of all Australians received a prescription for antibiotics in 2014, a large number of these individuals did not actually require them. The unnecessary over-prescription of antimicrobials is an increasingly prevalent problem in western medicine, and researchers hold significant concerns that the resistance to antibiotics that incorrect usage prompts may eventually cause for these vital medicines to become useless and give rise to a global health crisis. In an analysis of 28 countries across Europe, Australia was the sixth most prolific user of non-hospital antimicrobials – in light of these findings, the Australian federal government and state governments are increasing monitoring measures to regulate the appropriate prescription of antibiotics. Click here to read the full article.

New treatment for acute myeloid leukaemia discovered by Australian cancer center

A Melbourne cancer center has recently made a breakthrough in the treatment of acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) by combining two drugs that were already being trialled in patients diagnosed with AML. The most common cause of death by disease in infants in particular, AML attacks blood and bone marrow, and researchers have determined that by disrupting the two major proteins that progress the cancer, it may be possible to overcome the disease. This is the first sizeable progress made in potentially treating AML since the 1970s. Click here to read the full article.

China making progress towards an AIDS-free generation

Programs instituted by Chinese authorities to decrease the transmission rate of HIV from HIV-positive mothers to their children have proven largely successful to date according to reports. Infection rates in babies have decreased 80 percent in the last ten years owing to the Chinese “prevention of mother-to-child transmission programme” (PMTCT), which was initiated 15 years ago and has since been adopted and implemented by 3000 counties. The PMTCT largely involves testing of expectant mothers, as the prescription of antiretrovirals in HIV-positive women can reduce the risk of transmission to children to roughly one percent, as opposed to 45 percent in normal circumstances. Mother-to-infant transmission rates have not been completely eliminated, but there has nevertheless been a steep and very visible improvement, and the effectiveness of the HIV program has seen the implementation of similar screening processes for hepatitis B and syphilis with hopes that they will likewise be very effective. Click here to read the full article.

Medical wearables the future focus of Tianjin pharmaceutical company

In a notable development, Tianjin Chase Sun Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd., has recently announced that it is expanding its business from the manufacture of traditional Chinese medicines and introducing a line of medical wearables. Medical wearables typically include blood pressure monitors, sleep monitors and pulse oximeters, among other products, and Wu Fen, President of Chase Sun, has said that the pharmaceutical company’s focus in future will be on developing still more technology to add to the existing range. Company sales revenue is anticipated to be roughly 5 billion yuan in 2016. Click here to read the full article.