Medicine

With ASX listing, Fiji Kava sees medicinal future for drink

Fiji Kava on Friday lodged its prospectus for listing on the Australian Stock Exchange, which is scheduled to happen later this month.

The high-end kava producer says it intends to raise $AU5.2 million from investors at 20 cents per share.

Some of the money will go towards research for treating anxiety, insomnia and pain with kava, said its chairperson, Andrew Kelly.

"That will be clinical trials with humans and that will be done with varying extracts of kava, trying to refine the effect and the quality of what we are able to deliver to Western markets."

Island aid post without basic drugs

Community Health Worker Kawani Bulia said requests for new supplies from health authorities continue to fall on deaf ears.

Medical officer Bulia said the plight of the aid post is not an isolated situation.

Shortage of medical drugs and supplies is widespread in rural PNG, combined with remoteness, the impacts are hard hitting on patients who require urgent medical attention.

Bulia explained, alternative treatment like injection is their last resort until basic medicines like amoxycillin and pain relievers are restocked.

Proper checks needed for foreign medical 'experts'

Member for Wabag, Dr Lino Tom, raised this issue today during the Parliament session.

Dr Tom said a lot of concern has been raised regarding the quality of work from foreign medical experts.

"It is a strict requirement elsewhere in the world for doctors to be accredited properly to be able to work in foreign countries."

He said currently the country has no medical board examination.

A board like that would have properly examined overseas trained medical professionals coming into the country, and conducted appropriate board accreditation examinations.

VIDEO: PM on medicine supply issue

He said the only problem is the delay is the delivery. 
The Prime Minister says issues affecting the delivery have been identified and dealt with. 

Kase defends procurement of medical drugs

Kase said it was incorrect to say that the unavailability of medical supplies in the country relates to poor procurement practices by the National Department of Health.

He said the procurement of medical drugs and equipment were complex but had been successful in the last five years.

Kase clarified that the Central Supply and Tenders Board (CSTB) awards the contract to the company involved in the distribution of medical kits in the country. 

Self-repairing heart tissue breakthrough brings hope for cardiac patients

Doctors James Hudson and Enzo Porello from the University of Queensland worked with German researchers to create the samples in a laboratory, and will use them to study cardiac biology and diseases.

"The patented technology enables us to now perform experiments on human heart tissue," Dr Hudson said.

Up until now researchers have had no "living" tissue to study, but now scientists have a viable, functioning heart muscle to work on.

Dr Hudson said it would help them model the cardiovascular disease, screen new drugs and investigate heart repair.

New drug for one in five breast cancers

Biological therapies can help fight breast cancers caused by rare, inherited genetic errors like the BRCA one actress Angelina Jolie carries.

Now a new study by experts at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute suggests these targeted drugs may also work in many other women who do not have these risky genes.

The drugs could be effective in one in five breast cancers, say the researchers.

That's 20% of patients - far more than the 1 to 5% who develop the cancer alongside having faulty BRCA genes.

Buying medications online 'can put health at risk'

The watchdog inspected 11 internet prescription services in England, finding some "potentially presenting a significant risk to patients".

The regulator said while some providers were well-run, others "cut corners".

The CQC says it will visit providers and shut any putting patients at risk.

It follows a BBC Radio 5 Live investigation into online pharmacies selling antibiotics.