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BMJ. 2007 June 16; 334(7606): 1242.
PMCID: PMC1892471
In Brief

News

Medicines agency recalls antiretroviral: Nelfinavir (Viracept), used to treat HIV-1, is being recalled from sale in the European Union after its maker, Roche, told the European Medicines Agency that the product had been contaminated with a harmful substance. See www.emea.europa.eu/pdfs/general/direct/pr/25128307en.pdf.

Virgin sponsors Riders for Health: To mark the launch on 1 June of its daily flights from Heathrow to Nairobi, Virgin Atlantic has donated 31 motorbikes to help the health outreach charity Riders for Health in rural Kenya. Richard Branson, Virgin's founder, said, “Riders for Health will enable health care to reach the remotest areas—saving lives and delivering educational messages to ensure the health of future generations.” See www.riders.org.

Coroner warns of needless infant deaths: Ontario's deputy chief coroner, Jim Cairns, says that Canadian babies aged under 12 months are dying needlessly because of the increasingly popular childrearing practice of letting them sleep with parents or a sibling. Dr Cairns said that a study of 195 investigated deaths between 2004 and 2006 showed that 21 children died in unsafe sleeping environments in 2005, a rise from 16 in 2004.

Decision making on ending babies' lives lacks consensus: The way decisions are made in the Netherlands to end the lives of severely ill and hopelessly suffering newborn babies needs to be clarified through scientific research, says a government advisory committee of medical ethical experts (www.ceg.nl). Despite a new reporting system introduced last year (BMJ 2005;331:1357 doi: 10.1136/bmj.331.7529.1357), no consensus has been achieved over criteria such as the degree of suffering, life expectancy, and dependence on medical care, the committee concluded.

Children of divorced parents are more likely to be taking Ritalin: The percentage of children taking methylphenidate (Ritalin) is almost twice as high among those whose parents are divorced than among children who continue to live with two biological parents, a study in CMAJ has found (doi: 10.1503/cmaj.061458).

New toolkit delivers human rights approach to health: A “Right to Health” toolkit has been launched by the BMA and the Commonwealth Medical Trust to help expose situations where public funds are being used unfairly, such as the construction of yet more hospitals in large cities or the purchase of expensive equipment that will benefit wealthy or urban populations, while rural populations or vulnerable groups are denied even the minimum standard of health care. See www.bma.org.uk.


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