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Effect of antidepressants on fetuses needs study: Studies that quantify the effects of fetal exposure to antidepressants are urgently needed, researchers say. Research from the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, based on 105335 pregnancies, shows that the proportion of pregnancies in which antidepressants had been taken increased from 5.7% in 1999 to 13.4% in 2003 (P<0.0001). The increase was mostly in selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology 2007;196:544-5).
FDA approves obesity drug: Despite calls for the US Food and Drug Administration to remove an obesity drug from the market, it has approved tetrahydrolipstatin (Orlistat) for use over the counter, marketed as Alli by manufacturers GlaxoSmithKline. Public Citizen, a health research group, says that some patients taking the drug developed gallstones.
Preimplantation genetic diagnosis does not increase risk of malformations: Children born after preimplantation genetic diagnosis show no more serious malformations than children born after similar artificial reproduction technologies but without being biopsied at the embryo stage, according to a study reported at the European Society of Human Genetics. The study of 563 children born after preimplantation genetic diagnosis who were examined at 2 months and 2 years old showed that 3.6% had serious malformations, which is the same as the rate in children born after conventional assisted conceptions.
Keep politics out of NHS, says poll: Seven out of 10 people think that politicians should not be involved in the day to day running of the NHS, according to research by Ipsos MORI. Its publication coincides with research from the NHS Confederation, which shows that behavioural change, not more restructuring, is the solution to many of the problems in the NHS. From the Ground up: How Autonomy Could Deliver a Better NHS is available at www.nhsconfed.org.
Rural idyll: In what's reported as the largest cash lure ever to tackle Australia's shortage of rural doctors, the small town of Temora, in New South Wales, has offered $A500000 (£210000; €310000; $420000) for a GP, in addition to a healthy salary, to anyone who is prepared to stay for five years.
NHS Choices website launched: A new website that will act as a “one stop shop” for patients has been launched by the Department of Health for England. The NHS Choices website (www.nhs.uk) includes ratings on hospital waiting times, cleanliness, and rates of readmission and allows patients to give online feedback of their experiences. Patients can also assess their risk of developing certain conditions and get information on staying healthy and managing any existing conditions.