• Italy's measles epidemic highlights the dire costs of an unvaccinated population
    On 19 April, Italy reported a measles epidemic, following a fall-off in vaccinations. What is most concerning is that the recent outbreaks included older age groups.
  • Pre-implantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD) – Boon or bane to the next generation?
    The concept of artificial genetic selection dates back to the early 20th century. Dr John Rock, an American obstetrican and gynecologist, once made a prediction in the 1937 edition of the New England Journal of Medicine. He believed science would enable children to be borne “according to specification” one day. Now, 80 years passed, and we stand closer to his eerie prophecy than we realise.
  • New evidence shows epilepsy drug caused up to 4,100 birth defects
    Up to 4,100 children suffered from serious malformations from a drug given to pregnant women for epilepsy and bipolar disorder, a French study suggests.
  • Measures needed to combat health illiteracy
    The issue of health illiteracy has been a cause for concern globally, especially within the medical community. Essentially, both doctors and health agencies play an important role in improving the health literacy of their patients and the public respectively.
  • Childhood cancers on the rise, says a new study
    While statistics show childhood cancer rates as moving upwards, concerns about a real increase in the disease have spawned differing explanations, with some pointing to contrasting figures between affluent and poor countries.
  • Biosensors are next biggest thing in disease detection
    In the 20th century, coal miners kept canaries in cages with them when they worked in the mines. These canaries die if the amount of toxic gases such as methane exceeds the normal level, thereby serving as a warning signal to the coal miners so they have sufficient time to escape. The unfortunate canaries served as a primitive form of the biosensors nowadays. Thankfully, medical biosensors have come a long way since then.
  • Off-label use of quetiapine in elderly patient with dementia
    A doctor working in the government's outreach team has been accused of prescribing quetiapine for a 92-year-old dementia patient. According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of United States, quetiapine is associated with an increased mortality in elderly patients with dementia.
  • Can WHO's success against neglected tropical diseases continue?
    World Health Organisation officials have announced that "unprecedented progress" has been made towards reducing the spread of neglected tropical diseases that is commonly linked to poverty. But much of this has to do with the generosity of big governments. Can the initiative continue without their assistance?
  • Dangerous dupes: The dark world of counterfeit medicine
    The Hong Kong Customs Department scored a major victory in the battle against counterfeit drugs in 2015 when it seized 400,000 counterfeit medicines in a raid in the Kwun Tong and Ngau Tau Kok districts. The operation captured the largest seizure of suspected counterfeit medicines in a decade. However, the incident was considered as the tip of the iceberg of the fast-growing and underground network of counterfeit medicines.
  • Pharma giant under fire in the UK for hiking up cancer drug prices across Europe
    An investigation by a local newspaper revealed that a pharmaceutical company has used "aggressive approaches" in attempts to drive up the price of cancer drugs across Europe. However the UK's Department of Health is taking caution and preventing such attempts.