28 January – 3 February 2017

The BBC Radio 4 Today programme (from 1h45m25s) covers School-led research that found a highly-effective drug used to treat malaria failed to cure four UK patients after visiting Africa, hinting at potential drug resistance. Lead author Colin Sutherland said: “To have four [cases] so close together suggests we have a bigger problem starting to emerge” adding that “careful studies in Africa are warranted. These patients had travelled to three different countries so it may not be an isolated problem.”

The research was widely covered by national and international print and online media, including BBC Online, The Daily Telegraph, The Times (£), Daily Mail, Daily Mirror, Daily Express, Financial Times (£), ITV, NPR and Voice of America. Articles from Reuters and the Press Association lead to coverage in more than 400 outlets worldwide.

Colin is also interviewed by a range of broadcast media, such as BBC Radio 5 Live Breakfast (from 44m15s), BBC World Service Radio’s Newsday (from 48m44s) and twice on the BBC World TV News Channel, including the channel’s high profile Focus on Africa programme. Channel 4 News feature the story, and the study is mentioned on news bulletins throughout the day across UK networks and Australia’s ABC NewsRadio.

One year on from the WHO declaring that the microcephaly clusters associated with Zika constituted a Public Health Emergency of International Concern, Jimmy Whitworth discusses the remaining questions surrounding the virus on BBC World News TV’s GMT programme and the BBC News Channel: “It’s likely we will see tens of thousands of babies that are affected across the continent, and of course all those babies and their families, they’re going to need help and support for years to come and linkage to healthcare.”

Charlotte Warren-Gash provides comment to The Sun on a study that found a link between the use of painkillers to treat respiratory infections and a higher risk of heart attacks: “Clinicians should consider both medical conditions and existing medications when prescribing NSAIDs for symptomatic acute respiratory infection relief.”

Research co-authored by Astrid Fletcher into the relationship between nearsightedness and sunlight exposure is featured on BBC World Service Radio’s Health Check programme (from start).

Peter Piot writes a blog for the Financial Times (£) on the innovation needed to tackle the epidemic of non-communicable diseases: “It is hardly controversial to acknowledge that the way health systems are structured, both in advanced economies and beyond, is costly and not as efficient as it could be.”

Peter Piot is also quoted by The Times (£) in an article launching the paper’s weeklong ‘Age of Dementia’ Series: “Defeating it is one of the greatest global health challenges of our time. To tackle it, the world and its leaders must come together.”

In an opinion piece for The Indian Express, Vikram Patel focuses on the inequality in India and its wide impact on society: “[Social capital] acts as an invisible glue that binds us all together, both rich and poor, through good times and bad. It is this communion of hearts and minds which promotes individual, and ultimately, societal well-being.”

Vikram is also quoted in a Times of India article that reports more Indians used anti-depressants in 2016 than ever before: “If there is an increase, it is not surprising as more people seek help these days. This doesn’t mean there is an increase in the incidence of depression, but there is an increase in awareness.”

Hannah Kuper is quoted by Jornal do Commercio (Brazil) about a new study led by the School that will investigate the social and economic impacts of Zika in Recife: “We will also listen to pregnant women who have contracted Zika and those who did not have the infection, in order to understand their feelings about the diagnosis, as well as assess the degree of anxiety and uncertainty.”

A study co-authored by the School that found prices of generic cancer drugs have risen sharply in the UK over five years, some even by 1000%, is covered by The Guardian and BBC News.

Martin McKee writes a BMJ blog on the Brexit white paper and the potential effect on UK health services: “The importance of the European Medicines Agency to the UK economy and to our rapid access to medicines has been discussed extensively. However, it gets only the briefest of mentions in the White Paper.”

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