581 research outputs found

    Initiatives to increase the prescribing of low cost generics : the case of Scotland in the international context

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    Getting the most out of the pharmaceutical budget is critical across all countries as the financial pressures on healthcare systems intensify. In this paper, we review global practice on encouraging the use of low costs generics versus branded pharmaceuticals, including patented products in the same class where care is not compromised across countries to guide future practice. Our review ranges widely across European countries as well as other high income countries, including Abu Dhabi, Japan and the USA, and other low and middle income Countries. There is a particular focus on Scotland, building on previous publications. We conclude based on multiple publications, including several case studies, that achieving efficiency in pharmaceutical spending is possible in virtually all environments, although there are examples of technologies where generic or therapeutic substitution should not be encouraged. However, there is no magic bullet to achieving full and appropriate use of generics. Countries have to be prepared to use a number of different education, economic, engineering and enforcement methods including prescribing restrictions to achieve success. Similarly, different approaches to achieve low prices for good quality generics given the considerable price differences that currently exist. The combination of low prices and increased use of generics will help achieve or attain universal healthcare, benefiting all key stakeholder groups. We conclude with a call for greater cross-country learning in pursuit of what should be a common goal for all health systems

    New-Onset Atrial Fibrillation After PCI or CABG for Left Main Disease: The EXCEL Trial

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    Background: There is limited information on the incidence and prognostic impact of new-onset atrial fibrillation (NOAF) following percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) and coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) for left main coronary artery disease (LMCAD). Objectives: This study sought to determine the incidence of NOAF following PCI and CABG for LMCAD and its effect on 3-year cardiovascular outcomes. Methods: In the EXCEL (Evaluation of XIENCE Versus Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery for Effectiveness of Left Main Revascularization) trial, 1,905 patients with LMCAD and low or intermediate SYNTAX scores were randomized to PCI with everolimus-eluting stents versus CABG. Outcomes were analyzed according to the development of NOAF during the initial hospitalization following revascularization. Results: Among 1,812 patients without atrial fibrillation on presentation, NOAF developed at a mean of 2.7 ¬Ī 2.5 days after revascularization in 162 patients (8.9%), including 161 of 893 (18.0%) CABG-treated patients and 1 of 919 (0.1%) PCI-treated patients (p < 0.0001). Older age, greater body mass index, and reduced left ventricular ejection fraction were independent predictors of NOAF in patients undergoing CABG. Patients with versus without NOAF had a significantly longer duration of hospitalization, were more likely to be discharged on anticoagulant therapy, and had an increased 30-day rate of Thrombolysis In Myocardial Infarction major or minor bleeding (14.2% vs. 5.5%; p < 0.0001). By multivariable analysis, NOAF after CABG was an independent predictor of 3-year stroke (6.6% vs. 2.4%; adjusted hazard ratio [HR]: 4.19; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.74 to 10.11; p = 0.001), death (11.4% vs. 4.3%; adjusted HR: 3.02; 95% CI: 1.60 to 5.70; p = 0.0006), and the primary composite endpoint of death, MI, or stroke (22.6% vs. 12.8%; adjusted HR: 2.13; 95% CI: 1.39 to 3.25; p = 0.0004). Conclusions: In patients with LMCAD undergoing revascularization in the EXCEL trial, NOAF was common after CABG but extremely rare after PCI. The development of NOAF was strongly associated with subsequent death and stroke in CABG-treated patients. Further studies are warranted to determine whether prophylactic strategies to prevent or treat atrial fibrillation may improve prognosis in patients with LMCAD who are undergoing CABG. (Evaluation of XIENCE Versus Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery for Effectiveness of Left Main Revascularizatio

    The NANOGrav 11-year Data Set: High-precision Timing of 45 Millisecond Pulsars

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    We present high-precision timing data over time spans of up to 11 years for 45 millisecond pulsars observed as part of the North American Nanohertz Observatory for Gravitational Waves (NANOGrav) project, aimed at detecting and characterizing low-frequency gravitational waves. The pulsars were observed with the Arecibo Observatory and/or the Green Bank Telescope at frequencies ranging from 327 MHz to 2.3 GHz. Most pulsars were observed with approximately monthly cadence, and six high-timing-precision pulsars were observed weekly. All were observed at widely separated frequencies at each observing epoch in order to fit for time-variable dispersion delays. We describe our methods for data processing, time-of-arrival (TOA) calculation, and the implementation of a new, automated method for removing outlier TOAs. We fit a timing model for each pulsar that includes spin, astrometric, and (for binary pulsars) orbital parameters; time-variable dispersion delays; and parameters that quantify pulse-profile evolution with frequency. The timing solutions provide three new parallax measurements, two new Shapiro delay measurements, and two new measurements of significant orbital-period variations. We fit models that characterize sources of noise for each pulsar. We find that 11 pulsars show significant red noise, with generally smaller spectral indices than typically measured for non-recycled pulsars, possibly suggesting a different origin. A companion paper uses these data to constrain the strength of the gravitational-wave background

    Ongoing strategies to improve the management of upper respiratory tract infections and reduce inappropriate antibiotic use particularly among lower and middle-income countries: findings and implications for the future

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    Introduction: Antibiotics are indispensable to maintaining human health; however, their overuse has resulted in resistant organisms, increasing morbidity, mortality and costs. Increasing antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a major public health threat, resulting in multiple campaigns across countries to improve appropriate antimicrobial use. This includes addressing the overuse of antimicrobials for self-limiting infections, such as upper respiratory tract infections (URTIs), particularly in lower- and middle-income countries (LMICs) where there is the greatest inappropriate use and where antibiotic utilization has increased the most in recent years. Consequently, there is a need to document current practices and successful initiatives in LMICs to improve future antimicrobial use. Methodology: Documentation of current epidemiology and management of URTIs, particularly in LMICs, as well as campaigns to improve future antimicrobial use and their influence where known. Results: Much concern remains regarding the prescribing and dispensing of antibiotics for URTIs among LMICs. This includes considerable self-purchasing, up to 100% of pharmacies in some LMICs. However, multiple activities are now ongoing to improve future use. These incorporate educational initiatives among all key stakeholder groups, as well as legislation and other activities to reduce self-purchasing as part of National Action Plans (NAPs). Further activities are still needed however. These include increased physician and pharmacist education, starting in medical and pharmacy schools; greater monitoring of prescribing and dispensing practices, including the development of pertinent quality indicators; and targeted patient information and health education campaigns. It is recognized that such activities are more challenging in LMICs given more limited resources and a lack of healthcare professionals. Conclusion: Initiatives will grow across LMICs to reduce inappropriate prescribing and dispensing of antimicrobials for URTIs as part of NAPs and other activities, and these will be monitored

    Response to the Novel Corona Virus (COVID-19) Pandemic Across Africa: Successes, Challenges, and Implications for the Future

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    Background: The COVID-19 pandemic has already claimed considerable lives. There are major concerns in Africa due to existing high prevalence rates for both infectious and non-infectious diseases and limited resources in terms of personnel, beds and equipment. Alongside this, concerns that lockdown and other measures will have on prevention and management of other infectious diseases and non-communicable diseases (NCDs). NCDs are an increasing issue with rising morbidity and mortality rates. The World Health Organization (WHO) warns that a lack of nets and treatment could result in up to 18 million additional cases of malaria and up to 30,000 additional deaths in sub-Saharan Africa. Objective: Document current prevalence and mortality rates from COVID-19 alongside economic and other measures to reduce its spread and impact across Africa. In addition, suggested ways forward among all key stakeholder groups. Our Approach: Contextualise the findings from a wide range of publications including internet-based publications coupled with input from senior-level personnel. Ongoing Activities: Prevalence and mortality rates are currently lower in Africa than among several Western countries and the USA. This could be due to a number of factors including early instigation of lockdown and border closures, the younger age of the population, lack of robust reporting systems and as yet unidentified genetic and other factors. Innovation is accelerating to address concerns with available equipment. There are ongoing steps to address the level of misinformation and its consequences including fines. There are also ongoing initiatives across Africa to start addressing the unintended consequences of COVID-19 activities including lockdown measures and their impact on NCDs including the likely rise in mental health disorders, exacerbated by increasing stigma associated with COVID-19. Strategies include extending prescription lengths, telemedicine and encouraging vaccination. However, these need to be accelerated to prevent increased morbidity and mortality. Conclusion: There are multiple activities across Africa to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and address misinformation, which can have catastrophic consequences, assisted by the WHO and others, which appear to be working in a number of countries. Research is ongoing to clarify the unintended consequences given ongoing concerns to guide future activities. Countries are learning from each other

    The ABC130 barrel module prototyping programme for the ATLAS strip tracker

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    For the Phase-II Upgrade of the ATLAS Detector, its Inner Detector, consisting of silicon pixel, silicon strip and transition radiation sub-detectors, will be replaced with an all new 100 % silicon tracker, composed of a pixel tracker at inner radii and a strip tracker at outer radii. The future ATLAS strip tracker will include 11,000 silicon sensor modules in the central region (barrel) and 7,000 modules in the forward region (end-caps), which are foreseen to be constructed over a period of 3.5 years. The construction of each module consists of a series of assembly and quality control steps, which were engineered to be identical for all production sites. In order to develop the tooling and procedures for assembly and testing of these modules, two series of major prototyping programs were conducted: an early program using readout chips designed using a 250 nm fabrication process (ABCN-25) and a subsequent program using a follow-up chip set made using 130 nm processing (ABC130 and HCC130 chips). This second generation of readout chips was used for an extensive prototyping program that produced around 100 barrel-type modules and contributed significantly to the development of the final module layout. This paper gives an overview of the components used in ABC130 barrel modules, their assembly procedure and findings resulting from their tests.Comment: 82 pages, 66 figure

    Differential cross section measurements for the production of a W boson in association with jets in proton‚Äďproton collisions at ‚ąös = 7 TeV

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    Measurements are reported of differential cross sections for the production of a W boson, which decays into a muon and a neutrino, in association with jets, as a function of several variables, including the transverse momenta (pT) and pseudorapidities of the four leading jets, the scalar sum of jet transverse momenta (HT), and the difference in azimuthal angle between the directions of each jet and the muon. The data sample of pp collisions at a centre-of-mass energy of 7 TeV was collected with the CMS detector at the LHC and corresponds to an integrated luminosity of 5.0 fb[superscript ‚ąí1]. The measured cross sections are compared to predictions from Monte Carlo generators, MadGraph + pythia and sherpa, and to next-to-leading-order calculations from BlackHat + sherpa. The differential cross sections are found to be in agreement with the predictions, apart from the pT distributions of the leading jets at high pT values, the distributions of the HT at high-HT and low jet multiplicity, and the distribution of the difference in azimuthal angle between the leading jet and the muon at low values.United States. Dept. of EnergyNational Science Foundation (U.S.)Alfred P. Sloan Foundatio

    Juxtaposing BTE and ATE ‚Äď on the role of the European insurance industry in funding civil litigation