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Strains on healthcare

Daily digestFrom NHS savings to swine flu vaccination fears, strains on Britain’s healthcare system continue to grow, writes Isobel Smith

With pressure on the NHS to make extensive savings increasing, experts have questioned government claims that the health provider is making good progress, the BBC reports. The NHS in England has been told to find £20 billion in savings by 2015.  

But with more and more healthcare worries being brought to light, the NHS might not be able to make those savings as quickly as it would like. The Independent reports that the swine flu vaccine has been linked to a sudden increase in cases of the sleeping disorder narcolepsy among schoolchildren in Finland.

And the study has also prompted the Health Protection Agency to investigate whether there is a link between the vaccine and cases of the sleeping disorder in children in England.

But that's not the only health link in today's nationals, as the Telegraph reports that just one drink of alcohol a day can increase a woman's risk of developing breast cancer by 5 per cent. The researchers from Germany also suggested that women who have a family history of breast cancer should abstain from drinking altogether.

While women are warded off alcohol, men who have suffered a heart attack are being encouraged in the opposite direction as the Independent reports that two alcoholic drinks a day over a prolonged period gives heart attack suffers a 42 per cent lower risk of dying from heart disease

Finally from the nationals, the Telegraph reports that discrimination in care homes means elderly patients are being denied access to basic NHS services that are available to everyone.

In pharmacy news, Pfizer has reported experiencing stock issues with the Ketalar 10mg/ ml in 20ml vial. The manufacturer has approximately one week's worth of supply remaining and anticipates that supply will resume by the third week of April. The 50mg/ml in 10m vial and the 100mg/ml in 10ml vial are not affected by this stock issue.

Meanwhile, Alliance Boots has opened its 200th store in Thailand, in central Bangkok. The company now employs 1,400 people across Thailand, including more than 330 pharmacists. Executive chairman Stefano Pessina said: "This opening is an excellent illustration of our ambition to make Boots a global brand and Alliance Boots a significant player in Asia."

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