Wednesday, 30 October 2019

Pensioners are being 'poisoned' by strong medication because clinical trials use younger people

Pensioners are being poisoned by medication because the elderly are excluded from clinical trials, an NHS chief warned yesterday.

Sir Munir Pirmohamed said older patients are often unable to process strong pills yet can be prescribed between ten and 20 different types of medication at once. He said this led to the risk of adverse effects when drugs interact with each other.

‘Most drugs have been tested in younger people, and tested in people without multiple diseases,’ he told a House of Lords committee. ‘When we use a drug at a dose that is licensed, we’re often poisoning the elderly because of the doses we are using.

‘This is largely because as you get older your renal function declines and you also have drug interactions.


Exceptional people: Air force engineer lauded for bright idea at Innovation Symposium

An idea by a Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) engineer to replace just the lights on the F-15SG fighter jet instead of the whole wing tip component not only saved money and downtime for the plane but also made its way into the technical manual for F-15 operators all over the world.

According to the technical manual by Boeing, the aircraft's manufacturer, the entire wing position lighting assembly, which houses the lights that make the aircraft easier to spot, had to be changed.

But Military Expert 3 Ng Yong Yong, 47, realised that just the LED module could be replaced, instead of the entire assembly.

It was more than 99% cheaper to do it this way and the whole process took just three man-hours instead of two days.


Forum: Funeral industry needs fundamental reforms

It should concern the public that the funeral industry was flagged by the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore for poor record-keeping practices (Taxman recovers $175m in GST, penalties from Jan-Sept, Oct 14).

The industry is not ready for Singapore's transition to a smart nation.

The Association of Funeral Directors should help members digitalise their operations and strengthen their internal controls.

Funeral service providers need to exercise more oversight and due diligence to comply with current regulations.

An industrywide code of conduct to raise the level of professionalism appears to be lacking, and practices vary greatly from company to company.

Some operators that claim to provide funeral-related services are merely name-card holders without full-time staff.

As such, the funeral industry needs to see some fundamental reforms.

The Government and the relevant stakeholders should review the industry's operations and identify consumers' key requirements.

The review should also examine the adequacy of current public-health-related laws.

A comprehensive piece of legislation will eliminate non-compliant companies and go a long way towards consolidating the funeral services market and raise its standards.

Chen Jiaxi


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