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Seven-minute cancer treatment; Air pollution more dangerous than drugs or alcohol; Free antidepressants in Uruguay - Morning Medical Update

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The top news stories in primary care today.

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doctor morning desk © Alena Kryazheva - stock.adobe.com

Seven-minute cancer treatment

Britain’s National Health Service has developed a first of its kind cancer treatment injectable that only takes seven minutes. The drug, called atezolizumab, is usually administered intravenously and treatment sessions can take up to an hour. NHS England said they estimate 3,600 patients will switch to the time-saving injection.

Air pollution more dangerous than drugs or alcohol

Dirty air is officially “the greatest external threat to public health” according to a new report from the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago (EPIC). If air pollution were reduced, the average person would add at least 2 years to their lifespan. Residents of Bangladesh, which has the highest pollution levels in the world, would add almost seven years to their lifespan.

Free antidepressants in Uruguay

In response to record-breaking suicide rates, Uruguay plans to offer free antidepressants to its citizens starting next year. The government will also fund addiction treatment centers, cover two-thirds of the psychiatric copay for those who attempted suicide, and increase the maximum age for therapy co-pays. In 2022, there were 22 suicides per 100,000 people. For comparison, there were 14 suicides per 100,000 people in the United States.

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© National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
© National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
© National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
© National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
© National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health