When generics go wrong

When generics go wrong

Earlier this year The New York Times highlighted an unexpected but serious risk for the American consumer when a doctor or chemist prescribes or dispenses generic equivalent drugs, rather than the original patented brand. Who does one sue?

This is potentially of concern to South Africans, as generic equivalent medicines are widely used here, where approval and licensing procedures closely follow American precedents. The issue is graphically demonstrated by two case studies quoted in The New York Times

Outspoken Conservationist

Outspoken Conservationist

Outspoken wildlife champion Dr Bool Smuts has been given a stark choice: to stop criticising the Western Cape Government’s approach to predator control or risk losing his job with the provincial Health Department.

The written warning comes after almost two years of heated public exchanges between Smuts and various members of the provincial cabinet, including Premier Helen Zille, over an agreement which permits farmers to use prohibited methods to destroy hundreds of thousands of predators a year.

Smuts has described the deal as “the largest cull of biodiversity ever sanctioned by a government entity in the history of the African continent”

Discovery's Apple a day won't keep the doctor away

Discovery's Apple a day won't keep the doctor away

A Discovery Health member – already alerted by Noseweek to the privacy implications of Discovery’s online HealthID system (nose153) – was further alarmed when he found the following statement in the latest Discovery magazine: “Introducing HealthID. The technology that puts your health records in your doctor’s hands. Once you have given permission, your doctor can use an Apple iPad application to access your medical history... all with a touch of a finger.”

Once you have given your permission, it remains valid until you withdraw it.

Madam hasn't mastered it

Madam hasn't mastered it

High Court Master at the centre of a liquidation scandal.

The liquidation of Asch Professional Services (noses152 and 154) can best be described as financial vandalism, perpetrated by rapacious – if not criminally minded – liquidators.

That much is fairly obvious. Perhaps less obvious but no less disturbing is the discovery that it is the “rot at the top” in the offices of the Master of the High Court in Cape Town that has made it possible.

In Noseweek’s view, the failure of the Master, (Mrs) Zureena Agulhas, to take effective action by now, amounts to complicity.

When the law is an ass

When the law is an ass

The Twitter Joke Trial, as it has become known in the UK, has taken the past two-and-a-half years to play itself out – until Friday 27 July, when the matter finally reached the High Court in London and came before a bench whose stock-in-trade were common sense and a sense of justice.

What has become of Her Majesty’s courts that it takes so long and you have to travel that far to find just a grain of common sense?

How to avoid maintenance

How to avoid maintenance

The South African land redistribution programme has come under intense scrutiny in, of all places, the UK family courts where a financial whiz-kid, Julien Hammerson, and his South African accountant, Pieter Nel,  have been tripped up telling some interesting yarns. 

The yarns all appear to have been aimed at reducing the magnitude of child maintenance that Hammerson might have to pay his former girlfriend.

Double trouble for two-timing Roadlink boss

Double trouble for two-timing Roadlink boss

Mail & Guardian blogger William Saunderson-Meyer has described SA Roadlink as “just possibly the most despised commercial entity in South Africa”. Since its inception six years ago, its buses have been involved, on average, in two serious road accidents a year. To date, at least 64 passengers have died – 10 in three accidents over the past couple of months – and more than 300 others were injured.

Despite having been threatened with closure by ministers, targeted by the cops and sued for millions, noted Saunderson-Meyer, “it’s the intercity bus company from hell that, regardless, just keeps on trucking”.

One has to hand it to the company’s Joburg-based multi-millionaire-boss Thagraj “Allan” Reddy: he has managed to see off – or simply ignore – threatening ministers, the cops and disgruntled passengers.

 

Condition critical

Condition critical

Doctors speak out in bid to revive Eastern Cape’s flatlining health service, writes Chris Bateman

Healthcare – across most disciplines – in the Port Elizabeth Provincial Hospital Complex (PEPHC) has deteriorated so badly in the past six months that short-staffed departmental heads are unapologetically cutting back on vital patient services to focus only on the very sick and the dying.

Wet and wild

Wet and wild

Sue Segar is sitting by the waters of Babylon – in Zambia.

It’s sunset, and here we are sitting on a boat in the middle of the lower Zambezi, fishing and drinking – cans and cans of those wonderful Zambian beers called Mosi – while pods of hippos go plip plop around us and crocodiles slither sneakily off the river bank into the water.

Not a soul to be seen, except me, the bubbly blonde PR and the bloke from the Sunday Times, who has the longest lens I’ve ever seen – each of us with a can in one hand and a rod in the other – and our guide, actually, our angling guide, Moses Tembo, he with the talent for pulling four big fish out of the water, consecutively, just for bait – while we would happily have just put those same four fish in the cool-box and claimed them as our catch of the day.

Obituary: Rita Miljo

Obituary: Rita Miljo

The evening of Friday 27July 2012 saw the end of an era. Conservation legend Rita Miljo died in a horrific blaze which destroyed her flat above a clinic, a house and much of the sanctuary she had built in the bush in Limpopo province.

Miljo was the first person in the world who managed to rehabilitate Chacma baboons and reintroduce them, as troops, into the wild – a feat which until then had been regarded as impossible.

When Johnny met Jenny

When Johnny met Jenny

As multi-millionaire Johnny Feinstein settles into new-found nuptial bliss out at Mouille Point on the Atlantic Seaboard with socialite Jenny Reichlin, he confides to Noseweek that he is battling “a family” of ...
 
When generics go wrong

When generics go wrong

Earlier this year The New York Times highlighted an unexpected but serious risk for the American consumer when a doctor or chemist prescribes or dispenses generic equivalent drugs, rather than the original ...

Outspoken Conservationist

Outspoken Conservationist

Outspoken wildlife champion Dr Bool Smuts has been given a stark choice: to stop criticising the Western Cape Government’s approach to predator control or risk losing his job with the provincial Health Department. The ...

Discovery's Apple a day won't keep the doctor away

Discovery's Apple a day won't keep the doctor away

A Discovery Health member – already alerted by Noseweek to the privacy implications of Discovery’s online HealthID system (nose153) – was further alarmed when he found the following statement in the latest Discovery magazine: “Introducing ...

Madam hasn't mastered it

Madam hasn't mastered it

High Court Master at the centre of a liquidation scandal. The liquidation of Asch Professional Services (noses152 and 154) can best be described as financial vandalism, perpetrated by rapacious – if not criminally minded – ...

When the law is an ass

When the law is an ass

The Twitter Joke Trial, as it has become known in the UK, has taken the past two-and-a-half years to play itself out – until Friday 27 July, when the matter finally reached the ...

How to avoid maintenance

How to avoid maintenance

The South African land redistribution programme has come under intense scrutiny in, of all places, the UK family courts where a financial whiz-kid, Julien Hammerson, and his South African accountant, Pieter Nel,  ...

Double trouble for two-timing Roadlink boss

Double trouble for two-timing Roadlink boss

Mail & Guardian blogger William Saunderson-Meyer has described SA Roadlink as “just possibly the most despised commercial entity in South Africa”. Since its inception six years ago, its buses have been involved, ...

Condition critical

Condition critical

Doctors speak out in bid to revive Eastern Cape’s flatlining health service, writes Chris Bateman Healthcare – across most disciplines – in the Port Elizabeth Provincial Hospital Complex (PEPHC) has deteriorated so badly in the ...

Wet and wild

Wet and wild

Sue Segar is sitting by the waters of Babylon – in Zambia. It’s sunset, and here we are sitting on a boat in the middle of the lower Zambezi, fishing and drinking – cans and ...

Obituary: Rita Miljo

Obituary: Rita Miljo

The evening of Friday 27July 2012 saw the end of an era. Conservation legend Rita Miljo died in a horrific blaze which destroyed her flat above a clinic, a house and much of ...

BOOKS: The scramble for limousines

BOOKS: The scramble for limousines

Len  Ashton reviews Restless Nation (Tafelberg) by William Gumede ...