Thursday, 24. July 2014
20. 11. 12. - 14:00
Cancer experts have warned of a "frightening" crisis as pharmaceutical companies abandon production of one of the most widely used chemotherapy drugs because it is not profitable enough.
Fluorouracil - also known as 5-FU - is one of the most frequently used components in chemo combinations used to treat bowel and breast cancer in the UK and worldwide.
But cancer specialists in Germany have warned that the drug has become increasingly difficult to obtain as producers turn to newer, more profitable treatments.
Out of six companies that once supplied 5-FU to German cancer clinics, only one is still doing so.
"The situation is starting to frighten us," said Thorsten Hoppe-Tichy, head of the pharmacy at Heidelberg university hospital.
Pharmaceutical companies say the drug has become too cheap for them to make a profit on.
One German-based former producer Medac admitted: "The production of 5-FU is not profitable for us."
Cancer specialist Dr Wolf-Dieter Ludwig - chairman of the drugs section of the German Medical Association - said: "It is only a question of time until we run into serious problems."
German Hiker Yodels For Help After Getting Trapped In Cattle Grid
A portly hiker dressed in traditional Lederhosen was rescued after he yodeled for help after getting stuck for three hours in a cattle grid.
Austrian Wine Grower Sets New Record For Maturing Grapes
An award-winning Austrian winegrower is believed to have set a new record after leaving harvested grapes for an incredible nine months before fermenting them to create an ultra-sweet white and red wine.
Austrian Castle Owner Shocked By Airplane Wheel In Duck Pond
An Austrian castle owner got a shock after discovering this massive aircraft wheel had landed in his duck pond.
Glock Receives Austrian Award At Birthday Party
Austrian gun maker Gaston Glock has celebrated his 85th birthday with a huge ceremony in which the charitable work of himself and his wife Kathrin was honoured with a top Austrian award, and confirmation that this year two streets and a business park are to be named after him.
Sausage Surprise As Giant Wurst Is Pinched
Austrian police are hunting crooks who broke open a market stall and stole a 1.5 metre sausage worth over 2,000 EUR in the picture postcard village of St Michael in the region of Lungau.
Multi Coloured UFOs In Formation Over Austria
Austrian officials say they are baffled to explain a UFO sighting in which dozens of people reported seeing between 50 and 100 objects flying in formation.
Priests Furious After Porn Films Shot In Local Parish Church
A furious Austrian Catholic priest has complained to police after discovering a local woman had apparently been using his church as a studio to make porn films.
Two metre snake sends woman motorist fleeing
An Austrian motorist got a shock after noticing something hanging down from under her car – and realising it was a huge two metre snake that had ended up curled around the engine.
What is on at Haydn Kino this week? (10 July - 16 July)
The following films are on at the English language cinema Haydn Kino on Mariahilfestrasse between 10 July and 16 July...
Beekeeping is booming in Vienna
People living in Vienna have got a new hobby - beekeeping.
The most popular stories –
last 7 days
|Vintage Luxury Car Prepared For Prince Philip Rusts In Romanian Car Park|
|Michael Schumacher Family In Talks With Micro Chip Docs|
|Glock Receives Austrian Award At Birthday Party|
|Docs Get Rich Passing Cosmetic Breast Operations Off As Corrective Surgery|
|Austrian Castle Owner Shocked By Airplane Wheel In Duck Pond|
Why suffer in silence. Let off steam by letting our readers share your troubles. File your complaints about anything and everything here.
Our ombudsman David Rogers will try and help solve some of the problems from lazy civil servants through to incompetent companies – and at the very least the worst transgressors will end up in our weekly special report.