Life and Style

Cough and cold sufferers are being urged to check their medicines after a manufacturing fault may have led to small pieces of plastic contaminating some batches, health officials have said.

S&N remains comparatively dull

The Investment Column

Huntingdon faces US test

Huntingdon Life Sciences, the animal testing group which faces losing its UK licence following a Home Office investigation into animal cruelty, will come under new pressure in the US on Monday.

Cortecs in brittle bone advance

Cortecs International yesterday took a step closer to launching the world's first pill for brittle bone disease. Shares in the drug delivery and diagnostics group jumped 10 per cent to 268.5p after it announced positive results from an eagerly awaited study on its osteoporosis treatment, Macritonin.

Blood clot risk from HRT

Women on hormone replacement therapy face an increased risk of blood clots in the legs and lungs during their first year of treatment, a study reveals today. The risk is highest during the first six months when a woman using HRT is four or five times more likely to suffer clots than a non-user. This falls to a three-fold greater risk after six months. After a year, the risk to HRT users is no more than it is for non-users.

Shire buys US drugs delivery firm for pounds 105m

Shire Pharmaceuticals, the small group floated a year ago, is to increase its size by more than two-thirds following a deal to pay up to $170m (pounds 105m) for Pharmavene, a US drugs delivery company based in Maryland.

The Investment column: Medeva's big gamble should pay off

Shareholders in Medeva have suffered a stomach-churning voyage over the years, but signs that the drugs group has been steering a steadier course have grown much clearer of late. Market concerns have centred on methylphenidate, the generic form of Ritalin, the controversial treatment for unruly children made by Novartis. It is thought to have represented over two-thirds of group profits in the past, but Medeva's 70 per cent market share could be under attack from three competitors by next year, with Johnson Matthey potentially ready to enter the market with a rival product as early as this summer.

And so to bed: Ovaltine heads for disposal

Drugs group plans pounds 3bn sell-off of non-core brands

Why good names mean a good deal

Against the background of agreeing valuations, harmonising management structures, squaring the regulators and sugaring the pill of job losses, the subject of corporate identity might seem the last of anybody's concerns when it comes to mergers and acquisitions.

Doc swaps stethoscope for a pounds 50bn briefcase

City & Business

Ciba-Geigy and Sandoz to merge into pounds 40bn giant

Pharmaceutical fusion: Biggest merger in history will create `Novartis', the world's second-largest drugs group, while bid spotlight turns on Zeneca
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Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor
The ZX Spectrum has been crowd-funded back into play - with some 21st-century tweaks

The ZX Spectrum is back

The ZX Spectrum was the original - and for some players, still the best. David Crookes meets the fans who've kept the games' flames lit
Grace of Monaco film panned: even the screenwriter pours scorn on biopic starring Nicole Kidman

Even the screenwriter pours scorn on Grace of Monaco biopic

The critics had a field day after last year's premiere, but the savaging goes on
Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people used to believe about periods

Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people once had about periods

If one was missed, vomiting blood was seen as a viable alternative
The best work perks: From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)

The quirks of work perks

From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)
Is bridge the latest twee pastime to get hip?

Is bridge becoming hip?

The number of young players has trebled in the past year. Gillian Orr discovers if this old game has new tricks
Long author-lists on research papers are threatening the academic work system

The rise of 'hyperauthorship'

Now that academic papers are written by thousands (yes, thousands) of contributors, it's getting hard to tell workers from shirkers
The rise of Lego Clubs: How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships

The rise of Lego Clubs

How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships
5 best running glasses

On your marks: 5 best running glasses

Whether you’re pounding pavements, parks or hill passes, keep your eyes protected in all weathers
Joe Root: 'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

Joe Root says the England dressing room is a happy place again – and Stokes is the catalyst
Raif Badawi: Wife pleads for fresh EU help as Saudi blogger's health worsens

Please save my husband

As the health of blogger Raif Badawi worsens in prison, his wife urges EU governments to put pressure on the Saudi Arabian royal family to allow her husband to join his family in Canada