Business briefs: AZ, GSK, plus cancer-screening research

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AstraZeneca's CFO and executive director, Simon Lowth, is leaving, the company announced Monday. Lowth is trading his C-Suite title for one at the oil and gas company BG Group. His last day will be in October, after the company releases its third-quarter results. Berenberg analyst Alistair Campbell told Bloomberg that although the timing was unexpected, Lowth's decision to leave was not a surprise, since he didn't get the CEO job when David Brennan was booted last fall. The jump to the oil-and-gas business is a homecoming of sorts: The Wall Street Journal notes Lowth was the director strategy for Scottish Power PLC from 2003 to 2007.

China is reportedly holding four GlaxoSmithKline employees based on allegations of economic crimes, reports Bloomberg, which says China's government asserts the employees' alleged crimes total around $489 million and include items such as questionable meeting expenses and sexual favors. Bloomberg says the allegations are for purported activities dating to 2007 and are being looked into by the Public Security Ministry. The executives are Chinese citizens.

Last month's prostate cancer news was that patients were receiving unnecessary treatments. July's is that patients and doctors are not discussing the advantages or disadvantages of getting screened in the first place. The study, published in the August issue of Annals of Family Medicine, found that around two-thirds of the men polled in 2010 said doctors had not run through their screening or non-screening options. In other words—shared-decision making wasn't happening. Over 27% said doctors ran through one or two points, which the study called partial shared decision-making, and 8% said they had a full talk about options, or a full shared decision-making process.
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