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Monsanto to reject Bayer bid, seek higher price - sources
24 May 2016 at 10:26am
Monsanto Co , the world's largest seed company, will reject Bayer AG's $62 billion acquisition bid and seek a higher price, two people familiar with the matter said on Tuesday. Monsanto can see the logic of combining with the German drugs and crop chemicals group, and believes a deal could get the necessary antitrust and other regulatory approvals, the people said, leaving the door open for further negotiations. Bayer will now have to decide whether to raise its bid, even as the company faces criticism from some shareholders that its $122-per-share offer is already too high.
Call for gastric surgery to be standard diabetes treatment
24 May 2016 at 9:58am
By Kate Kelland LONDON (Reuters) - People with diabetes should be offered gastric surgery as a standard treatment option which could help control it for years without medication, the world's leading diabetes groups said. A joint statement from a 45-strong group said on Tuesday that bariatric, or metabolic, surgery could have a significant benefit for hundreds of thousands of patients worldwide, which they said represented one of the biggest shifts in diabetes treatment guidelines since the advent of insulin. The new guidelines say surgery to reduce the stomach and induce weight loss should be recommended to treat all diabetes patients whose body mass index (BMI) is 40 or over, regardless of their blood glucose control, as well as those with a BMI of 30 and over whose blood sugar levels are not being controlled by lifestyle changes or medication.
Use obesity surgery more often for diabetes, guidelines urge
24 May 2016 at 9:37am
WASHINGTON (AP) ? International diabetes organizations are calling for weight-loss surgery to become a more routine treatment option for diabetes, even for some patients who are only mildly obese.
Anthem CEO expects U.S. regulatory decision in July
24 May 2016 at 9:02am
By Caroline Humer NEW YORK (Reuters) - Anthem Inc Chief Executive Officer Joseph Swedish said on Tuesday the health insurer was pushing for approval from antitrust regulators reviewing its $51 billion acquisition of Cigna Corp and expects to hear a decision in July. Anthem's bid for Cigna followed closely after Aetna Inc's proposed $34 billion purchase of Humana Inc last July. Swedish said antitrust regulators have asked many questions about how it and Cigna manage healthcare benefits for large employers, but that the overall review was moving forward as expected.
In first, Russia, China emergency medical teams get global certificate
24 May 2016 at 8:57am
Three Russian and Chinese emergency medical teams have become the first certified by the World Health Organization to respond to disasters and disease outbreaks globally, the UN health agency said Tuesday. "This means that, when a disaster strikes and an affected country requests help, we can quickly deploy medical teams that we know meet our high standards," WHO chief Margaret Chan said in the statement. The certification programme was launched last year in a bid to ensure that medical teams sent abroad to respond to an emergency have well-trained staff and bring along the proper medicine and equipment to respond to the situation.
Confessions Of An Ex-Smoker Who Still Dreams About Cigarettes
24 May 2016 at 8:28am
For me, it was always cigarettes. We had no need for words. No one ever understood me more or judged me less. What confidant had ever been so there for me, or had so many dimensions? The first-thing-in-the-morning cigarette. The after-meal cigarette. The driving-in-the-car cigarette (ah, so good). The slow/stressful/awesome/plain old...
Just 5% of Terminally Ill Cancer Patients Fully Understand Prognosis, Study F...
24 May 2016 at 8:19am
Small study looked at cancer patients' understanding of their disease.
Study suggests mothers of young children should cut down on screen time
24 May 2016 at 7:55am
Australian researchers are encouraging mothers of young children to avoid all forms of screen-based activity (tablets, smartphones, etc.) in order to reduce their anxiety levels, which can already be high due to busy days and broken nights. Researchers from Deakin University in Australia studied 528 Australian mothers with an average age of 37 and with children aged between two and five years old. The results showed a clear link between long periods of leisure time spent on a computer or handheld device and higher anxiety levels.
1 of 3 deaths in EU avoidable if optimal care was available
24 May 2016 at 7:45am
BRUSSELS (AP) ? The European Union's statistical agency says that one out of three deaths in the 28-nation bloc would be avoidable if optimal health care was available.
GSK lung drug succeeds in big UK study, after earlier miss
24 May 2016 at 5:48am
By Ben Hirschler LONDON (Reuters) - GlaxoSmithKline's new inhaled medicine Breo proved significantly better than standard care in a large British study that tested it in everyday use, providing a fillip for the product after the failure of another big trial in 2015. GSK said on Tuesday the study, which tested Breo in day-to-day practice across the town of Salford, showed it was superior in reducing attacks of serious breathing difficulties in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). GSK said beating optimal standard care was a tough challenge though Deutsche Bank analyst Richard Parkes said the benefit was "modest and of uncertain value given complexities in the trial design".
Linking us together through our resting brains
24 May 2016 at 5:45am
We've all heard weird factoids about brains. For example, dolphins sleep one hemisphere at a time. But, did you know that your brain has a resting state? This is somewhat of a contradictory label since it's hard to define rest when it comes to the human brain. This was noted all the way back in ~60 AD when the Roman stoic philosopher, Seneca,...
Drop in migrant deaths in Mediterranean is hopeful sign, NGO says
24 May 2016 at 5:09am
By Stephanie Nebehay GENEVA (Reuters) - Fewer migrants are dying as they try to cross the Mediterranean to Europe, which may reflect better management of refugee flows and swifter rescue operations, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said on Tuesday. The death toll included 13 in May, none of them on the eastern Mediterranean route between Turkey and Greece, where arrivals have slowed to a trickle since the European Union struck an agreement with Turkey to get it to curb the flow.
Up against strict laws, Texas women learn do-it-yourself abortions
24 May 2016 at 4:10am
Susanna was young, single, broke and pregnant in southern Texas where, thanks to the state's strict laws, her chances of getting a surgical abortion at a clinic were slim to none. With the help of a friend, some online instructions and quick dash across the Mexican border for some pills, she addressed the issue of unwanted pregnancy in a state where women are finding abortion services too expensive and too far away. Restrictive laws took hold in Texas in 2013, forcing so many clinic closings that fewer than 20 remain to serve 5.4 million women of reproductive age.
Abortion, taboo in Jamaica, makes its way into island dancehalls
24 May 2016 at 4:01am
By Rebekah Kebede KINGSTON, Jamaica (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Abortion might seem an unlikely topic at a party but in Jamaica, it can be the subject of lyrics that get people dancing and singing along. "If yuh never dash up yuh belly, hold up your hands," a disc jockey might shout out in Patois, meaning "If you've never had an abortion, raise your hands." Abortions are known in Patois with the euphemism "dash weh belly" or dashing away one's belly. Women who have had them are shamed and shunned in much of the island nation's dancehall music.
UCB faces U.S. patent challenge for epilepsy drug
24 May 2016 at 3:37am
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) is to review UCB's patent for its epilepsy drug Vimpat, the latest round in a legal battle between the Belgian pharmaceutical company and generic rivals. U.S. pharmaceuticals group Argentum Pharmaceuticals, which challenged UCB's patent, said in a statement late on Monday that the PTO had granted approval for a review of the sole remaining U.S. patent of UCB's Vimpat drug, due to expire in March 2022. The PTO had concluded that Argentum had established a "reasonable likelihood that it would prevail" in showing that certain claims made by UCB in the patent are "unpatentable", Argentum said, adding a decision was likely within a year.