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Novo Nordisk more cautious on timing of U.S. Tresiba launch
30 Oct 2014 at 4:59am
COPENHAGEN (Reuters) - Novo Nordisk is more cautious in its assessment of when it would launch its Tresiba diabetes drug in the United States, a critical growth driver for the future, according to statements it made in its quarterly report. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) refused in February 2013 to approve Tresiba, a long-acting insulin drug, until Novo provided additional tests for potential heart risks. In August, the company said it expected to be able to submit an interim analysis to the FDA during the first half of 2015, leading to a potential launch at the start of 2016. ...
Watch: Early Days of Modern Medicine Shown in Haunting Photos
30 Oct 2014 at 4:31am
Dr. Stanley Burns' archive of medical photography underscores how far modern medicine has come in just over 100 years.
Ebola: Danger in Sierra Leone, progress in Liberia
30 Oct 2014 at 3:28am
FREETOWN, Sierra Leone (AP) ? Liberia is making some progress in containing the Ebola outbreak while Sierra Leone is "in a crisis situation which is going to get worse," the top anti-Ebola officials in the two countries said.
India's universal healthcare rollout to cost $26 billion: official
30 Oct 2014 at 3:26am
By Aditya Kalra NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India's universal health plan that aims to offer guaranteed benefits to a sixth of the world's population will cost an estimated 1.6 trillion rupees ($26 billion) over the next four years, a senior health ministry official said. Under the National Health Assurance Mission, Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government would provide all citizens with free drugs and diagnostic treatment, as well as insurance cover to treat serious ailments. The proposed plan would be rolled out in phases from April 2015 and will cover the entire population by March 2019, C.K. ...
Fujifilm cautious on Avigan profitability, eyes Ebola spread
30 Oct 2014 at 3:17am
By Ayai Tomisawa TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan's Fujifilm Holdings Corp said it was difficult to estimate the profitability of its influenza drug Avigan, which has been earmarked to fight Ebola, given the uncertainty over the spread of virus, a company executive said on Thursday. Fujifilm has said it is expanding the production Avigan anti-influenza. France and Guinea plan to conduct clinical trials of Avigan 200 mg tablets, made by Fujifilm group company Toyama Chemical Co, in Guinea to treat Ebola in mid-November. ...
Bayer says animal health unit large enough
30 Oct 2014 at 3:14am
FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Bayer sought to dampen expectations that any proceeds from a separate listing of its plastics unit would be used for takeover deals to bolster its animal health activities. "We have an animal health business that is not small, with good products in the market," Chief Executive Marijn Dekkers said in a conference call. "We believe we have a good animal health business that can very well operate on its own." Any proceeds from a separate listing of the Bayer MaterialScience division might be used to cut debt. ...
In Guangdong, nervy Chinese ramp up Ebola watch
30 Oct 2014 at 3:00am
By Yimou Lee HONG KONG (Reuters) - Chinese authorities have identified the southern province of Guangdong, home to Asia's biggest African population, as a frontline in their efforts to prevent the deadly Ebola virus from entering mainland China. The province bordering Hong Kong has proven susceptible to infectious diseases in the past, shouldering a large share of SARS and bird flu cases, prompting local authorities to take no chances with Ebola. ...
India's Cipla asks government to revoke Novartis patents on respiratory drug
30 Oct 2014 at 2:28am
MUMBAI (Reuters) - Generic drugmaker Cipla Ltd said on Thursday it had requested the Indian government to revoke five patents held by Swiss firm Novartis AG on respiratory drug Onbrez, to boost its access in the Indian market. Cipla alleged that Novartis has had patents on the drug since 2008/09, but did not make it in India, and instead imported a "negligible quantity" from Switzerland, leading to a shortage of supply. A Novartis spokeswoman in Mumbai did not immediately respond to a request for comment. ...
Bayer says eyeing more deals after bulking up consumer care
30 Oct 2014 at 2:25am
FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Bayer is eyeing further takeover deals after wrapping up the acquisition of Merck & Co. Inc.'s consumer health business, the German drugmaker's chief executive said on Thursday. "We are looking to expand our business in the future through both organic growth and acquisitions," CEO Marijn Dekkers said, according to the script of a speech to be held at a media call on the group's third-quarter results on Thursday. (Reporting by Ludwig Burger; Editing by Kirsti Knolle)
Saudi Arabia finds six new MERS cases as outbreak grows
30 Oct 2014 at 12:57am
RIYADH (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia said late on Wednesday it had detected six new cases of the deadly Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) in 24 hours, the biggest daily jump for months with officials blaming lax hospital procedures. The recent surge in cases, now numbering 32 since the start of October, has been focused in Riyadh and the western city of Taif, but it remains far less extensive than an outbreak in April and May that infected hundreds. MERS causes coughing, fever and sometimes pneumonia, killing around 40 percent of its victims. ...
Liberians fast, pray for three days to break Ebola "curse"
30 Oct 2014 at 12:21am
MONROVIA (Reuters) - Liberians began three days of fasting and prayers on Wednesday to seek salvation from the "curse" of the Ebola epidemic, which has killed 2,705 people and infected 4,665 more in the West African country. The National Christian Ebola Task Force, an organisation formed in September by different Christian denominations, urged Liberians to fast from dawn-to-dusk over the next three days. "Ebola is a virus from the devil. It's killing us because we have turned our back to God," Reverend David G. Benitoe, a representative of the task force, told a news conference. ...
AstraZeneca wins U.S. approval for two-in-one diabetes pill
30 Oct 2014 at 12:14am
LONDON (Reuters) - A new two-in-one diabetes pill from AstraZeneca has been approved by U.S. regulators, the British drugmaker said on Thursday. The green light from the Food and Drug Administration is for Xigduo XR, which combines the company's recently launched diabetes treatment dapagliflozin with an older kind of medicine called metformin. Xigduo XR is the first once-daily tablet combining a so-called SGLT2 inhibitor drug and metformin to win U.S. approval. (Reporting by Ben Hirschler; editing by Jason Neely)
Why do some survive Ebola? Sierra Leone study offers clues
30 Oct 2014 at 12:01am
By Julie Steenhuysen CHICAGO (Reuters) - An analysis of the first Ebola cases in Sierra Leone helps draw a clearer picture of why some people survive the disease, while others do not, including their age and the pace at which the virus replicates within their body. The study published Wednesday is based on data gathered from 106 patients diagnosed with Ebola at the Kenema Government Hospital in Sierra Leone from May 25 to July 18. Some of the data on this group was incinerated because of fears that the nurses' station where the records were kept became contaminated. ...
Maine nurse fights Ebola quarantine, says will not be bullied
29 Oct 2014 at 11:58pm
By Susan Heavey and Roberta Rampton WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Saying she will not be bullied by politicians, a Maine nurse is giving the state an ultimatum: Lift her Ebola quarantine by Thursday or she will disregard the restrictions and go to court. The saga of nurse Kaci Hickox illustrates how U.S. states are struggling to protect against the virus without resorting to overzealous and useless precautions or violating civil rights. Hickox, 33, tested negative for Ebola after returning from treating patients in West Africa. ...
Showdown imminent over nurse's quarantine in Maine
29 Oct 2014 at 11:05pm
FORT KENT, Maine (AP) ? State police plan to monitor the movements and interactions of a nurse who vowed to defy the state's quarantine for health care workers who treat Ebola patients, but troopers cannot take her into custody without a judge's permission.