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Probe exposes flaws behind HealthCare.gov rollout
30 Jul 2014 at 11:40pm
Officials tell The Associated Press that a nonpartisan investigative report concludes that management failures by the Obama administration set the stage for the computer problems that paralyzed the HealthCare.gov website last fall.
$1,000 Sovaldi now hepatitis treatment of choice
29 Jul 2014 at 3:47pm
WASHINGTON (AP) ? The price is sky-high, but so is demand. A new $1,000-per-pill drug has become the treatment of choice for Americans with hepatitis C, a liver-wasting disease that affects more than 3 million.
5 food writers subpoenaed in 'pink slime' lawsuit
29 Jul 2014 at 5:55pm
Several food writers, including a New York Times reporter, have been subpoenaed by a meat producer as part of its $1.2 billion defamation lawsuit against ABC in regards to the network's coverage of a beef product dubbed "pink slime" by critics.
FDA raises concern over drug production process at India's Cadila
31 Jul 2014 at 3:59am
By Abhishek Vishnoi and Zeba Siddiqui MUMBAI (Reuters) - India's Cadila Healthcare Ltd is responding to certain observations the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) made after conducting a "product specific" inspection of its Moraiya manufacturing plant, a company spokeswoman said on Thursday. Sources with direct knowledge told Reuters earlier that the FDA expressed concerns over the manufacturing process of at least one product at Cadila's Moraiya facility in the western Indian state of Gujarat. ANDA is an application drugmakers file with the FDA seeking approval to launch a new generic drug. There is no business impact from the FDA action and Cadila has not received any observations on the standard manufacturing practices at the Moraiya plant, the spokeswoman said.
China seizes 12 tonnes of melamine tainted yoghurt candy
31 Jul 2014 at 3:56am
Police in the southern province of Guangdong made the discovery during a sweep of food producers and have detained the manager of the factory that produced it, the official Xinhua news agency reported.
Taxis, planes and viruses: How deadly Ebola can spread
31 Jul 2014 at 3:54am
For scientists tracking the deadly Ebola virus in West Africa, it's not about complex virology and genotyping, but about how contagious microbes - like humans - use planes, bikes and taxis to spread. So far, authorities have taken no action to limit international travel in the region. The airlines association IATA said on Thursday that the World Health Organisation is not recommending any such restrictions or frontier closures. The West Africa outbreak, which began in Guinea in February, has already spread to Liberia and Sierra Leone.
AstraZeneca raises forecasts after seeing off Pfizer
31 Jul 2014 at 3:51am
By Ben Hirschler LONDON (Reuters) - AstraZeneca raised its sales and earnings forecasts for the year on Thursday, showing resilience after seeing off a $118 billion takeover approach from rival Pfizer two months ago. Second-quarter sales and earnings both beat expectations, helped by several one-off factors, including a product-related payment from Pfizer worth $200 million. Chief Executive Pascal Soriot has fought hard to demonstrate that AstraZeneca has a strong independent future and does not need the kind of mega-merger offered by its bigger U.S. rival, despite the fact some investors favor a deal. He declined to comment on whether Pfizer might return but said he would flag AstraZeneca's progress as a standalone group at an investor day on Nov. 18 - just before a mandatory six-month cooling off period ends and Pfizer can renew its approach.
India's battle against unneeded medical care finds World Bank support
31 Jul 2014 at 3:43am
By Aditya Kalra NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India needs to curtail excessive medical care that leads to patient overspending as more people get health insurance, the World Bank said on Thursday, adding voice to a growing chorus against overtreatment in the country. Practices such as "defensive medicine" and aggressive marketing by hospitals, which cost the United States an estimated $250 billion to $300 billion annually, are emerging as a serious problem in India, the Washington-based institution warned. The comments come as India's new government has vowed to crack down on unethical practices that plague India's $74 billion healthcare industry, where doctors say getting kickbacks for referring patients or passing inflated hospital bills to insurers is widespread. The World Bank warned that as more people are able to afford healthcare and the government ramps up insurance coverage, the risk of excessive care may increase, in notes released from an April meeting with policymakers and insurers.
S. Leone declares health emergency amid Ebola
31 Jul 2014 at 3:43am
FREETOWN, Sierra Leone (AP) ? The president of Sierra Leone declared a public health emergency as the Ebola crisis blamed for nearly 700 deaths deepened across West Africa, vowing to quarantine sick patients at home and conduct house-to-house searches for others who may have been exposed.
Rolls-Royce says 2014 on track, to return to growth next year
31 Jul 2014 at 3:41am
By Sarah Young LONDON (Reuters) - Aero-engine maker Rolls-Royce said it was on track to return to growth next year, after profits fell as expected in the first half due to shrinking defense spending, a strong pound and a struggling marine business. The company kept its guidance for profit excluding foreign exchange movements to be flat this year, reassuring investors who were fearing an unpleasant surprise. Rolls-Royce alarmed markets in February by announcing there would be a pause in profit growth in 2014, ending a decade of continuous rises as the company absorbed the impact of declining U.S. and European military budgets. Rolls-Royce, which has said that this year's profits would be two-thirds weighted to the second half, is scheduled to provide its next update to the market in October.
Novartis apologizes for not disclosing side-effects of leukemia drugs sooner
31 Jul 2014 at 3:31am
The Japanese unit of Novartis AG apologized on Thursday for failing to report to authorities in a timely manner side-effects of its leukemia drugs, in the company's latest scandal in the country. Novartis Pharma KK, the Swiss drugmaker's wholly owned local subsidiary, said Japan's Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare ordered the company to improve its practices after the company did not report side-effects of its Gleevec and Tasigna leukemia treatments until around April. The ministry said serious side-effects must be reported within a month of discovery. Media reports said such side-effects had been known between April 2013 and January 2014.
WHO advises no flight restrictions, low risk from Ebola: IATA
31 Jul 2014 at 3:22am
The World Health Organization is not recommending travel restrictions or border closures due to the Ebola outbreak and there would be a low risk to other passengers if an infected person flew, the airlines association IATA said on Thursday. The International Air Transport Association issued the statement after consultation with the WHO and the U.N. aviation agency ICAO, following the case of a man who died of Ebola after taking a flight from Liberia to Nigeria with a stopover at Lomé. "In the rare event that a person infected with the Ebola virus was unknowingly transported by air, WHO advises that the risks to other passengers are low," IATA said in a statement. It said Ebola is only transmitted when patients are displaying severe symptoms.
Sanofi lifts profit forecast as second quarter beats expectations
31 Jul 2014 at 2:38am
By Natalie Huet PARIS (Reuters) - French drugmaker Sanofi raised its full-year profit forecast on Thursday as it posted stronger than expected quarterly earnings, driven by its rare disease and diabetes businesses and higher sales in emerging markets. Shares in Sanofi, which have underperformed the rest of the European pharmaceutical industry after a string of disappointing results last year, rose as much as 4 percent. Sanofi has sought in recent years to shake off the impact of patent losses on big-selling drugs, such as blood thinners Plavix and Lovenox, by betting on diabetes, rare diseases and over-the-counter treatments. One of these, cholesterol drug alirocumab, could reach the U.S market in the second half of next year, at the same time or ahead of U.S. rival Amgen, Chief Executive Chris Viehbacher told reporters on a conference call.
China diners test McDonald's, Yum says food scare hurts KFC, Pizza Hut sales
31 Jul 2014 at 2:35am
A food safety scare in China is testing local consumers' loyalty to foreign fast-food brands, including McDonald's Corp and Yum Brands Inc, which owns the KFC and Pizza Hut chains. Yum said on Wednesday that the scare, triggered by a TV report earlier this month showing improper meat handling by a supplier, Shanghai Husi Food, caused "significant, negative" damage to sales at KFC and Pizza Hut restaurants over the past 10 days. "If the significant sales impact is sustained, it will have a material effect on full-year earnings per share," Yum said in a regulatory filing. Shares in Yum, which counts China as its No. 1 market, tumbled more than 6 percent in extended trading.
Sierra Leone president declares state of emergency over Ebola
31 Jul 2014 at 2:14am
By Umaru Fofana FREETOWN (Reuters) - Sierra Leone has declared a state of public emergency to tackle the worst ever outbreak of Ebola and will call in security forces to quarantine epicentres of the deadly virus, President Ernest Bai Koroma said in a statement. "I hereby proclaim a State of Public Emergency to enable us take a more robust approach to deal with the Ebola outbreak," he said in a speech late on Wednesday, adding that the measures would initially last between 60 and 90 days.