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Aetna to buy Humana as health insurer landscape shifts
3 Jul 2015 at 12:07pm
Aetna aims to spend about $35 billion to buy rival Humana and become the latest health insurer bulking up on government business as the industry adjusts to the federal health care overhaul.
Colombian man dies by euthanasia with government backing
3 Jul 2015 at 12:00pm
BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) ? A 79-year old man suffering from incurable throat cancer has become the first Colombian to die by euthanasia with the full backing of the government.
Washington woman who died of measles had been vaccinated
3 Jul 2015 at 11:51am
SEATTLE (AP) ? A local health official says a woman killed by measles in Washington state had been vaccinated against the disease as a child but succumbed because she had a compromised immune system.
Change in LGBT health sparked 50 years ago in Philadelphia
3 Jul 2015 at 11:24am
By Andrew M. Seaman (Reuters Health) - On July 4, 1965, with protest signs raised above their heads, 40 marchers outside Philadelphia's Independence Hall showed many people their first glimpse of lesbian, gay and bisexual Americans. The protesters and their leaders, Frank Kameny and Barbara Gittings, were setting in motion the decision by the American Psychiatric Association (APA) to remove homosexuality as a mental illness less than a decade later. The events of 50 years ago are the focus of the National LGBT 50th Anniversary Celebration being held this weekend throughout Philadelphia.
Overweight U.S. women need better pre-pregnancy counseling: study
3 Jul 2015 at 11:03am
By Janice Neumann (Reuters Health) - Better care and counseling is needed to teach overweight women hoping to become pregnant about the health dangers of their excess weight and the importance of maintaining a healthy diet, a new U.S. study concludes. ?Overweight women trying to conceive largely misperceive their weight, which is concerning because they may not try to adopt healthier behaviors,? said study author Mahbubur Rahman of the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) in Galveston. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2006 recommended improved pre-conception care, including screening for obesity and education about its risks, they add.
Screening teens for obesity may not help them lose weight
3 Jul 2015 at 11:01am
By Madeline Kennedy (Reuters Health) - Weight screenings in high school were not enough to get overweight and obese kids on track toward a healthier weight, a recent U.S. study found. With obesity rates soaring among Arkansas teenagers, the state implemented a screening program in schools in 2003, with alerts sent to parents of kids with weight problems. While the screening and reporting measures in Arkansas have been both popular and controversial, there is no evidence to support their use, said study author Kevin Gee of the University of California, Davis School of Education, in email to Reuters Health.
Row breaks out over Greek medicine supplies
3 Jul 2015 at 10:42am
Wholesalers trading medicines across European borders have criticized a suggestion by manufacturers that Greek exports should be restricted to prevent shortages of life-saving drugs in the country. The European Association of Euro Pharmaceutical Companies (EAEPC), representing firms involved in this so-called parallel trade, said drugmakers were wrong to say supplies could be in jeopardy if Europe did not take such emergency action. "The wealthy pharmaceutical industry is exploiting the potential advent of another crisis in Greece for their own commercial purposes in portraying a medicines shortage," EAEPC wrote in a letter to EU Health Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis.
How To Make Coffee Even Healthier
3 Jul 2015 at 9:48am
We've all heard that phrase, "It's not what you said, but how you said it."Well, that's sort of what it's like with coffee, because we're hearing that it's not so much the coffee that creates problems but, rather, the way it's brewed... and stored... and ground.As a health coach, I do have my concerns about negative health impacts, but I also...
Exclusive: Hospira wins French biosimilar drug tender at 45 percent discount
3 Jul 2015 at 9:41am
By Matthias Blamont PARIS (Reuters) - A major French hospital group has chosen a cheap copycat version of a top-selling drug for treating its patients with rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn's disease and psoriasis in a victory for a new type of medicine known as biosimilars. In a document seen by Reuters, the central purchasing agency for the Assistance Publique - Hôpitaux de Paris (AP-HP) said on Friday it had decided to buy the biosimilar version of infliximab from Hospira , after the company offered a discount of some 45 percent to branded Remicade. AP-HP caters for nearly a quarter of the country's population and the tender decision will allow the copycat to make significant inroads in the French market. Hospira, which is being acquired by Pfizer , sells its drug under the brand name Inflectra.
U.N. calls on Israel, Palestinians to prosecute Gaza war crimes
3 Jul 2015 at 9:35am
By Stephanie Nebehay GENEVA (Reuters) - The United Nations called on Israel and the Palestinians on Friday to prosecute alleged war crimes committed in the 2014 Gaza war and to cooperate with the International Criminal Court's preliminary investigation. The 47-member U.N. Human Rights Council adopted a resolution, presented by Muslim states, by a vote of 41 to one, with five abstentions. Israel's closest ally, the United States, was the only country to vote against.
Aetna to buy Humana for $37 billion in largest insurance deal
3 Jul 2015 at 9:32am
Health insurer Aetna Inc on Friday said it would buy smaller rival Humana Inc for about $37 billion in cash and stock, in the largest ever deal in the insurance industry. The combination will push Aetna close to Anthem Inc's No.2 insurer spot by membership, and would nearly triple Aetna's Medicare Advantage business. The deal will face antitrust scrutiny but if it goes through it would dwarf the previous largest insurance deal announced just this week, where Swiss property and casualty giant ACE Ltd announced it was buying Chubb Corp for $28 billion.
Liberia works to contain Ebola, find source of new cases
3 Jul 2015 at 8:56am
MONROVIA, Liberia (AP) ? Liberia is working hard to contain Ebola and find the source of the latest infections of the deadly virus recorded this week.
Scientists convinced European heat waves boosted by climate change
3 Jul 2015 at 8:14am
By Laurie Goering LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - As Germany and Spain sweated and London sweltered through its hottest July day on record this week, scientists said it is "virtually certain" that climate change is increasing the likelihood of such heat waves in Europe. In real-time data analysis released on Friday, a team of international climate scientists from universities, meteorological services and research organizations said the kind of heat waves hitting Europe this week ? defined as three-day periods of excessive heat ? are becoming much more frequent in the region. In De Bilt in the Netherlands, for example, a heat wave like the one forecast for the next few days would have been a roughly 1-in-30-years event in the 1900s, according to the scientists.
Tests rule out MERS in Czech tour guide
3 Jul 2015 at 8:11am
Tests have ruled out the potentially fatal MERS virus in a Czech tour guide hospitalised in Prague, the health minister said Friday. "Based on laboratory tests on the patient... I can definitely confirm the disease was not MERS," Svatopluk Nemecek told reporters without elaborating. The 33-year-old tour guide spent a week in May in South Korea, where the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) has killed 33 people out of the 184 diagnosed since the latest outbreak in late May.
Kenya port workers end strike, warn of further protests
3 Jul 2015 at 4:52am
By Joseph Akwiri MOMBASA (Reuters) - Striking workers at East Africa?s biggest port in Kenya's coastal city of Mombasa returned to work on Friday after being warned they could lose their jobs, but said protests over higher health care costs could resume next week. The work stoppage has disrupted business at the biggest in the region, which handles imports such as fuel for Uganda, Burundi, Rwanda, South Sudan, eastern Democratic Republic of Congo and Somalia but the port's management has said normal services would resume by Monday. Workers protesting higher deductions for the government's national health insurance scheme refused to work on Wednesday and Thursday, paralysing operations at the port and prompting port management to advertise their positions in local media.