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Senegal monitors contacts of 1st Ebola patient
1 Sep 2014 at 10:27am
DAKAR, Senegal (AP) ? Senegalese authorities on Monday were monitoring everyone who was in contact with a student infected with Ebola who crossed into the country, and who has lost three family members to the disease.
Human Trial for Ebola Vaccine to Begin This Week
1 Sep 2014 at 10:13am
GlaxoSmithKline Makes Vaccine Stockpiles
Parents of seriously ill British boy resist extradition from Spain
1 Sep 2014 at 10:06am
The British parents who sparked a major manhunt by taking their seriously ill son out of hospital last week have asked a Spanish court not to extradite them to the United Kingdom, a judicial source said on Monday. Brett and Naghemeh King are wanted in the United Kingdom after removing their son Ashya, 5, who is suffering from a brain tumour, from Southampton General Hospital in southern England on Thursday, raising fears his life could be at risk. "They have said they don't want to be handed over to the British authorities," the source told Reuters. A panel of three judges will now have to decide whether to extradite the parents to the United Kingdom from Madrid, a process which could take weeks, said the source.
Pricing is key for new heart drugs challenging cheap generics
1 Sep 2014 at 9:57am
While new treatments on show in Barcelona are certainly moving cardiovascular medicine forward after a series of setbacks in recent years, cardiologists say that cost will be key in determining how widely they are used. ?We are entering a new era of treatment and, of course, it will cost a lot of money, which is a problem,? said Michel Bertrand, emeritus professor at the University of Lille and a past president of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC). Hopes have spiked for a heart failure drug from Novartis and an innovative class of injectable anti-cholesterol agents known as PCSK9 inhibitors after the release of data at the ESC's annual meeting indicated that they can save more lives than standard therapies. Novartis's new heart failure drug LCZ696, for example, was tested in a pivotal trial against enalapril, a generic drug in the so-called ACE inhibitor class, a month's supply of which can be bought at Wal-Mart stores for only $4.
Poor response to Ebola causing needless deaths: World Bank head
1 Sep 2014 at 9:47am
By Daniel Flynn and Tim Cocks DAKAR/LAGOS (Reuters) - The world's "disastrously inadequate response" to West Africa's Ebola outbreak means many people are dying who could easily be saved, the head of the World Bank said on Monday, as Nigeria confirmed another case of the highly contagious virus. In a newspaper editorial, World Bank President Jim Yong Kim said Western healthcare facilities would easily be able to contain the disease, and he urged wealthy nations to share knowledge and resources to help African countries tackle it. ...
Parents of ill UK boy fight extradition from Spain
1 Sep 2014 at 8:32am
LONDON (AP) ? The parents of a child suffering from a severe brain tumor signaled Monday they would defy efforts to force them to return to Britain, days after their family fled to seek a novel kind of radiation treatment for the 5-year-old boy.
Drama of mother starving baby grips Venice fest
1 Sep 2014 at 8:13am
By Michael Roddy VENICE (Reuters) - A film portraying New York City mother who starves her baby because she thinks he is saint-like and food contains impurities has caused a stir at the Venice Film Festival for its switch from light romance to painful psychosis. "Hungry Hearts", by Italian director Saverio Costanzo, is one of two Italian films shown so far this week that are among 20 films competing for the top Golden Lion award at the world's oldest film festival. It stars Adam Driver, who will be in the next "Star Wars" series, and Italian actress Alba Rohrwacher as his wife. The film, which was shot for a budget of under 1 million euros ($1.3 million), starts off in rom-com style when Driver's character Jude, who works as an engineer, and Rohrwacher's Mina, who works at the Italian embassy, are both accidentally locked in the toilet of a Chinese restaurant.
Ebola health workers should get danger money, expert says
1 Sep 2014 at 8:08am
By Misha Hussain DAKAR (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Doctors and nurses fighting the world's biggest outbreak of the Ebola virus in West Africa should get incentives including better pay, insurance and access to the new Ebola drug ZMapp, an international health expert said. The hemorrhagic fever, spread through the blood, sweat and vomit of the sick, has killed more than 1,550 people since March, including more than 120 health workers. Johan von Schreeb, who has traveled to the region to advise officials on how to manage the deadly epidemic, said if health workers were not protected and remunerated for their dangerous work, they could not be expected to report for duty. "Modern mobile phone technology can be used to track who is coming to work as well as transferring money directly so they can be paid on a performance-based system on top of their normal salaries," he told Thomson Reuters Foundation from Sierra Leone, where he is providing technical support for the outbreak.
Exercise to reap the heart-health benefits of wine, study says
1 Sep 2014 at 8:08am
At the European Society of Cardiology Congress, researchers from the Czech Republic presented a first of its kind study in which they concluded that wine has its greatest cardiovascular benefits for those who exercise. "This is the first randomised trial comparing the effects of red and white wine on markers of atherosclerosis in people at mild to moderate risk of CVD," says Professor Milos Taborsky, Director of the Internal Cardiology Clinic of the University Hospital and Palacky University in Olomouc. "We found that moderate wine drinking was only protective in people who exercised. Red and white wine produced the same results."
Pistachios may help reduce diabetes risk: study
1 Sep 2014 at 7:29am
By Kathryn Doyle NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - For people who may be headed for type 2 diabetes, regularly eating pistachios might help turn the tide, according to a new trial from Spain. People with so-called prediabetes have blood sugar levels higher than normal but not yet in the diabetes range. If they do nothing, 15 to 30 percent will develop diabetes within five years, according to the U.S. In the new Spanish study, people with prediabetes who ate about two ounces of pistachios daily showed significant drops in blood sugar and insulin levels and improvements in insulin and glucose processing.
Nigeria records another Ebola case in oil city, 16 cases in total
1 Sep 2014 at 6:45am
Nigeria has a third confirmed case of Ebola disease in the oil hub of Port Harcourt, bringing the country's total confirmed infections to 16, with around 200 people under surveillance, the health minister said on Monday. A doctor in Port Harcourt died last week after treating a contact of the Liberian-American man who was the first recorded case of the virus in Africa's most populous country. Patrick Sawyer, the first case, came in from Liberia, then collapsed at Lagos airport on July 20. The shift to Port Harcourt shows how easily containment efforts can be undermined.
India's Cipla launches copy of GSK's top asthma drug in Germany, Sweden
1 Sep 2014 at 6:14am
India's Cipla Ltd has launched an anti-asthma inhaler in Germany and Sweden that is a generic version of GlaxoSmithKline Plc's Advair, a move that will further dent sales of the British firm's top-selling product. Cipla's drug will be marketed under the name Serrofloin in Germany and Salmeterol/Fluticasone Cipla in Sweden, the Mumbai-based company said in a statement on Monday. In December, Denmark became the first European country to approve for sale a generic version of GlaxoSmithKline's $8 billion-a-year Advair, and analysts have been expecting more such approvals.
Novartis Japan admits concealing drug side effects
1 Sep 2014 at 6:13am
The Japanese unit of Swiss pharma giant Novartis has admitted it did not report more than 2,500 cases of serious side effects in patients using its leukaemia and other cancer drugs, reportedly including some fatalities. The revelations, which marked the latest in a string of scandals at the company's Japanese subsidiary, come after local authorities slapped the firm on the wrist, saying it had to clean up its operations. On Friday, Novartis issued a statement saying it had failed to report to regulators at least 2,579 cases where patients had suffered serious potential side effects from its drugs. Japan's Jiji Press news agency said they included some fatal cases, without specifying a figure.
Tests show no sign of Ebola in Swedish man
1 Sep 2014 at 2:46am
Medical authorities in the Swedish capital said on Monday tests on a man brought into hospital over the weekend and suspected of potentially carrying Ebola showed no signs the deadly disease. The Swedish man, whose name was not disclosed, had recently traveled to a "risk area" for the virus and had been taken to the Karolinska University Hospital in Stockholm suffering from a fever, sparking suspicions of Ebola. Stockholm county council said in a statement the man would continue to be treated at the hospital to ascertain the cause of his symptoms. More than 1,500 people have died in an Ebola outbreak in West Africa since March.
'Most exciting ever' Novartis drug points to huge sales
1 Sep 2014 at 2:21am
By Ben Hirschler BARCELONA (Reuters) - Sales forecasts for Novartis's new heart failure drug are being ramped up by analysts after strikingly good clinical trial results for a medicine doctors expect to transform treatment of the deadly disease. David Epstein, Novartis' head of pharmaceuticals, said the launch of the drug next year promised to be the company's most exciting ever and profit margins on the medicine would be good. The results of a keenly-awaited clinical trial on LCZ696 were released at the annual meeting of the European Society of Cardiology on Saturday and published in the New England Journal of Medicine with a glowing editorial. Investigators working on the study and the company itself believe it has potential to replace drugs that have been central to treating heart failure for a quarter of century, opening up a multi-billion dollar sales opportunity.