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$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 5:54pm
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.
Generation of tanners see spike in deadly melanoma
29 Jul 2014 at 6:30pm
WASHINGTON (AP) ? Stop sunbathing and using indoor tanning beds, the acting U.S. surgeon general warned in a report released Tuesday that cites an alarming 200 percent jump in deadly melanoma cases since 1973.
UK holds emergency meeting over Ebola outbreak in Africa
30 Jul 2014 at 8:45am
Britain on Wednesday held a top-level government meeting to discuss the spread of the highly-contagious Ebola virus in West Africa, saying the outbreak was a threat it needed to respond to. International concern has risen about the virus, which has killed 672 people in West Africa since February, after the first recorded case of the disease in Africa's most populous country, Nigeria. "In terms of the UK the issue is about the possibility of somebody who has contracted the disease in Africa getting sick here," he said after the meeting, which health experts, scientists and other ministers attended. "It is not about the disease spreading in the UK because frankly we have different standards of infection control procedure that would make that most unlikely." He said that ministers had discussed what additional measures Britain could take to contain the outbreak in West Africa, and what steps needed to be taken in case a British national in the area contracted the disease.
U.S. relief worker 'fighting through' Ebola virus: son
30 Jul 2014 at 8:08am
WINSTON-SALEM N.C. (Reuters) - An American aid worker infected with Ebola while responding to the outbreak of the deadly virus in Liberia and neighboring African countries is "fighting through it," her son said on Wednesday. Jeremy Writebol told NBC's "Today" show that his mother, missionary Nancy Writebol, is moving around on her own and receiving a lot of fluids as she is treated in isolation. Nancy Writebol and another U.S. colleague who contracted Ebola in Liberia, Dr. Kent Brantly, have both been described as stable but suffering from some symptoms of the contagious disease, for which there is no known cure. Writebol and Brantly were part of a team from two North Carolina-based relief organizations, Samaritan?s Purse and SIM, which on Tuesday said they would evacuate all nonessential personnel from Liberia as Ebola cases there mount.
Police charge man with raping woman at raucous Massachusetts concert
30 Jul 2014 at 8:06am
By Elizabeth Barber BOSTON (Reuters) - Prosecutors have charged a Massachusetts man with raping a woman at a raucous country music concert south of Boston on Saturday where dozens of people received treatment for alcohol-related medical problems. Police in Mansfield, Massachusetts, the site of the concert by Australian singer Keith Urban, charged Sean Murphy, 18, with raping a woman on the outdoor venue's lawn during the performance while dozens of concert-goers looked on, some taking photos of the incident. "Mr. Murphy deeply regrets this incident and I am sure the young woman does as well." Police in Mansfield, about 25 miles (40 km) south of Boston, said in a statement that a female witness "pushed Murphy off the victim" and a male witness reported the incident to a police officer. Some 22 concert-goers were taken to hospitals during the show and about 50 people were taken into protective custody.
Fruit and veg: five-a-day is OK, says study
30 Jul 2014 at 7:57am
British nutritionists threw down the gauntlet to dietary guidelines in April by declaring seven daily portions of fresh fruit and vegetables, rather than the recommended five, were the key to health. Every additional daily serving of fruit and vegetables reduced the average risk of premature death from all causes by five percent, the scientists found. "We found a threshold of around five servings a day of fruit and vegetables, after which the risk of death did not reduce further," said the investigators, led by Frank Hu of the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, Massachusetts. In addition to advising patients about the virtues of healthy eating, doctors should also push home the message about risks from obesity, inactivity, smoking and excessive drinking, said the paper.
Israeli shelling causes carnage in Gaza school: U.N.
30 Jul 2014 at 7:31am
By Nidal al-Mughrabi GAZA (Reuters) - United Nations officials had told the Israeli military 17 times that a school in Gaza's biggest refugee camp was a shelter for Palestinian civilians fleeing fighting in the teeming coastal strip, but it was not enough to save them from deadly shelling. Blown to pieces as they huddled asleep on mattresses on classroom floors, at least 15 men, women and children were killed and more than 100 wounded when Israeli artillery fire struck Jabalya Girls Elementary School on Wednesday, U.N. officials said. The victims had fled their homes in other battle zones hoping they would be safe under the blue-and-white U.N. flag. Abdel-Karim al-Masamha, 27, said he and his family had come to the school after fleeing fighting near their home in the northern Gaza Strip.
Humana CFO says later Obamacare customers were younger, healthier
30 Jul 2014 at 7:11am
(Reuters) - Humana Inc Chief Financial Officer Brian Kane said on Wednesday that customers who signed up later in the year for new individual health plans created under President Barack Obama's national healthcare reform law were healthier and younger. The plans went on sale on Jan. 1 and enrollment continued into April. Humana still expects to receive risk-related payments from the government of $575 million to $775 million in 2014 for reinsurance. ...
Smartphone app promises medical pot delivery
30 Jul 2014 at 6:49am
Startup Eaze on Tuesday released a smartphone application promising prompt, professional delivery of medical marijuana the doors of patients in San Francisco. Eaze said that drivers referred to as "caregivers" will get medicinal doses to their intended recipients in an average of 10 minutes in most cases. Eaze checks the medical eligibility of those who register at eazeup.com for the "on-demand healthcare delivery service" where users place orders using smartphones or tablet computers.
Pfizer to buy Baxter's vaccines unit for $635 million
30 Jul 2014 at 6:39am
(Reuters) - Pfizer Inc agreed on Wednesday to buy Baxter International Inc's vaccines unit and a part of a production facility for $635 million. The deal will give Pfizer access to Baxter's meningitis vaccine, NeisVac-C, and its encephalitis vaccine, FSME-IMMUN. Pfizer will also get access to a portion of Baxter's facility in Austria where the vaccines are made. Both vaccines are currently available outside the United States, primarily in a number of European markets.
Kids are accepting healthier school lunches: survey
30 Jul 2014 at 6:30am
By Shereen Lehman NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - A recent study suggests that most elementary age students are okay with eating the healthier school lunches required by the USDA. Despite early complaints from kids when the new menus were introduced in the fall of 2012, researchers found that by the second half of the school year, sales of school meals were up among disadvantaged kids, an important target audience for the healthier fare. ?At 70 percent of elementary schools across the country, school leaders perceived that students liked the new lunches,? Lindsey Turner, coauthor of the study, told Reuters Health. ?This is great news, as it suggests that students generally have been quite accepting of the standards, which have substantially improved the nutritional quality of school meals,? said Turner, a researcher at Boise State University in Idaho.
Ireland has too much to lose to deter U.S. companies re-homing
30 Jul 2014 at 6:13am
By Padraic Halpin DUBLIN (Reuters) - Ireland is in the firing line from Washington again for luring U.S. companies to its shores for tax benefits, but despite contrite noises coming from Dublin, it has too much to lose to discourage U.S. firms bent on shifting their tax domiciles. Ireland's low corporate tax rate of 12.5 percent is a natural lure for U.S. companies looking to set up an overseas hub, and for Dublin the pay-off is new jobs, but in so-called inversion deals the company then switches its overall tax domicile from the United States, where the rate is 35 percent, to its new home. The surge in such deals, which are typically effected by purchasing an overseas company - which does not then necessarily create any new jobs - drew the ire of President Barack Obama last week, who singled out Ireland for criticism. Ireland's government has responded by saying it is looking at ways of stopping the transactions, but lawyers and tax advisors who work for multinationals such as Intel , Pfizer and Google say little can be done without putting at risk a model specifically designed to lure foreign companies.
WellPoint medical cost ratio drives second-quarter profit beat
30 Jul 2014 at 5:18am
(Reuters) - U.S. health insurer WellPoint Inc on Wednesday reported a decline in second-quarter profit, but its closely watched medical costs as a percentage of premiums ratio improved and it beat Wall Street estimates. WellPoint, which runs Anthem and Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield Plans, is the third large health insurer to beat analysts' earnings estimates for the quarter but shares have sold off as investors worried that a run in low medical costs might be ending. WellPoint beat Wall Street expectations because this ratio was less than foreseen, Leerink Partners analyst Ana Gupte said in a research note. WellPoint said it spent 82.7 percent of the premiums that it brought in on medical claims in what is known as the medical benefit expense ratio.
At least 34 killed in stampede at Guinea beach concert
30 Jul 2014 at 5:18am
By Saliou Samb CONAKRY (Reuters) - At least 34 people, including several children, were killed in a stampede at a beachside rap concert celebrating the end of Ramadan in Guinea's capital Conakry, medical sources said on Wednesday. The stampede, which occurred during celebrations to mark the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan in mainly Muslim Guinea, comes at a time when health workers are stretched by an outbreak of Ebola.