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Bayer heart failure drug cuts deaths in mid-stage trial
31 Aug 2015 at 2:19am
Bayer will move a heart failure drug into final-stage testing this year, boosting its ambitions in cardiovascular treatments after the experimental medicine showed a "striking" reduction in deaths in a mid-stage trial. Having done well with recently launched drugs such as stroke prevention pill Xarelto and eye treatment Eylea, the German company is eager to show it has another potential billion-dollar-plus winner in heart drug finerenone. Finerenone, which is still several years from reaching the market, is an improved version of a troublesome class of heart drugs called mineralocorticoid receptor antagonists (MRAs).
Insurers say private Medicare plans are better, but we really don't know
31 Aug 2015 at 2:00am
Commentary: lack of data makes it impossible to know if Medicare Advantage is better than government program
Texas teen dies of rare brain-eating amoeba infection
30 Aug 2015 at 4:57pm
(Reuters) - A Texas teenager who contracted a rare brain-eating disease after swimming in a lake about 70 miles (110 km) north of Houston has died, according to his family and local media. The 14-year-old Michael Riley Jr., a junior Olympian and honor student, seemed to have contracted the disease after he went swimming on Aug. 13 with his track team, his father Mike Riley told KTRK earlier this week. "It is with a heavy heart, that we let everyone know that Michael John Riley Jr. lost his battle on this earth but won a victory for his place in the arms of our Lord Jesus Christ," the family said in a statement on their Facebook page late on Saturday night.
Five more California inmates diagnosed with Legionnaires' disease
30 Aug 2015 at 4:47pm
Five of the inmates are being treated at outside hospitals after they were diagnosed with the disease through tests conducted over the last several days, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation said in a statement. On Friday, the state announced that an inmate at the San Francisco-area prison was diagnosed with the disease and about 20 others showed symptoms of pneumonia, prompting officials to shut off water service at the institution. Legionnaires' disease, a severe form of pneumonia, is caused by inhaling mist infected with the bacteria Legionella.
Dead woman tests positive for Ebola in Sierra Leone
30 Aug 2015 at 1:34pm
The body of a woman who died in Sierra Leone has tested positive for the Ebola virus, less than a week after the last person confirmed to have had the disease was released from hospital, health officials said. In the latest case, a 67-year-old woman from the Kambia District along Sierra Leone's border with Guinea, died on Saturday. Sierra Leone's chief medical officer Brima Kargbo told Reuters that two samples tested in Kambia had tested positive for Ebola.
Neurologist, author Oliver Sacks dies at age 82
30 Aug 2015 at 11:12am
Oliver Sacks, the neurologist who studied the intricacies of the brain and wrote eloquently about them in books such as "Awakenings" and "The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat," died on Sunday at the age of 82, his personal assistant said. The British-born Sacks, who announced in February that he had terminal liver cancer, died at his home in New York City at 1:30 a.m. with his partner, the writer Billy Hayes, and his personal assistant, Kate Edgar, at his side, Edgar told Reuters. "He definitely wrote to the very end," said Edgar, noting Sacks in his final days never stopped penning a legacy that will be published posthumously and may include "several books." NYU School of Medicine, where Sacks taught, said in a statement mourning his death that his "breakthrough work" in the fields of neurology and neuro psychiatry led to important understandings in these fields.
Sierra Leone: Officials confirm new Ebola death
30 Aug 2015 at 9:36am
FREETOWN, Sierra Leone (AP) ? Health officials in Sierra Leone on Sunday confirmed an Ebola death less than a week after the country's last known patient was discharged from a hospital.
Ghana strike ends but election campaign to test IMF deal further
30 Aug 2015 at 7:11am
By Matthew Mpoke Bigg ACCRA (Reuters) - Ghana faced down the first major challenge to an IMF austerity programme on Monday when doctors suspended a three-week strike but a bigger test of President John Mahama's commitment will come next year as he fights for reelection. The International Monetary Fund deal is designed to restore fiscal stability and kickstart growth in a country that recently lost its reputation as one of Africa's strongest economies after years in which its GDP grew at around 8 percent thanks to exports of gold, cocoa and oil. The end of the strike by the Ghana Medical Association makes it easier for the government to honour the $918 million IMF programme in the short-term.
Study: Tiny, wireless pacemaker could be surgery-free option
30 Aug 2015 at 4:45am
LONDON (AP) ? A tiny, wireless pacemaker could offer some heart patients a surgery-free alternative to the traditional devices, a new study says. Some doctors, however, say there are lingering safety questions and warned patients not to rush to get the new technology.
Alnylam, Medicines cholesterol drug lasts months after one shot
30 Aug 2015 at 12:38am
By Ben Hirschler LONDON (Reuters) - A new drug in early development cuts cholesterol as much as two potent injections recently cleared for sale but lasts much longer, meaning it may need to be given only every three to six months, initial findings suggest. Results with Alnylam Pharmaceuticals and Medicines Co's experimental product ALN-PCSsc highlight the competition for a market tipped to generate billions of dollars in sales. Unlike rival antibody-based PCSK9 medicines that work in the blood, the new under-the-skin injection is a first-in-class treatment that stops synthesis of the protein which is linked to "bad" LDL cholesterol in the liver.
Why Bernie Sanders Is Best on Women's Issues
29 Aug 2015 at 11:45am
Women's issues are taking center stage in the lead-up to 2016. As they should: The conservative war on women's health and reproductive rights has raged on for far too long. And in all measures of social and political inequality, we remain what number-crunchers coolly term "disproportionately affected."Many people believe that electing a woman...
Planned Parenthood goes to court to fight funding cuts in Alabama
29 Aug 2015 at 9:08am
By Letitia Stein (Reuters) - (This 28 August 2015 story was refiled to add the dropped word "court" in the first paragraph) Planned Parenthood filed a complaint in Alabama federal court on Friday seeking to stop the state from defunding its health clinics after the release of covertly recorded videos attacking the organization's handling of aborted fetal tissue. The reproductive-health organization took similar legal action earlier this week in Louisiana, which also plans to terminate its contract with Planned Parenthood to provide medical services to low-income residents. Planned Parenthood, joined in the suit by the American Civil Liberties Union, said in court filings that Alabama's Republican governor illegally terminated its contract to provide health services under Medicaid, a federal and state healthcare program for the poor.
Rio 2016 organizers 'extremely concerned' over sick sailor
29 Aug 2015 at 8:27am
By Karolos Grohmann BERLIN (Reuters) - Organizers of the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympics said on Saturday they were "extremely concerned" after German sailor Erik Heil fell ill following his third place at the test event there. Heil, who is being treated in a Berlin hospital for several infections, said he was convinced they were caused by the polluted waters, piling more pressure on organizers to secure the safety of the athletes at next year's Olympic sailing, swimming and triathlon events. "We were extremely concerned when we learned of the hospital admission of athlete Erik Heil," organizers said in a statement sent to Reuters.
Olympics-Rio 2016 organisers "extremely concerned" over sick sailor
29 Aug 2015 at 8:20am
By Karolos Grohmann BERLIN, Aug 29 (Reuters) - Organisers of the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympics said on Saturday they were "extremely concerned" after German sailor Erik Heil fell ill following his third place at the test event there. Heil, who is being treated in a Berlin hospital for several infections, said he was convinced they were caused by the polluted waters, piling more pressure on organisers to secure the safety of the athletes at next year's Olympic sailing, swimming and triathlon events. "We were extremely concerned when we learned of the hospital admission of athlete Erik Heil," organisers said in a statement sent to Reuters.
ICYMI: New Orleans' Coroner And The Pros And Cons Of Egg Freezing
29 Aug 2015 at 7:50am
ICYMI Health features what we're reading this week.This week, on the tenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina hitting New Orleans, we listened to a radio interview with the city's coroner, a position that requires making tough judgement calls about classifying police-involved shooting deaths, as well as consoling families of the deceased. We...