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Firm agrees to refund to settle suit over weight-loss pills
28 Feb 2015 at 3:28pm
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) ? A Salt Lake City-based company has agreed to pay refunds to consumers who purchased its weight-loss tablets to settle a class-action lawsuit that claimed its advertising slogan, "Eat All You Want & Still Lose Weight," was deceptive.
Chile leader visits ailing 14 year-old who wants to end her life
28 Feb 2015 at 1:55pm
Chile's President Michelle Bachelet on Saturday visited a 14-year-old girl suffering from cystic fibrosis who made a heart-wrenching video appeal to be allowed to end her life. Valentina Maureira had addressed Bachelet personally in the message, which she recorded with a smartphone and uploaded to YouTube from her hospital bed without her parents knowledge. Maureira is in "stable" condition from cystic fibrosis, an incurable genetic disorder that attacks the lungs and other vital organs, making it difficult to breath and causing a host of other symptoms. Her message has been viewed thousands of times on social networks, igniting debate over euthanasia in Chile, where it is forbidden by law.
Sierra Leone vice president places himself in Ebola quarantine
28 Feb 2015 at 11:42am
Sierra Leone's Vice President Samuel Sam-Sumana said on Saturday that he had placed himself in a 21-day quarantine after one of his bodyguards died of Ebola amid a worrying recent surge in new infections in the West African nation. Cases of Ebola, which has killed nearly 10,000 people in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea during a year-long epidemic, have fallen off sharply in recent weeks. Of 99 new confirmed Ebola cases in the region during the week to Feb. 22, however, 63 were in Sierra Leone according to the World Health Organization's weekly report. Sam-Sumana's bodyguard John Koroma died early this week.
Herbalife cuts pay of CEO Johnson 36 percent after missed targets
28 Feb 2015 at 7:33am
Herbalife Ltd cut the pay of Chief Executive Michael Johnson 36 percent for 2014 after the nutrition and weight loss company failed to meet performance goals set for him and other top executives, according to a securities filing on Friday. Herbalife said Johnson, who is also chairman, received total compensation of $6.73 million last year, down from $10.5 million in 2013, mainly because he did not receive the incentive plan compensation of $3.7 million he got the prior year. Herbalife has been closely watched since activist investor William Ackman accused the company of running a pyramid scheme in 2012, while rival investor Carl Icahn became the company's biggest owner in 2013. Herbalife, being investigated by state and federal regulators, has denied Ackman's charges.
China says to implement drug distribution reforms
28 Feb 2015 at 6:16am
China said on Saturday it would implement drug distribution reforms including centralization measures designed to cut prices and reduce corruption. The State Council, China's cabinet, said it urged drug manufacturers to negotiate directly with hospitals on payment for pharmaceuticals instead of going through middle men. Authorities should also work to ensure the distribution of drugs to remote rural areas with underdeveloped modes of transportation in a timely fashion, the State Council said on its website. Authorities should push forward centralization and standardization measures in an effort to weed out corruption and lower prices, it added.
Singapore's Lee Kuan Yew remains in intensive care, health improves slightly
28 Feb 2015 at 5:45am
Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore's first prime minister, remains in intensive care after being admitted to hospital with severe pneumonia but his condition has improved slightly, the government said on Saturday. Lee, who turned 91 last September, has been in hospital since Feb. 5. "Lee Kuan Yew's condition has improved slightly. He remains sedated and on mechanical ventilation in the ICU (intensive care unit)," said a statement from the office of the current prime minister, adding that Lee was continuing with his antibiotics.
U.S., Liberia kick off trial of Ebola drug ZMapp
28 Feb 2015 at 1:01am
By Reuters Staff CHICAGO (Reuters) - U.S. and Liberian researchers have started a clinical trial to test the safety and effectiveness of Mapp Biopharmaceutical Inc's Ebola drug ZMapp, an experimental treatment that has already been tried in a handful of Ebola patients, including two U.S. missionaries. The trial, a joint effort by the Liberian government and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), will be conducted in Liberia and the United States among adults and children infected with Ebola, NIAID said on Friday.
Doctors should take lead in push to curb climate change: experts
27 Feb 2015 at 11:33pm
By Kyle Plantz LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Doctors should take the lead in supporting political efforts to cut the pace of climate change and encouraging more people to see the problem as a crucial issue for public health, experts say. With the 68th World Health Assembly coming up in May in Geneva, countries are poised to adopt the world's first resolution on air pollution and health, in an effort to reduce premature deaths linked to air pollution. Studies have found that air pollution can worsen a variety of health problems, from heart disease to strokes, said Carlos Dora, coordinator of public health and the environment at the World Health Organization (WHO).
U.S. judge denies Ranbaxy bid to reinstate approvals for Valcyte, Nexium copies
27 Feb 2015 at 9:41pm
A U.S. federal judge has denied Indian generic drugmaker Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd's bid to reinstate approvals granted to it to launch the first copies of the heartburn drug Nexium and the antiviral Valcyte, a court document showed. Judge Beryl Howell of the United States District Court for the District of Colombia on Friday also blocked Ranbaxy's plea for a preliminary injunction to halt Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd, Endo International Plc and Dr Reddy's Laboratories Ltd from launching copies of the two drugs. The court decision came after Ranbaxy sued the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in November for pulling approvals that would have allowed the Indian firm to launch the first copies of Roche's Valcyte and AstraZeneca Plc's Nexium. FDA had said its earlier decision granting the approvals was "in error" as Ranbaxy's plants at the time were not compliant with the U.S. regulator's manufacturing quality standards.
U.S. border officials seize record 15 tons of pot at California border
27 Feb 2015 at 7:10pm
U.S. customs officers at a California border crossing seized more than 15 tons of marijuana hidden inside a tractor-trailer shipment designated as a cargo of mattresses, the biggest narcotics bust ever at that port of entry, officials said on Friday.
Reaction to death of 'Star Trek' actor Leonard Nimoy
27 Feb 2015 at 6:59pm
(Reuters) - Leonard Nimoy, best known for his portrayal of logic-bound Mr. Spock in the "Star Trek" science fiction television series and movies, died on Friday at age 83 after a battle with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The following are reactions to Nimoy's death: "Long before being nerdy was cool, there was Leonard Nimoy. Leonard was a lifelong lover of the arts and humanities, a supporter of the sciences, generous with his talent and his time. And of course, Leonard was Spock. Cool, logical, big-eared and level-headed, the center of Star Trek?s optimistic, inclusive vision of humanity?s future. I loved Spock," President Barack Obama, whose unemotional approach to problems has been likened to the character Nimoy portrayed on "Star Trek." "I loved him like a brother. We will all miss his humor, his talent and his capacity to love," William Shatner, who co-starred on "Star Trek" as Captain Kirk, said in a statement.
Blood biomarkers found for chronic fatigue syndrome
27 Feb 2015 at 3:59pm
Chronic fatigue syndrome is a disease with distinct stages that can be identified through biomarkers in the blood, researchers said Friday, offering hope that earlier diagnosis may improve treatment. With no known cause or cure, chronic fatigue syndrome -- known formally as encephalomyelitis (ME/CFS) -- has long puzzled the medical community. "We now have evidence confirming what millions of people with this disease already know, that ME/CFS isn't psychological," said lead author Mady Hornig, associate professor of epidemiology at Columbia's Mailman School.
New Leprosy Cases Hit Florida
27 Feb 2015 at 3:34pm
Three people in Volusia county were diagnosed with the rare illness, which is also known as Hansen's Disease.
Canada tells vets without limbs to prove it - every three years
27 Feb 2015 at 3:01pm
Canadian veterans who are missing limbs will have to prove it every three years to qualify for assistance, instead of every year, the government said on Friday. Canada announced the changes during Question Period in the House of Commons on Friday, and said the Veterans Independence Program, which helps disabled veterans, will move to a three-year renewal cycle from one year. Veterans Affairs came under fire in Parliament recently after it was learned that Master Corporal Paul Franklin, who lost both of his legs in Afghanistan, had to prove every year that he remained disabled. Pierre Lemieux, the parliamentary secretary to Veterans Affairs Minister Erin O'Toole, said O'Toole had been in contact with Franklin and determined the policy needed changing.
Doctors with bad news seen as less compassionate
27 Feb 2015 at 2:57pm
Until recently, doctors and researchers believed that doctors who delivered bad news in an empathetic tone would be seen as sincere, said Dr. Eduardo Bruera, the study?s lead author from the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. The researchers showed 100 cancer patients two videos.