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Head of troubled CDC anthrax lab has resigned
23 Jul 2014 at 11:34am
NEW YORK (AP) ? The head of the government lab that potentially exposed workers to live anthrax has resigned, an agency spokesman said Wednesday.
Judges in health care rulings vote party line
23 Jul 2014 at 12:20am
WASHINGTON (AP) ? In rapid succession, six federal judges on two appeals courts weighed in on a key component of President Barack Obama's health care law. Their votes lined up precisely with the party of the president who appointed them.
Ohio woman has long road ahead after rock attack
22 Jul 2014 at 12:42pm
DANVILLE, Pa. (AP) ? Doctors had a simple goal when they first saw how a football-size rock thrown from an interstate overpass in Pennsylvania had shattered Sharon Budd's skull ? to keep her alive.
Massachusetts bill limiting protests at abortion clinics goes to governor
23 Jul 2014 at 4:23pm
By Elizabeth Barber BOSTON (Reuters) - A bill to limit demonstrations around Massachusetts abortion clinics passed the state's House of Representatives on Wednesday and headed to Governor Deval Patrick. Patrick, a Democrat, called for new measures after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled last month that a 2007 state law barring protesters from coming within 35 feet (11 meters) of reproductive health facilities violated abortion opponents? right to free speech. "We are confident that this new set of tools to help us protect women does not infringe on anyone's First Amendment rights," said Martha Coakley, the state's attorney general and a Democratic candidate for governor, in a recent interview. "We are only responding to behavior that crosses a line." The measure, which passed the House 116-35, would empower police to issue a dispersal order against anyone found to be blocking access to abortion clinics.
Paracetamol no better than placebo in low-back pain
23 Jul 2014 at 4:10pm
Paracetamol, the first-choice lower-back pain killer, worked no better than dummy drugs administered in a trial of more than 1,600 people suffering from the condition, researchers said Thursday. In fact, the median recovery time for those on placebo was a day shorter than that for trial subjects given real medicine, they wrote in The Lancet medical journal. "Our findings suggest that... paracetamol does not affect recovery time compared with placebo in low-back pain, and question the universal endorsement of paracetamol in this patient group," the Australian team concluded. "Paracetamol also had no effect on pain, disability, function, global symptom change, sleep or quality of life."
Yum cuts ties to owner of China meat plant after scandal
23 Jul 2014 at 4:09pm
By Brenda Goh and Paul Carsten SHANGHAI/LANGFANG China (Reuters) - Yum Brands Inc severed ties with OSI Group after Shanghai police detained five people from the supplier's China meat-processing factory at the center of a food-safety scare that has ensnared several major Western brands. Shanghai police said on Wednesday the five individuals being held included the head of Shanghai Husi Food Co Ltd as well as its quality manager. "Yum China has decided to immediately terminate all procurement from OSI China," including Shanghai Husi, Yum said in a statement. OSI China and its Shanghai Husi business are part of Aurora, Illinois-based OSI Group LLC, which said in a statement that local Chinese authorities have inspected all of its other facilities in China and found no issues.
Paracetamol no better than placebo for low back pain, study finds
23 Jul 2014 at 3:58pm
By Kate Kelland LONDON (Reuters) - Paracetamol, a painkiller universally recommended to treat people with acute low back pain, does not speed recovery or reduce pain from the condition, according to the results of a large trial published on Thursday. A study published in The Lancet medical journal found that the popular pain medicine was no better than placebo, or dummy pills, for hastening recovery from acute bouts of low back pain or easing pain levels, function, sleep or quality of life. Researchers said the findings challenge the universal endorsement of paracetamol as the first choice painkiller for lower back pain. "We need to reconsider the universal recommendation to provide paracetamol as a first-line treatment," said Christopher Williams, who led the study at the University of Sydney in Australia.
Not Enough Time for Intimacy?
23 Jul 2014 at 3:39pm
Diary of a Depressed Night Owl: The Search for Happiness Late Into the Evening
23 Jul 2014 at 3:25pm
Abuse of U.S. generic-drug rules costs billions -report
23 Jul 2014 at 3:04pm
By Diane Bartz WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. rules that ensure prescription medicines are not misused have been manipulated by brand-name drug companies to fight off generic competitors, costing consumers billions of dollars, according to a report released on Wednesday. Called "risk evaluation and mitigation strategies" (REMS), these U.S. Food and Drug Administration rules are meant to secure the safe distribution of dangerous medicines. This has delayed the arrival of 40 potential generic drugs, costing consumers some $5.4 billion a year, according to the report by Matrix Global Advisors and released by the generic drug trade group.
Over 10 million U.S. adults gain coverage under Obamacare: study
23 Jul 2014 at 3:00pm
An estimated 10.3 million American adults have gained health coverage since Obamacare enrollment began last October, with the biggest gains among young adults and Hispanics, according to a study published on Wednesday. The findings by researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health, Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston and the federal government are based on data pointing to a 5.2 percentage point drop in the U.S. uninsured rate since last September for Americans aged 18-64. The study, which appeared in the New England Journal of Medicine, also found evidence that more Americans had a personal doctor and fewer difficulties paying for medical care within the first six months of gaining insurance. The law known as Obamacare, President Barack Obama's signature domestic policy achievement, provides federally subsidized private coverage through new online insurance marketplaces and an expansion of Medicaid in 26 states and Washington, D.C. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said in May that more than 8 million Americans signed up for private plans through new online insurance marketplaces during a six-month open enrollment period.
A Simple Prescription for Lower Health Care Costs
23 Jul 2014 at 2:53pm
Journal raises concern about blood-thinning drug
23 Jul 2014 at 2:20pm
A key selling point of the drug known as Dabigatran or Pradaxa was that it required no blood-level monitoring, as does competitor warfarin. Dabigatran's maker, Boehringer Ingelheim, had said the drug was better than warfarin at reducing stroke in people with irregular heart rhythm, with a similar risk of major bleeds, according to the British Medical Journal (BMJ). Based on its own probe, the journal accused Boehringer of concealing information that blood-level monitoring could in fact reduce major bleeds by up to 30-40 percent compared to warfarin. According to BMJ investigations editor Deborah Cohen, who conducted the research, millions of people take the anti-clotting drug, with blood levels found to vary greatly between patients.
Checking pulse could help detect risk of a second stroke
23 Jul 2014 at 2:20pm
By Kathryn Doyle NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Stroke patients and their families can be taught to monitor the patient?s pulse and detect irregular heartbeats that might lead to another stroke, according to a new study. Of people who have a stroke, 40% will suffer another one within the next 10 years, said lead author Dr. Bernd Kallmunzer of the Department of Neurology at Universitatsklinikum Erlangen in Germany. Taking a pulse reading can detect atrial fibrillation, a major risk factor for stroke, and facilitate appropriate treatment to reduce the risk of another stroke or death, Kallmunzer told Reuters Health by email. The study team tested how accurately patients and their families could detect fibrillation just by taking a pulse.
Robot bladder surgery fails to deliver fewer complications
23 Jul 2014 at 2:16pm
By Gene Emery NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Using robotic techniques to remove a cancerous bladder doesn't reduce the risk of complications compared with conventional "open" surgery, according to a new comparison of 118 patients conducted by surgeons at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York. The study, detailed in the New England Journal of Medicine, marks the first ongoing comparison of the risks and benefits of the two techniques. Past studies concluded that the robotic technique meant less time in the hospital and fewer complications but they were done by looking back at the records of already-treated patients. "There's been a lot of hype surrounding robots and it's been hard to gain perspective," said Dr. Vincent Laudone, one of the coauthors.