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Child TB deaths set to fall as Kenya launches new drugs
26 Sep 2016 at 5:18pm
By Katy Migiro NAIROBI (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - More children are likely to survive tuberculosis, the leading infectious disease killer, after Kenya introduces child-friendly medicines on Oct. 1 - the first country in the world to do so. Some 155,000 children with TB are set to benefit across 18 countries that have already ordered the new medicines and are preparing to roll them out, starting with Kenya, according to the TB Alliance campaign group that oversaw their development. "Now, with the appropriate treatments, we can make rapid progress in finding and treating children with TB so we can achieve a TB free generation," Kenya's health minister Cleopa Mailu said in a statement on Tuesday.
Mother sues U.S. hospital for discriminating against dead transgender son
26 Sep 2016 at 3:13pm
The mother of a transgender boy filed a lawsuit against a U.S. hospital on Monday claiming its medical staff repeatedly addressed her son - who later committed suicide - as a girl. In the landmark case, Katharine Prescott argues the Rady Children's Hospital-San Diego (RCHSD) in California discriminated against her transgender son based on his sex. The 14-year-old transgender boy, Kyler Prescott, committed suicide about five weeks after staying at the hospital in 2015 where he was treated for having suicidal thoughts and self-inflicted wounds.
Cancer patients may be overly optimistic about early drug trial participation
26 Sep 2016 at 2:58pm
By Andrew M. Seaman (Reuters Health) - People with cancer may overestimate the possible benefits to them of participating in an early trial of a new medicine, even after talking with a doctor about what to expect, according to a new study from the U.K. So-called phase 1 trials of experimental treatments are intended to test the drug's safety. Just 4 percent to 20 percent of participants may see their cancer respond to the drug, the authors write in the journal Cancer.
Kite immunotherapy drug helps blood cancer patients in study
26 Sep 2016 at 2:40pm
(Reuters) - Kite Pharma Inc on Monday said its experimental CAR T-cell therapy, which helps the immune system fight cancer, was highly effective in treating aggressive non-Hodgkin lymphoma, although two deaths were related to the drug, according to interim data from a midstage trial. Shares of Kite, which had been halted before the release of the news, rose 11 percent when trading resumed. Some 76 percent of patients taking the drug, called KTE-C19, showed significant tumor shrinkage, including 47 percent who had no remaining signs of cancer at least three months after receiving the treatment, Kite said.
More U.S. babies born addicted to opiates like heroin
26 Sep 2016 at 2:40pm
By Lisa Rapaport (Reuters Health) - The proportion of U.S. babies born suffering from withdrawal syndrome after exposure to heroin or prescription opiates in utero has more than doubled in less than a decade, a study suggests. Researchers focused on what?s known as neonatal abstinence syndrome, a condition akin to withdrawal that develops when babies essentially become addicted to drugs their mothers use during pregnancy. Nationally, the rate of neonatal abstinence syndrome involving mothers? use of opiates - which includes heroin as well as prescription narcotics like codeine and Vicodin - surged from 2.8 cases for every 1,000 births in 2009 to 7.3 cases for every 1,000 births in 2013, the study found.
Walking is medicine? It helped high-risk seniors stay mobile
26 Sep 2016 at 2:08pm
WASHINGTON (AP) ? It's not too late to get moving: Simple physical activity ? mostly walking ? helped high-risk seniors stay mobile after disability-inducing ailments even if, at 70 and beyond, they'd long been couch potatoes.
Poor exercise habits may follow teens into adulthood
26 Sep 2016 at 1:08pm
By Lisa Rapaport (Reuters Health) - Most American teenagers don?t get enough exercise, and they often stick with their sedentary ways as they enter adulthood, a U.S. study suggests. More than 9 in 10 adolescents fail to get the minimum 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous daily physical activity recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), researchers report in the journal Pediatrics. ?Physical inactivity is one of the major predictors of childhood and adolescent obesity, the consequences of which increases incidence of obesity as well as metabolic syndrome in adulthood,? said lead study author Kaigang Li, a researcher at Colorado State University in Fort Collins.
Mylan faces scrutiny over EpiPen profit data shown to Congress
26 Sep 2016 at 12:39pm
Mylan has been widely criticized for sharply raising the price of EpiPens, which are carried by people with life-threatening allergies. Mylan, which acquired the product in 2007, has raised the list price for a pair of EpiPens to $600 from about $100 in 2008. Lawmakers are trying to determine whether Mylan made more money on EpiPen than warranted from state Medicaid programs by having it classified as a generic product, resulting in much smaller rebates to the government health plans.
Nestle executive Cantarell quits after 40 years, sparking reshuffle
26 Sep 2016 at 12:27pm
Luis Cantarell, who heads Nestle's Europe, Middle East and North Africa zone and has been an advocate of blurring the lines between food and pharmaceuticals, is stepping down after 40 years, the Swiss company said on Monday. Cantarell will be replaced in January by Marco Settembri, head of Nestle's water division, which will now be run by Maurizio Paternello, who moves from Nestle Russia and Eurasia, the company said in a statement.
Drugmaker Pfizer decides not to break up business
26 Sep 2016 at 12:12pm
TRENTON, N.J. (AP) ? Drug giant Pfizer says it won't split into two publicly traded companies, despite pressure from investors frustrated by its lagging stock price, ending years of Wall Street speculation over its strategy and future.
Clovis short sellers undaunted as stock price surges
26 Sep 2016 at 12:05pm
By Lewis Krauskopf NEW YORK (Reuters) - Clovis Oncology Inc's share price has doubled in the past month, fueled by positive developments for the company's experimental cancer drug and takeover speculation. The biotech company said late last month its experimental ovarian cancer treatment would be reviewed on a priority basis, with U.S. regulators expected to rule on the drug, rucaparib, by Feb 23. Shares of Clovis, which has climbed to a market value of about $1.4 billion, rose steadily in the past month, from $18.10 as of Aug 22 to $36.50 on Monday, also amid speculation about Clovis as a potential acquisition by a larger drugmaker.
Pfizer decides against split-up; more deals seen likely
26 Sep 2016 at 11:56am
Pfizer Inc , which was considering splitting itself for more than two years, said on Monday it would not do so, prompting shareholders to expect more deals that could bolster its roster of new medicines. The largest U.S. drugmaker said its lengthy analysis determined that splitting off its low-growth generics from its patent-protected branded products would not boost cash flow or better position the businesses competitively. "I never saw the logic behind a split-up," said portfolio manager Les Funtleyder of E Squared Asset Management, which owns Pfizer shares.
Why morning sickness may be a good thing
26 Sep 2016 at 10:30am
By Lisa Rapaport (Reuters Health) - For women with a history of miscarriage, experiencing nausea and vomiting during subsequent pregnancy attempts is linked to higher odds of success, a U.S. study suggests. ?This study came from the long-standing idea that nausea and vomiting in pregnancy indicated that a woman was still pregnant,? said lead study author Stefanie Hinkle, a scientist at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland.
Just 30 doctors struggle to treat wounded in eastern Aleppo
26 Sep 2016 at 10:26am
By Stephanie Nebehay GENEVA (Reuters) - Only 30 doctors remain in rebel-held eastern Aleppo, where they are in dire need of medical and surgical supplies to treat hundreds of wounded people among a trapped population of 300,000, Syrian doctors said on Monday. At least 40 wounded people in the eight still-functioning hospitals - some of them makeshift centers hidden underground for fear of air strikes and shelling - require medical evacuation, they said. Dozens of air strikes hit rebel-held areas of the northern Syrian city overnight, a monitoring organization and a civil defense worker said, continuing a fierce air campaign by Syrian government and allied forces since a ceasefire broke down almost a week ago.
Sanofi gets $43 mln U.S. funding to spur Zika vaccine development
26 Sep 2016 at 10:03am
The funding from the HHS' Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) will be used for mid-stage trials, expected to begin in the first half of 2018, and for manufacturing, the French drugmaker said. Work on the vaccine began in March as a collaborative effort between the U.S. Department Of Defense's Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR), BARDA and the National Institutes of Health.