• U.S. women see assault on reproductive rights: poll

    Wed,30 May 2012 09:26 PM PDT

    Reuters – WASHINGTON (Reuters) – About one-third of American women believe there is a broad effort under way to limit their access to reproductive services including contraception, family planning and abortion, according a poll released on Thursday. After months of election-year culture wars over Planned Parenthood, abortion and President Barack Obama's policy on contraceptives, researchers said 42 percent of women have felt strongly enough to take some sort of action including trying to influence another's opinions or donating money. … Full Story


  • Healthcare costs to rise 7.5 percent in 2013: report

    Wed,30 May 2012 09:11 PM PDT

    Reuters – WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The cost of healthcare services is expected to rise 7.5 percent in 2013, more than three times the projected rates for inflation and economic growth, according to an industry research report released on Thursday. But premiums for large employer-sponsored health plans could increase by only 5.5 percent as a result of company wellness programs and a growing trend toward plans that impose higher insurance costs on workers, said the report by the professional services firm PricewaterhouseCoopers, or PwC. The projected growth rate of 7. … Full Story

  • Sleepy drivers almost as dangerous as drunken drivers: study

    Wed,30 May 2012 08:53 PM PDT

    Reuters – (Reuters) – Being sleepy behind the wheel is almost as dangerous as drinking and driving, according to a study from France, with drivers who were either drunk or sleepy at least twice as likely to cause a vehicle accident as their sober or well-rested counterparts. For the study, researchers under the direction of Nicholas Moore at the Centre Hospitalo-Universitaire de Bordeaux analyzed information from 679 drivers admitted to a hospital in southwestern France for more than 24 hours because of a serious accident between 2007 and 2009. … Full Story

  • California's Senate passes bill to ban gay therapy

    Wed,30 May 2012 07:46 PM PDT

    Reuters – SACRAMENTO (Reuters) – A bill that would ban a therapy that aims to reverse homosexuality in children and teens passed California's Senate on Wednesday, moving the state a step closer to becoming the first in the nation to ban the controversial treatment. The 23-13 vote in the Democratic-controlled Senate marked a major victory for gay rights advocates who say the therapy has no medical basis because homosexuality is not a disorder, and that it can cause depression and lead to substance abuse and suicide. … Full Story

  • States crack down on prescription-drug "doctor shopping"

    Wed,30 May 2012 05:37 PM PDT

    Reuters – CHICAGO (Reuters) – When a new patient comes into Dr. Shawn Jones' office in Paducah, Kentucky complaining of pain and asks for a specific drug without talking about other symptoms, Jones gets suspicious. "The first thing they say is they're in horrible pain and they need pain medicine," said Jones. "The other thing that gives it away is they want to tell you what works – they tell you they want Percocet. They don't talk about their symptoms – they don't say, 'Oh, two weeks ago I hurt my back. … Full Story

  • House votes to approve FDA funding bill

    Wed,30 May 2012 04:44 PM PDT

    Reuters – WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The House of Representatives on Wednesday approved a bill that helps fund the Food and Drug Administration and gives it new authority to prevent drug shortages and speed reviews of medical devices. Passed by a vote of 387-5, the bill also helps ensure the safety of drugs imported from abroad by collecting higher fees from companies to fund FDA inspections of foreign facilities, and gives drugmakers incentives to make antibiotics for conditions where few treatments exist. … Full Story

  • Alkermes to halt development of constipation drug

    Wed,30 May 2012 03:41 PM PDT

    Reuters – (Reuters) – Biotechnology company Alkermes Plc said it would stop development of its experimental drug to treat opioid-induced constipation after it failed to meet the main goal of a mid-stage study. The company said it would consider out-licensing the product after it wraps up a second mid-stage study of the drug, codenamed ALKS 37. "We will focus our future clinical development efforts on our other development programs including ALKS 9070 for schizophrenia and ALKS 5461 for major depressive disorder," Chief Medical Officer Elliot Ehrich said in a statement. … Full Story

  • Alberta to seek C$10 billion from tobacco industry

    Wed,30 May 2012 03:07 PM PDT

    Reuters – CALGARY, Alberta (Reuters) – The Canadian province of Alberta will file a lawsuit against tobacco manufacturers seeking C$10 billion ($9.7 billion) to recover healthcare costs from smoking-related illnesses, the province's government said on Wednesday. The government said in a statement it has retained Tobacco Recovery Partners LLP, a consortium of law firms, to file the suit on its behalf but did not specify when the filing will be made. Alberta will be the fifth Canadian province to file suit against the tobacco industry. … Full Story

  • Osiris rises on nod for wound treatment reimbursement

    Wed,30 May 2012 10:50 AM PDT

    Reuters – (Reuters) – Shares of Osiris Therapeutics Inc rose 15 percent on Wednesday, after U.S. health regulators said the stem-cell technology company's wound treatment was eligible for reimbursement when used in hospitals in out-patient settings or in ambulances. The Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services also cleared the pathway for a permanent reimbursement code for Grafix, Osiris's wound-care matrix containing stem cells, on Tuesday. A permanent code makes reimbursement for the treatment faster and easier, thus increasing the chances of a physician prescribing it. … Full Story

  • Tomato genome project bears fruit

    Wed,30 May 2012 10:02 AM PDT

    Reuters -


    Lead UK researchers Gerard Bishop and Graham Seymour check plants in a tomato glasshouse at the University of NottinghamLONDON (Reuters) – An international team of scientists has cracked the genetic code of the domesticated tomato and its wild ancestor, an achievement which should help breeders identify the genes needed to develop tastier and more nutritious varieties. The full genome sequence of a tomato breed known as Heinz 1706, and a draft sequence for its closest wild relative Solanum pimpinellifolium, were published in the journal Nature on Wednesday. …



  • Drug LSD may be behind Miami face-eating attack, police say

    Wed,30 May 2012 09:57 AM PDT

    Reuters – MIAMI (Reuters) – A Miami man fatally shot by police after he refused to stop gnawing on another man's face may have been under the influence of a new form of the 1960s hallucinatory drug LSD, a top police officer said on Wednesday. Police are investigating the ghoulish weekend incident involving 31-year-old Rudy Eugene, who was found naked and chewing on the face and neck of his victim on the off-ramp of a bridge in downtown Miami. Police shot and killed Eugene when he failed to respond to orders to stop and back away. … Full Story


  • Exclusive: GSK eyes replacing Human Genome board

    Wed,30 May 2012 09:53 AM PDT

    Reuters -


    A pedestrian walks outside of the Human Genome Sciences Laboratories and Offices building in RockvilleNEW YORK/LONDON (Reuters) – GlaxoSmithKline Plc plans to launch a campaign to replace the entire board of Human Genome Sciences Inc with its own nominees, stepping up its $2.6 billion hostile bid for the U.S. biotech company, sources familiar with the situation said on Wednesday. The British company has started reaching out to executives in the pharmaceutical industry as well as finance and governance experts who could be nominated as independent directors on Human Genome's 12-member board, they said. 




Exercise, vitamin D may prevent falls: guidelines
Wed,30 May 2012 09:42 AM PDT
Reuters – NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – Older adults who are at high risk of falls should have physical therapy and take vitamin D supplements to reduce their chance of injury, according to new recommendations from a government-backed panel. Falling is "a common problem and it's often overlooked because doctors may not be aware of their patients' fall risk," said Dr. Albert Siu, a professor at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York and vice co-chair of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), which came out with the recommendations on Monday. … Full Story


Sleepy, drunken drivers equally dangerous: study
Wed,30 May 2012 09:33 AM PDT
Reuters – NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – Being sleepy behind the wheel is almost as bad as drinking and driving, suggests a new study from France. The study, published as a letter in the Archives of Internal Medicine, found that drivers who were either drunk or sleepy were at least twice as likely to be responsible for a vehicle accident compared to their well-rested or sober counterparts. Christopher Drake, an associate scientist at the Henry Ford Hospital Sleep Disorders and Research Center in Detroit, said the findings do not change what was already known, but the study is still "interesting. … Full Story


More questions on antidepressants during pregnancy
Wed,30 May 2012 09:30 AM PDT
Reuters – NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – When moms-to-be use antidepressants, their babies may be more likely to be born early or have a seizure soon after birth, a large U.S. study suggests. The findings, reported in the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology, add to evidence linking antidepressants to certain pregnancy risks — including preterm birth and smaller size at birth. Experts are not sure if the medications, themselves, are to blame. But in general, they say the safest course is to stop using antidepressants during pregnancy, if possible. … Full Story


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