Following is a summary of current health news briefs.
U.S. lawmakers pledge action after meningitis outbreak
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Democratic and Republican lawmakers
said on Thursday they would alter the regulation of drug
compounding pharmacies in hopes of preventing more crises like
the rare fungal meningitis outbreak that has now cost 32 lives.
The outbreak of 461 cases in 19 states has been linked to
tainted steroid injections from a Massachusetts pharmacy and
led to public condemnation of the U.S. Food and Drug
Administration and state pharmacy regulators for failing to act
against known problems over the course of a decade.
Novartis wins EU okay for first meningitis B vaccine
LONDON (Reuters) - The first vaccine against meningitis B
has been recommended for approval in Europe in a boost for its
field against larger rivals. The European Medicines Agency
(EMA) said on Friday that its experts had given a green light
to Bexsero for the prevention of "MenB". There is currently no
approved vaccine offering broad protection against this
particular type of meningitis.
EU watchdog endorses Sanofi diabetes and cancer drugs
LONDON (Reuters) - Sanofi
European regulators for two new drugs against diabetes and
cancer on Friday, a shot in the arm for the French company's
drive to bring new products to market. New diabetes drug
Lyxumia was recommended for treating type 2 diabetes and
Zaltrap was endorsed for the treatment of advanced colorectal
cancer, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) said.
Big rise in Americans with diabetes, especially in South
CHICAGO (Reuters) - A breakdown of U.S. diabetes cases
shows dramatic increases in the number of people diagnosed with
diabetes overall between 1995 and 2010, with especially sharp
increases among people in the South and in Appalachian states.
According to a study released on Thursday by the U.S. Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of diagnosed
cases of diabetes grew by 50 percent or more in 42 U.S. states,
and by 100 percent or more in 18 states.
Rising obesity strains Europe's shrinking health budgets
LONDON (Reuters) - More than half of Europeans are obese or
overweight, adding significant pressure to healthcare costs at
a time when spending is being cut by governments, the OECD and
European Commission said on Friday. On average across the
European Union, health spending per capita rose by 4.6 percent
a year in real terms between 2000 and 2009, but fell 0.6
percent in 2010.
U.S. gives states more time to make Obama health law
WASHINGTON/CHICAGO (Reuters) - The federal government on
Thursday gave states another month to decide if they will
operate insurance exchanges under the new U.S. healthcare law,
after some Republican governors stalled in the hope President
Barack Obama would lose last week's election. The delay was the
second time in a week that Health and Human Services Secretary
Kathleen Sebelius showed flexibility on deadlines as a way to
entice states to cooperate in implementing Obama's signature
Ireland to clarify abortion rules after woman's death
DUBLIN (Reuters) - Ireland's government pledged on Thursday
to clarify its abortion laws after an Indian woman who was
refused a termination died from blood poisoning in an Irish
hospital. Thousands took to the streets to protest on Wednesday
after news broke of the death of Savita Halappanavar of
septicemia following a miscarriage 17 weeks into her pregnancy.
Walking, cycling may ease cancer-related fatigue: study
"Exposure" to U.S. may raise immigrants' obesity risk
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - A new study finds that the
longer immigrants from Mexico, and their U.S.-born offspring,
spend in the United States, the greater their odds of becoming
obese. Compared to similar individuals living in Mexico,
researchers found the grandchildren of immigrants to the U.S.
from Mexico were three times more likely to be obese adults.
Australia quarantines farm to contain H7 bird flu outbreak
SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australia's first outbreak of a highly
pathogenic bird flu virus in 15 years should be contained by a
cull of 50,000 chickens, authorities said on Friday, although
they do not know what caused the case at an egg farm in New
South Wales state. The Department of Primary Industries (DPI)
said all chickens at the property in Maitland, 160 km (100
miles) north of Sydney, will be destroyed after the H7 virus
was detected last week.