Reuters Health News Summary

Reuters Health News Summary
March 15 12:58 2016 Print This Article

Following is a summary of current health news briefs.

Top NFL Official Acknowledges Link Between Football and
Brain Disease

A top NFL official acknowledged for the first time on Monday a link between football-related concussions and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), the degenerative brain condition caused by repeated blows to the head. The statement came from the National Football League’s senior vice president for health and safety, Jeff Miller, when he was asked during a hearing before the U.S. House of Representatives’ Energy and Commerce Committee whether a link has been established between football and disorders such as CTE.

P&G Stops Selling Vicks Action 500 Extra in India After Ban

U.S. consumer health giant Procter & Gamble’s India unit said on Tuesday it had stopped manufacture and sale of its cough-and-cold medicine Vicks Action 500 Extra with immediate effect, after regulators banned it citing potential health risk.  The product is a mixed dose combination of paracetamol, phenylephrine and caffeine, which was banned by India’s health ministry in a notice issued over the weekend, Procter & Gamble Hygiene and Health Care Ltd informed the stock exchange.

Alere Receives Grand Jury Subpoena From U.S. DoJ

Diagnostic test maker Alere Inc, which has agreed to be acquired by Abbott Laboratories, said it had received a grand jury subpoena from the U.S. Department of Justice seeking documents relating to its sales practices in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Alere, which makes tests for infections including HIV, tuberculosis, malaria and dengue, said on Tuesday it was in the process of responding to the subpoena, which relates to the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

Vermont Legislature on Track to be First in U.S. to Legalize Marijuana

Liberal-leaning Vermont could become the first U.S. state to legalize recreational marijuana use through legislation, rather than by voter initiative, in a move that advocates for the drug say could speed its acceptance across the nation. State representatives this month are set to take up a bill passed by the state Senate in February that would allow adults over 21 to purchase and smoke the drug beginning in 2018.

Orexigen Buys U.S. Obesity Pill Rights from Takeda, Partners Valeant

Orexigen Therapeutics Inc said it agreed to buy the U.S. rights to its flagship obesity drug from partner Takeda Pharmaceutical Co Ltd and will tap Canada’s Valeant Pharmaceutical International Inc to sell the pill in parts of Europe. Orexigen’s shares jumped about 30 percent to 91 cents before the bell on Tuesday.

Mexico Governor Floats Idea of Medical Opium Growing to Reduce Drug Violence

A senior Mexican official has said legalizing cultivation of opium poppies for medicinal purposes might help reduce violence in one of the regions most affected by brutal drug gangs that have ravaged the country for years. Hector Astudillo, governor of Guerrero, one of the most violent states in Mexico, told Milenio television it was worth at least exploring the possibility of allowing cultivation.

Infrastructure Inequality is Catalyst for Brazil’s Zika Epidemic

The mosquito, a Brazilian saying goes, is a democratic devil – it bites rich and poor alike. But an outbreak of the Zika virus has revealed deep inequality when it comes to who bears the brunt of living among the insects.

Indian Court Grants Temporary Relief to Abbott, Glenmark in Drug Ban Case

An Indian court on Tuesday granted interim injunction to U.S. drugmaker Abbott’s India unit, and domestic companies Glenmark Pharmaceuticals and Macleods Pharmaceuticals, on the prohibition on sale of several combination drugs. India banned 344 drug combinations over the weekend, including Abbott’s codeine-based cough syrup, after a government panel of experts found they had “no therapeutic justification.”

FDA to Review Roche’s Bladder Cancer Drug on Priority Basis

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has granted a priority review status to Roche’s immunotherapy to treat advanced bladder cancer, the Swiss pharmaceutical maker said on Tuesday.  The drug, atezolizumab, was granted the status based on results
of a study, which showed the drug shrank tumors and that a majority of patients continued to respond to the treatment after nearly a year of follow up,” Roche Chief Medical Officer Sandra Horning said.

Quitting Smoking Abruptly has Best Long-Term Results

People who quit smoking all at once are more likely to be successful than those who cut down on cigarettes gradually, according to a new study. “For many people, the obvious way to quit smoking is to cut down gradually until they stop,” said lead author Nicola Lindson-Hawley, a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Oxford in the U.K.