Following is a summary of current health news briefs.
Guideline group turns gaze to opioid epidemic
As the opioid epidemic deepens, a government-backed panel that routinely draws up guidelines for disease prevention is starting to search for ways to prevent addiction to these drugs in the first place. The United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) has drafted a plan for research to identify evidence-based strategies that could lower the likelihood of addiction developing out of opioid prescriptions.
Drugmaker GSK to split after striking Pfizer consumer health deal
GlaxoSmithKline plans to split into two businesses -- one for prescription drugs and vaccines, the other for over-the-counter products -- after forming a new joint venture with Pfizer's consumer health division. The revamp is the boldest move yet by GSK Chief Executive Emma Walmsley, who took over last year.
More U.S. adults may be trying to lose weight, after all
Researchers said last year that the proportion of overweight U.S. adults trying to lose weight has been shrinking - but newly reanalyzed data suggest the proportion of adults trying to slim down actually grew slightly. Based on a U.S. survey, researchers had originally reported in JAMA that the proportion of adults who are overweight and obese surged from 53% to 66% over roughly the past three decades. They also said that over the same period, the proportion of overweight and obese adults trying to lose weight dropped from 56% to 49%.
Novartis links with China's Gan & Lee in global insulin push
Swiss drugmaker Novartis aims to become a big player in supplying insulin to diabetics, signing a deal with China's Gan & Lee covering versions of three blockbuster brands just as the U.S. government is seeking to slash insulin costs. Novartis said on Wednesday its Sandoz generics unit is targeting Sanofi's Lantus (glargine), with about $6 billion in annual sales, Novo Nordisk's NovoLog (aspart) with about $3.2 billion, and Eli Lilly's Humalog (lispro), whose sales are some $2.9 billion.
China reports first African swine fever outbreak in Guangdong province
China confirmed on Wednesday the first African swine fever outbreak in southern Guangdong province, as the highly contagious disease continues to spread through the world's largest hog herd. The outbreak in Zhuhai city in Guangdong province killed 11 animals in a slaughterhouse, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs said on its website.
Allergan stops sales in Europe of breast implants linked to cancer
Breast implants made by drugmaker Allergan, which have been linked to a rare form of cancer, are being taken off the market in Europe, said a French regulatory body. France's National Agency for the Safety of Medicines & Health Products (ANSM) said in a statement late Tuesday that the decision concerned Allergan's Microcell and Biocell products.
Teen pot users may hallucinate, become paranoid
More than two in five teens who use marijuana experience psychotic symptoms like hallucinations, paranoia and anxiety, a U.S. study suggests. Marijuana use during adolescence has long been linked to an increased risk of developing psychotic disorders like schizophrenia as well as other mental health problems, researchers note in JAMA Pediatrics. While previous research has found otherwise healthy adult marijuana users can experience psychotic symptoms, less is known about the potential for this to occur among teens.
J&J says Indian drug regulators visited facilities, took talc samples
Indian drug authorities visited some of Johnson & Johnson's facilities on Wednesday and took "tests and samples" of its talcum powder, the company said in a statement. The visits came as regulators in India launched an investigation into J&J's Baby Powder following a Reuters report last Friday that the firm knew for decades that cancer-causing asbestos could be found in the product.
Molecular Partners agrees cancer immunotherapy deal with Amgen
Swiss biotechnology company Molecular Partners said it could earn more than $500 million in payments after striking a deal with U.S. drug giant Amgen to work together in cancer immunotherapy. The deal, which includes $50 million upfront, is a welcome liquidity infusion for Zurich-based Molecular, which said last year it could sell more shares or seek a partner for one of its pipeline assets to replenish its coffers by 2019. [https://reut.rs/2Lo3Yjp]
FDA panel backs prescribing opioid overdose reversal drug along with painkillers
An advisory panel to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday recommended prescribing the opioid overdose reversal drug, naloxone, along with addictive painkillers. The panel, which concluded a two-day discussion on ways to make the potentially life-saving drug readily available, voted 12-11 in favor of labeling changes for opioids that recommend co-prescribing the overdose antidote.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)