Following is a summary of current health news briefs.
Swiss, German drugmakers join U.S. price freeze
European drugmakers Roche, Bayer and Merck KGaA became the latest companies to freeze prices in the United States for the rest of 2018 following criticism by President Donald Trump over the cost of medicine. Roche did boost U.S. prices for nine key drugs by an average of 3 percent on July 1, but said it would hold off additional increases as discussions with the Trump administration continue over a longer-term solution to containing healthcare costs.
Agios Pharmaceuticals leukemia drug gets U.S. approval
Agios Pharmaceuticals Inc said on Friday the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved its treatment for a type of leukemia, the first targeted drug for patients with a specific genetic mutation. The company plans to launch the drug, Tibsovo, in the United States in about 48 hours, Chief Executive Officer David Schenkein told Reuters.
EU drug regulators step up work to prepare for 'no deal' Brexit
Drug regulators across Europe are hiring extra staff and increasing their workload as the role of British experts in the EU-wide system of medicines supervision winds down ahead of Brexit. Although the UK's exit from the European Union is still eight months away, Britain has already stopped taking on new projects that will extend beyond March 29, 2019 and is preparing to hand over existing drug review work to other countries.
CPR training should change, and maybe there should be an app for that
To help more patients survive cardiac arrest, traditional CPR training needs an overhaul with more chances for practice - and instructions on social and digital platforms might help lessons stick, some doctors argue. Few Americans are trained in cardiopulmonary resuscitation, or CPR, and many people who do learn how to do this don't practice or take refresher courses over the years to keep their skills fresh. Improving CPR.training might help people retain these lessons longer and increase the long odds that cardiac arrest patients survive long enough to leave a hospital.
Bayer to phase out Essure birth control device in U.S.
Life sciences company Bayer AG said on Friday it would discontinue the sale of its birth control product Essure in the United States, citing a decline in sales of the implantable device that made the business no longer sustainable. The decision followed an announcement by the company in September 2017 that it would discontinue the sale of the contentious sterilization device in all countries outside the United States.
Roche gets breakthrough status for Alzheimer's test Elecsys
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has granted Roche an accelerated review for its Elecsys product used to diagnose Alzheimer's disease, the Swiss drugmaker said on Friday. The FDA gave breakthrough device designation to Elecsys, which examines the cerebrospinal fluid in adult patients with cognitive impairment who are being evaluated for Alzheimer's disease or other causes of dementia.
'Invisible' stool blood tied to increased risk of premature death
A screening test for colon cancer that looks for "invisible" blood in stool may also predict a heightened risk of premature death from other causes, a recent study suggests. Researchers examined data on 133,921 adults in Scotland who got screened for colon cancer using what's known as a fecal occult blood test (FOBT). When these tests are positive for blood in the stool, it can signal cancer, but it doesn't always mean people have tumors.
U.S. court rejects Allergan bid to shield patents through tribe deal
A U.S. appeals court on Friday rejected a novel strategy adopted by drug company Allergan PLC to shield patents from review by an administrative court by transferring them to a Native American tribe. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit said a tribunal run by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has authority to review the validity of patents covering Allergan's dry eye drug Restasis.
Cigarette use declines among U.S. young women, but marijuana blunt use rises
Cigarette use decreased among young women - including pregnant women - during the past decade in the U.S., according to a new study. But, researchers found, use of marijuana blunts rose. A blunt is a cigar that's been hollowed out and filled with marijuana. Although researchers aren't sure about the health implications of the increase, they want to know more given the rapid changes in state marijuana laws, the study authors wrote in the American Journal of Public Health.
Honduras appeals WTO landmark ruling on Australia's plain tobacco packaging
Honduras has appealed against a WTO ruling won last month by Australia on its "plain" packaging requirements for tobacco, a WTO spokesman said on Friday. In a landmark ruling, the WTO panel said Australia's law improved public health by reducing the use of tobacco products, rebuffing claims that alternative measures would be equally effective.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)