Health News Roundup: Flavored e-cigarettes; African swine fever; High B.P tied to earlier strokes
Following is a summary of current health news briefs.
U.S. concerned about Ebola outbreak in Congo conflict zone: official
The United States is worried about the outbreak of Ebola in conflict-hit eastern Congo where there are 312 confirmed and probable cases and 191 deaths, a USAID official said on Thursday. "We are absolutely concerned about the ongoing outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo," the senior USAID official, who is working with response teams, told Reuters. "It is not comparable at this point to the outbreak that occurred in West Africa in 2014," which spread to nine countries and involved more than 28,000 cases, she said.
Novartis division Sandoz recalls one lot of blood pressure drug
Novartis said on Thursday its Sandoz division was recalling one lot of losartan tablets after finding traces of a probable carcinogen in the blood pressure drug. The drug is made by China's Zhejiang Huahai Pharmaceutical Co Ltd. Last month, the European Medicines Agency placed the firm under high supervision after a probable carcinogen was found in its blood pressure drug valsartan.
FDA to announce ban on flavored e-cigarettes as soon as next week - Washington Post
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is expected to announce a ban on the sale of flavored e-cigarettes in convenience stores and gas stations across the country as soon as next week, the Washington Post reported on Thursday. The FDA will also impose rules such as age-verification requirements for online sales, the paper reported https://wapo.st/2Dvb7x9, citing senior agency officials.
Argue much? Hugs might help avoid bad moods after disagreements
People who get hugs are less likely to experience a bad mood after a disagreement than those who don't receive this kind of affection, a small study suggests. While close personal touch and meaningful social interactions with other people have long been linked to better physical and mental health, much of this research has focused on romantic or family relationships, researchers note in the online journal PLOS ONE.
Endo targets 2020 for launch of cellulite treatment
Endo International Plc said on Thursday it expects to launch its treatment for cellulite in the second half of 2020, a day after the company announced results from two late-stage trials testing the drug. The generic drugmaker, which beat third-quarter revenue and profit estimates, has pushed into other segments of its business, such as medical aesthetics, to cushion the impact of large retail pharmacies gaining more negotiating power for generics pricing.
U.S. companies team up with hospitals to reduce employee maternity costs
General Electric Co and other large companies are trying to chip away at rising childbirth costs for U.S. employees, working directly with hospitals to reduce cesarean sections and related complications. The efforts are in very early stages, with few details on their impact outside of cost savings of a few million dollars so far. But they illustrate yet another path companies are taking to bring down U.S. medical costs by working with doctors and hospitals to set health goals.
High blood pressure before age 40 tied to earlier strokes, heart disease
People who develop high blood pressure before age 40 have a higher risk of heart disease and strokes in middle age, two new studies suggest. One of the studies followed 4,800 young adults in the U.S. and found elevated blood pressure before age 40 associated with up to 3.5 times greater risk of heart disease and strokes over about 19 years of follow-up.
China reports new African swine fever outbreaks in three provinces
China found three new African swine fever cases on pig farms in Hunan, Jilin and Jiangxi provinces, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs said on Thursday. A combined of 194 pigs were killed out of 1,093 in these three provinces, said the ministry.
Coherus prices biosimilar to Amgen's Neulasta at 33 per cent discount
Coherus BioSciences Inc said on Thursday it would price its biosimilar to Amgen Inc's infection-fighting treatment, Neulasta, at a 33 per cent discount. The list price of $4,175 per unit set by Coherus is the same as Mylan NV's biosimilar Fulphila that was approved earlier this year.
Cardiac devices can cost six times more in U.S. than in Europe
Implanted heart devices like pacemakers and stents can cost two to six times more in the U.S. than in Germany, where costs are among the lowest in Europe, a recent study suggests. Medical devices account for about 6 per cent of health expenditures in the U.S. and 7 per cent in the European Union. But far less is known about pricing for devices than is known about drug costs, researchers note in Health Affairs. For the current study, they examined data on device prices at hospitals in the U.S., France, Germany, Italy and the UK from 2006 to 2014.
(With inputs from Reuters)
(With inputs from agencies.)