Following is a summary of current health news briefs.
Drugmakers file second court challenge to Canada's new drug price rules
Canada's main pharmaceutical industry lobby group, along with 16 of its member companies, filed a lawsuit on Friday to block new regulations meant to lower patented drug prices, the second legal challenge to a new regime that could eventually reduce prices in the United States as well. Canada published the final regulations in August, despite heavy lobbying from drug companies, which stand to lose revenue as prices drop. The federal government estimates the new rules will save Canadian patients, employers and insurers, including governments, C$13.2 billion ($10 billion) over a decade.
China vice premier urges hog production recovery amid swine fever
Chinese Vice Premier Hu Chunhua has urged the country's main hog production areas to step up efforts to stabilize and recover production, state news agency Xinhua reported, amid a highly damaging outbreak of African swine fever. The deadly disease, first detected in China a year ago, has slashed the country's pig herd by almost a third and pushed hog prices to record highs.
Mental health conditions may prompt some women to have ovaries removed unnecessarily
Certain psychiatric conditions may prompt some women to choose to have their ovaries removed even when there is no medical justification for it, a new study suggests. "Some women suffer from psychiatric conditions that may change their perception of pain, bleeding and somatic symptoms, or may prompt the desire to address such symptoms with medical or surgical treatments," said study co-author Dr. Walter Rocca, a professor of epidemiology and neurology in the department of health sciences research at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.
Telemarketer charged in $1.2 billion Medicare fraud scheme pleads guilty in NJ
The owner of a telemarketing company implicated in the largest component of a $1.2 billion Medicare fraud involving the supply of medically unnecessary orthotic braces pleaded guilty to criminal charges on Friday, the U.S. Department of Justice said. Lester Stockett, the owner of Video Doctor USA and Telemed Health Group and chief executive of AffordADoc, also agreed to pay $200 million of restitution, as part of his plea to conspiracy to defraud the United States through kickbacks and conspiracy to commit money laundering, the department said.
Inside drugmakers' strategy to boost cancer medicines with 'Lazarus effect'
In the halls of MD Anderson Cancer Center, the drug Vitrakvi is known for having a "Lazarus effect" in some patients because it can reverse late-stage cancer that has defied all other treatment options. Developed by Eli Lilly and Co's Loxo Oncology and marketed by German drugmaker Bayer, it fights a rare genetic mutation that appears in less than 1% of solid tumors, regardless of where they appear in the body.
'Extreme grooming' not linked to STIs
Researchers say women who frequently remove most or all of their pubic hair are no more likely to contract chlamydia or gonorrhea than women who don't practice "extreme grooming." Previous studies have suggested that trimming or removing pubic hair is associated with sexually transmitted infections (STI), possibly because of easier transmission through broken skin or because individuals who groom more frequently might have more sex and therefore greater exposure to STIs. But the new study, published in PLoS ONE, found that lab-confirmed diagnoses of chlamydia and gonorrhea had no connection to women's grooming practices.
Poll finds older adults not fully prepared for emergencies
While most older adults say they are confident they're ready to handle emergencies like natural disasters or power outages, many are not as prepared as they could be for these events, a new U.S. poll suggests. The University of Michigan in partnership with Washington D.C.-based non-profit AARP conducted a new edition of the National Poll on Healthy Aging in May and released the findings recently.
Novo Nordisk to cut insulin prices in the U.S.
Novo Nordisk will offer cheaper insulin to U.S. diabetics, the Danish drugmaker said on Friday, in response to criticism over the high price of the medication and after similar moves by rivals Sanofi and Eli Lilly. President Donald Trump has made high prescription drug prices a top issue in the 2016 presidential campaign and said that drug companies were "getting away with murder".
Los Angeles County resident dies of lung illness, fifth U.S. death possibly tied to vaping
A Los Angeles County resident has died from a lung illness possibly tied to vaping, bringing the total number of such U.S. deaths to five, health officials said on Friday. Officials are warning against e-cigarette use as the exact cause of any link between vaping and the lung condition remains unknown.
Medical schools fall short on racial justice: student group
At leading U.S. medical schools, education of future doctors about racism, promotion of diversity, and service of patients of color are in need of improvement, survey results suggest. White Coats 4 Black Lives, a national group of medical students and doctors-in-training, released its second annual Racial Justice Report Card (RJRC), which indicates that medical schools have improved, but there's still work to do.
(With inputs from agencies.)