Following is a summary of current health news briefs.
UK fears crisis as 11.5 million get potentially addictive drugs
More and more Britons are being prescribed potentially addictive medicines like sleeping pills, opioids and other painkillers, raising the risk of a drug crisis like the one in the United States, health officials said on Tuesday. In a government-commissioned report, researchers at Public Health England (PHE) said evidence showed that "since at least 10 years ago more people are being prescribed more of these medicines and often for longer".
Novartis CEO promises to speed data integrity disclosures
Novartis Chief Executive Vas Narasimhan, facing an uproar over data manipulation involving $2.1 million gene therapy Zolgensma, pledged on Monday to tell regulators quickly if credible questions emerge in future over data integrity. Novartis has said it knew of discrepancies in Zolgensma data it had submitted to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration before it won approval for the world's most expensive medicine in May, but delayed informing regulators until June 28 while it completed an internal investigation.
China's Guangdong to release another 3,150 tonnes of pork from reserves to secure supplies
China's Guangdong province said it will release 3,150 tonnes of frozen pork from reserves during the upcoming holidays, part of a campaign to secure supplies of the country's favorite meat, local media reported on Monday, after a devastating disease ravaged the hog herd. The pig herd in the major pork consuming region has fallen 34% from the previous year in the first half of 2019, while the sow herd dropped 43%, the Nanfang Daily reported, citing government statistics.
New York governor proposes ban on flavored e-cigarettes
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo proposed legislation on Monday to ban flavored e-cigarettes statewide in an effort to protect young people from the unknown consequences of vaping. "Common sense says if you don't know what you're smoking, don't smoke it," Cuomo told reporters at a news conference. "And right now, we don't know what you're smoking in a lot of these vaping substances," he said.
Juul warned by FDA over marketing practices
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration warned Juul Labs Inc on Monday for marketing its e-cigarettes as safer than traditional cigarettes, the latest move by the agency to curb the use of vaping devices that have become extremely popular among teens. Juul has already come under scrutiny for its marketing initiatives, including its use of social media influencers to promote its vaping devices, with the Federal Trade Commission launching an investigation last month.
U.S. doctors' group says just stop vaping as deaths, illnesses rise
The American Medical Association on Monday urged Americans to stop using electronic cigarettes of any sort until scientists have a better handle on the cause of 450 lung illnesses and at least five deaths related to the use of the products. The AMA, one of the nation's most influential physician groups, also called on doctors to inform patients about the dangers of e-cigarettes, including toxins and carcinogens, and swiftly report any suspected cases of lung illness associated with e-cigarette use to their state or local health department.
Positive childhood experiences tied to better adult mental health
Kids who have more supportive experiences with family, friends, and people in their school and community may be less likely to have psychological or relationship troubles in adulthood, a new study suggests. Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) like abuse, neglect, violence, and parental absence have long been linked to lasting negative effects on physical and mental health, researchers note in JAMA Pediatrics. But less is known about whether positive experiences make it easier for kids to cope, or what happens with children whose lives have mix of negative and positive experiences.
AstraZeneca's Imfinzi prolongs survival in aggressive lung cancer
AstraZeneca's cancer treatment Imfinzi has been shown to prolong survival in a particularly aggressive type of lung cancer by close to three months, as the British drugmaker holds its ground in a crowded field against rival immunotherapy drugs. Imfinzi, when combined with chemotherapy, resulted in a median 13 months survival in a late-stage small cell lung cancer trial, the British drugmaker said on Monday, adding trial details to a brief statement published in June.
U.S. judge allows public nuisance claim in opioid trial
The U.S. judge overseeing nationwide litigation concerning the opioid epidemic on Monday rejected Purdue Pharma LP's effort to dismiss claims that its activities caused a public nuisance. U.S. District Judge Dan Polster in Cleveland ruled six weeks before the first scheduled federal trial over the epidemic, in a case brought by Cuyahoga and Summit counties in Ohio.
Colorectal cancer becoming more common at younger ages
Rates of early-onset colon cancer are rising in many high-income countries even as rates among older adults hold steady or decline, a new study shows. The trend toward more colon cancer in younger adults began in the mid-1990s, according to the report published in Gut.
(With inputs from agencies.)