Health

WASHINGTON Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives are considering a renewed push to pass legislation to repeal and replace Obamacare sometime in the next month, lawmakers and aides said on Tuesday after the collapse of the effort last week. U.S. Representative Dave Brat, a member of the conservative House Freedom Caucus that blocked the White House-backed bill, came out of a closed-door meeting of Republicans saying they were looking at ways to try passing legislation again. Congressional aides and other lawmakers confirmed the move. (Reporting by Richard Cowan; Writing by Doina Chiacu; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

(Reuters Health) – In states that legalized medical marijuana, U.S. hospitals failed to see a predicted influx of pot smokers, but in an unexpected twist, they treated far fewer opioid users, a new study shows. Hospitalization rates for opioid painkiller dependence and abuse dropped on average 23 percent in states after marijuana was permitted for medicinal purposes, the analysis found. Hospitalization rates for opioid overdoses dropped 13 percent on average. At the same time, fears that legalization of medical marijuana would lead to an uptick in cannabis-related hospitalizations proved unfounded, according to the report in Drug and Alcohol Dependence. “Instead, medical marijuana laws may have reduced hospitalizations related to opioid pain relievers,” said study author Yuyan Shi, a public health professor at the University of California, San Diego. “This study and a few others provided some evidence regarding the potential positive benefits of legalizing marijuana to reduce opioid use and abuse, but they are still …

BEIJING/WELLINGTON The deadly bird flu that’s forced mass bird culls and roiled the global egg and poultry trade has spawned one unlikely success – New Zealand, a rare source of disease-free birds and supplier for China’s voracious chicken consumption. When Spain reported an outbreak of H5N8 bird flu last month, it left New Zealand as the only source, albeit a tiny one, of disease-free birds to replenish China’s white-feathered broiler chicken stock. China, the world’s second-largest poultry consumer, relies on imports for its supply of white feather chicken, which are favored by fast-food chains for their more rapid development and plumper meat, compared with yellow-feathered birds, which are native to China and generally sold retail. New Zealand’s live chicken exports to China soared more than ten-fold last year and analysts expect rapid growth again this year. The world’s major poultry companies are looking to take advantage of the Pacific island’s clean credentials, which could create …

NEW YORK The amount that drugmaker Mylan NV avoided paying the U.S. government in Medicaid rebates for its EpiPen emergency allergy treatment since 2007 likely exceeds a proposed $465 million settlement the company announced in October, according to a study by private drug pricing experts published on Monday. Mylan, which was already under fire for steep price increases on the devices, said in October it agreed to settle with the U.S. government after it was accused of improperly classifying EpiPen with the Medicaid Drug Rebate Program as a generic treatment. Mylan, which said earlier this month that it was still working to finalize the settlement, did not admit wrongdoing. Drugmakers pay a rebate of 13 percent to state Medicaid programs on sales of generics, rather than a minimum rebate of 23.1 percent on branded drugs. According to estimates in the study, Mylan avoided paying more than $426 million in rebates between 2012 and 2016 by …

(Reuters Health) – Soaring prices and out-of-pocket costs for EpiPens to treat severe allergic reactions haven’t halted a surge in the number of children and adults filling prescriptions for the devices, a U.S. study suggests. Patients’ out-of-pocket spending for EpiPens climbed 535 percent from 2007 to 2014, the analysis of prescriptions filled by privately insured people under age 65 found. During that same period, the number of annual EpiPen prescriptions almost tripled. But the number of prescriptions filled by each patient barely changed. This suggests patients’ costs rose due to price increases, not because people started using more EpiPens, said lead study author Dr. Kao-Ping Chua, a public health researcher at the University of Chicago. “For EpiPen in particular, failing to fill a prescription due to cost could mean the difference between life or death when serious allergic reactions occur – this is why Mylan’s EpiPen price hikes are so ethically troublesome,” Chua said by …

GENEVA The health situation is deteriorating in Syria’s eastern Ghouta region near Damascus, where 300,000 people are besieged and none of the three hospitals is functioning, the World Health Organization said on Monday in a call for access to deliver aid. “Time is running out for the people of East Ghouta. As health needs increase, available resources are being depleted day by day. Our main goal now is to provide access to lifesaving care for thousands of vulnerable men, women and children immediately,” Elizabeth Hoff, WHO Representative in Syria, said in a statement. The number of children suffering from trauma injuries is “alarmingly high” in eastern Ghouta – an opposition stronghold – the WHO said. Thirty percent of all patients suffering war-related injuries children under 15 years of age, the WHO said. (Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay, editing by Tom Miles)

LONDON AstraZeneca has won approval for its lung cancer pill Tagrisso in China, a key market for the potential blockbuster medicine. Tagrisso is designed to help cancer patients with certain genetic mutations that are very common in China and the regulatory green light boosts the British drugmaker’s prospects in a key therapy area. Lung cancer is a vital component of AstraZeneca’s ambitious sales targets, set in 2014 in response to a takeover attempt by Pfizer, with Tagrisso forecast to contribute $3 billion. At the time, many analysts viewed the Tagrisso goal as unrealistic. Yet consensus forecasts have now risen to $2.8 billion for 2022, according to Thomson Reuters data, helped by its strong launch and the failure of some rival products. Tagrisso sales last year totaled $423 million. China is potentially the biggest market for the drug because 30 to 40 percent of Asian patients with non-small cell lung cancer have epidermal growth factor receptor …

DUBAI Saudi Arabia has temporarily banned imports of live birds, hatching eggs and chicks from Tennessee after a form of bird flu that is highly lethal for poultry was found in the U.S. state, the Saudi ministry of agriculture said on Sunday. The Tennessee Department of Agriculture reported this month that two commercial chicken flocks had been found to have been infected with H7N9 highly pathogenic flu. In a statement carried by the Saudi state news agency SPA, the Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture said the ban was issued in accordance with a warning issued by the World Organisation of Animal Health and would remain in place “until it is certain that they are free from the disease”. The Tennessee Department of Agriculture said on March 16 that a flock in Lincoln County was found to have been infected with H7N9, the same strain that was reported in another chicken flock less than two …

WASHINGTON President Donald Trump suffered a stunning political setback on Friday in a Congress controlled by his own party when Republican leaders pulled legislation to overhaul the U.S. healthcare system, a major 2016 election campaign promise of the president and his allies. House of Representatives leaders yanked the bill after a rebellion by Republican moderates and the party’s most conservative lawmakers left them short of votes, ensuring that Trump’s first major legislative initiative since taking office on Jan. 20 ended in failure. Democrats were unified against it. House Republicans had planned a vote on the measure after Trump late on Thursday cut off negotiations with Republicans who had balked at the plan and issued an ultimatum to vote on Friday, win or lose. But desperate lobbying by the White House and Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan was unable to round up the 216 votes needed for passage. “We learned a lot about loyalty. We learned …

Eli Lilly and Co said on Friday it would invest $850 million in its U.S. operations this year, and the drugmaker signaled it would be willing to spend more if the Trump administration were to overhaul tax laws. Lilly said investments would be made in research laboratories and manufacturing sites, mainly for its diabetes products. The move comes amid criticism from President Donald Trump about companies manufacturing abroad for U.S. consumers. The U.S. administration has threatened an import tax, while Trump has attacked some of the world’s biggest companies, prompting many to make promises to invest more in the United States. Many companies are also urging Congress to overhaul the U.S. tax system, saying a set of changes Republicans proposed last year – including a big cut in the corporate tax rate – will make them more competitive globally and help create U.S. jobs. Lilly could invest more in the United States, particularly if the …

1 2 3 31