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Benefit of oral ketoconazole does not outweigh risk of liver injury in fungal infections

European Medicines Agency recommends suspension of marketing authorisations for oral ketoconazole

 

London, UK (July 26, 2013) - The European Medicines Agency’s Committee on Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) has recommended that the marketing authorisations of oral ketoconazole-containing medicines should be suspended throughout the European Union (EU). The CHMP concluded that the risk of liver injury is greater than the benefits in treating fungal infections.

 

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FDA permits marketing of first test labeled for simultaneous detection of tuberculosis bacteria and resistance to the antibiotic rifampin

 

Silver Spring, MD, USA (July 25, 2013) - The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today allowed marketing of the Xpert MTB/RIF Assay, the first FDA-reviewed test that can simultaneously detect bacteria that cause tuberculosis (TB) and determine if the bacteria contain genetic markers that makes them resistant to rifampin, an important antibiotic for the treatment of TB. 

 

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Study shows women’s pricy purchases can keep rivals away from their mate

Luxury products' role in relationships

 

MINNEAPOLIS / ST. PAUL, MN, USA (July 24, 2013) — Purchasing designer handbags and shoes is a means for women to express their style, boost self-esteem, or even signal status. New University of Minnesota research suggests some women also seek these luxury items to prevent other women from stealing their man.

 

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Cannabis constituent has no effect on MS progression

 

  • But there may be some benefit to those at the lower end of the disability scale

 

Plymouth, UK (July 23, 2013) - The first large non-commercial clinical study to investigate whether the main active constituent of cannabis (tetrahydrocannabinol or THC) is effective in slowing the course of progressive multiple sclerosis (MS), shows that there is no evidence to suggest this; although benefits were noted for those at the lower end of the disability scale. The study is published in The Lancet Neurology.

 

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Integrative medicine interventions found to significantly reduce pain, improve quality of life

 

  • New study points to sustainable effects of patient-centered care

 

Durham, NC, USA (July 22, 2013) - An integrative approach to treating chronic pain significantly reduces pain severity while improving mood and quality of life, according to a new study from the Bravewell Practice-Based Research Network (BraveNet) published last month in BioMed Central Complementary and Alternative Medicine journal. Researchers found a reduction in pain severity of more than 20 percent and a drop in pain interference of nearly 30 percent in patients after 24 weeks of integrative care. Significant improvements in mood, stress, quality of life, fatigue, sleep and well-being were also observed.

 

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Vaccinating boys plays key role in HPV prevention

 

  • A look at factors associated with vaccine’s low rate of adoption

 

TORONTO, ON Canada (July 22, 2013) – Improving vaccination rates against the human papillomavirus (HPV) in boys aged 11 to 21 is key to protecting both men and women, says new research from University of Toronto Professor Peter A. Newman from the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work.

HPV has been linked to anal, penile and certain types of throat cancers in men. Since the virus is also responsible for various cancers in women, vaccinating boys will play a crucial role in reducing cancer rates across the sexes.

 

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A new NICE guideline aims to improve the outcomes for people who have suffered the most severe type of heart attack

NICE publishes guideline for treating people with acute heart attack

 

London, UK (July 10, 2013) - If you've had or are having a heart attack, time is of the essence.

Professor Huon Gray, Consultant Cardiologist and National Clinical Director for Heart Disease, NHS England, who chaired the independent guideline development that produced NICE's guideline on treating people who have had a heart attack, said: “Time is muscle. Nearly half of potentially salvageable heart muscle is lost within one hour of the coronary artery being blocked, and two-thirds is lost within three hours. The more heart muscle that is lost, the poorer the outcome for the patient. Apart from resuscitation if your heart stops, restoring blood flow to the heart as quickly as possible is the most important priority.”

 

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H7N9 influenza

History of similar viruses gives cause for concern

 

Washington, DC, USA (July 9, 2013) - The H7N9 avian flu strain that emerged in China earlier this year has subsided for now, but it would be a mistake to be reassured by this apparent lull in infections. The virus has several highly unusual traits that paint a disquieting picture of a pathogen that may yet lead to a pandemic, according to lead scientists from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. David Morens, Jeffery Taubenberger, and Anthony Fauci, in a paper published in mBio®, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology, describe the history of H7 viruses in animal and human disease and point out that H7 influenza has a tendency to become established in bird, horse, and swine populations and may spillover repeatedly into humans.

 

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Brain-training and brainpower

Placebo effect largely ignored in psychological intervention studies

 

CHAMPAIGN, Ill., USA (July 9, 2013) — Many brain-training companies tout the scientific backing of their products – the laboratory studies that reveal how their programs improve your brainpower. But according to a new report, most intervention studies like these have a critical flaw: They do not adequately account for the placebo effect. The new analysis appears in the journal Perspectives on Psychological Science.

 

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Nurse practitioners provide more primary care in states with least restrictive regulations

 

Galveston, TX, (July 8, 2013) - Facing a nationwide shortage of primary care physicians, some states in recent years have eased up on regulations that create barriers for nurse practitioners who want to work as primary care providers. That easing of rules has had the intended effect. According to a new study by researchers at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, those states with the fewest restrictions on nurse practitioners' scope of practice had two-and-a-half times more patients receiving primary care from nurse practitioners than did the most restrictive states.

 

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Previous efforts to improve care for bone health after one of these fractures have had limited success

Patients who are engaged in their own care are more likely to reduce the risk of future fractures

 

TORONTO, Canada (July 8, 2013) - People over the age of 50 who have suffered a fracture because of a slip or trip play a central role in making sure they get proper care to prevent a future fracture, a new study has found. The findings are important because previous efforts to improve care for bone health after one of these fractures have had limited success.

 

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Study found those with clinical depression were more likely to set abstract goals that were difficult to achieve

People with depression tend to pursue generalised goals

 

Liverpool, UK (July 8, 2013) - Researchers from the University of Liverpool have found that people with depression have more generalised personal goals than non-depressed people. A study conducted by Dr Joanne Dickson, in the University’s Institute of Psychology, Health and Society, analysed the lists of personal goals made by people who suffered with depression and those who didn’t.

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More than a quarter of over 70s with type 2 diabetes could benefit simply from improving communication and education in the clinic, new research has revealed

Tailoring diabetes treatment to older patients yields dramatic results

 

Exeter, UK (July 8,2013) - More than a quarter of over 70s with type 2 diabetes could benefit simply from improving communication and education in the clinic, new research has revealed. A study led by the University of Exeter Medical School and published in The Lancet found that 27 percent achieved better glycaemic control through individualised care alone.

 

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Everolimus/Afinitor

Breast cancer drug not cost effective for NHS, says draft NICE guidance

 

London, UK (July 8, 2013) - The cancer drug everolimus (also called Afinitor and manufactured by Novartis Pharmaceuticals) is not recommended as an NHS-funded treatment for a type of advanced breast cancer because it is not good value for money, says latest draft guidance from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE).

 

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Demographic change is predicted to increase emergency hospital admissions and length of emergency visits

The aging population and emergency departments

 

Boston, NE, USA (July 8, 2013) – As the population gets older, and the baby boomers begin to enter their 60's and 70's, one might assume that the number of trips to the emergency department will also increase. This is contradicted by new research from Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH), which shows that population aging will not cause the number of emergency department (ED) visits to increase between now and 2050. However, visits will become longer and hospitalizations will become more frequent. This research will appear in the July issue of Health Affairs.

 

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Ethical quandary about vaccinations sparked by tension between parental rights and protecting public health

 

NEW YORK, NY, USA (July 8, 2013) – Increased concerns about the perceived risk of vaccination, inconvenience, or religious tenets are leading more U.S. parents to opt-out of vaccinating their children. Parents are increasingly able to do so in states that have relatively simple procedures for immunization exemption, report researchers at NYU Langone Medical Center in the July issue of Health Affairs. Some states, fearing a public health crisis, have responded by putting in place more burdensome procedures for parents of school-aged children to opt-out. All this adds up to an ethical quagmire, say the researchers.

 

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New study reveals important role of insulin in making breast milk

 

Cincinnati, Ohio, USA (July 5, 2013) - Why do so many mothers have difficulty making enough milk to breastfeed? A new study by scientists at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center and the University of California Davis adds to their previous research implicating insulin's role in lactation success.

 

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NICE consults on advice to help care homes support mental wellbeing of vulnerable older people

 

London, UK (July 5, 2013) - With the UK's population getting increasingly older and stories relating to care home neglect in the news, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) is developing advice for care homes to help them promote the mental wellbeing of older people by supporting and empowering those they look after.

 

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First method for directly measuring the extent to which drugs reach their targets in the cell

Technological breakthrough paves the way for better drugs

 

Stockholm, Sweden (July 4, 2013) - Researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden have developed the first method for directly measuring the extent to which drugs reach their targets in the cell. The method, which is described in the scientific journal Science, could make a significant contribution to the development of new, improved drug substances.

 

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Increased risk of heart attack or stroke associated with many arthritis drugs may be avoidable

New research could pave the way to safer treatments for arthritis

 

London, UK (July 4, 2013) - The increased risk of heart attack or stroke associated with many arthritis drugs may be avoidable, according to a new international study co-authored by researchers at Imperial College London. Drugs such as Vioxx, diclofenac, ibuprofen and Celebrex operate by blocking an enzyme known as COX-2, whose presence in blood vessels has up until now been held responsible for these side effects. New research carried out on mice has revealed that COX-2 is largely absent from the major blood vessels and instead found in the brain, gut, and kidney as well as the thymus gland in the chest.

 

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EULAR issues updated rheumatoid arthritis management recommendations

 

  • Recommendations address use of synthetic and biological disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs

 

Kilchberg, Switzerland (July 3, 2013) - The European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) has released updated recommendations for the management of RA. According to this latest guidance, treatment with disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) should be initiated as soon as a diagnosis of RA is made, with the aim of reaching a target of remission or low disease activity in every patient.

 

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National clinical trial demonstrates the 3-gene signature test, developed at Weill Cornell Medical College, will improve care of kidney transplant patients

Urine biomarker test can diagnose as well as predict rejection of transplanted kidneys

 

NEW YORK, USA (July 3, 2013) - A breakthrough non-invasive test can detect whether transplanted kidneys are in the process of being rejected, as well as identify patients at risk for rejection weeks to months before they show symptoms, according to a study published in The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM).

By measuring just three genetic molecules in a urine sample, the test accurately diagnoses acute rejection of kidney transplants, the most frequent and serious complication of kidney transplants, says the study's lead author, Dr. Manikkam Suthanthiran, the Stanton Griffis Distinguished Professor of Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College and chief of transplantation medicine, nephrology and hypertension at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center.

 

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Neurology

Does being a bookworm boost your brainpower in old age?

 

MINNEAPOLIS, MN, USA (July 3, 2013) – New research suggests that reading books, writing and participating in brain-stimulating activities at any age may preserve memory. The study is published in the July 3, 2013, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. "Our study suggests that exercising your brain by taking part in activities such as these across a person's lifetime, from childhood through old age, is important for brain health in old age," said study author Robert S. Wilson, PhD, with Rush University Medical Center in Chicago.

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CDC study shows emergency department visits also on the rise among women

Deaths from Prescription Painkiller Overdoses Rise Sharply Among Women

 

Atlanta, GA, USA (July 2, 2013) - The number of prescription painkiller overdose deaths increased five fold among women between 1999 and 2010, according to a Vital Signs report released today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. While men are more likely to die of a prescription painkiller overdose, since 1999 the percentage increase in deaths was greater among women (400 percent in women compared to 265 percent in men). Prescription painkiller overdoses killed nearly 48,000 women between 1999 and 2010.

 

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Lancet

Single Men, Smokers at Higher Risk for Oral Human Papillomavirus Infection, Moffitt Cancer Center Study Shows

 

TAMPA, FL, USA (July 2, 2013) – Smokers and single men are more likely to acquire cancer-causing oral human papillomavirus (HPV), according to new results from the HPV Infection in Men (HIM) Study. Researchers from Moffitt Cancer Center, the National Cancer Institute, Mexico and Brazil also report that newly acquired oral HPV infections in healthy men are rare and when present, usually resolve within one year. The study results appeared in the July issue of The Lancet.

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FDA approves the first non-hormonal treatment for hot flashes associated with menopause

 

Silver Spring, MD, USA (June 28, 2013) - The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved Brisdelle (paroxetine)to treat moderate to severe hot flashes (vasomotor symptoms) associated with menopause. Brisdelle, which contains the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor paroxetine mesylate, is currently the only non-hormonal treatment for hot flashes approved by the FDA.

 

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Journal of the American College of Surgeons study author says that patients' medical follow-up after a melanoma diagnosis should be lifelong

Surgeons report melanoma recurs after 10 years in more than 6 percent of patients

 

Chicago, Ill., USA (June 27, 2013) - Recurrence of melanoma skin cancer 10 or more years after initial treatment is more common than previously thought, occurring in more than one in 20 patients. However, according to a new study, these patients tend to live longer after their cancer returns than patients whose melanoma recurs in the first three years. The study results appear in the July issue of the Journal of the American College of Surgeons.

 

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Menopause

Calcium and vitamin D help hormones help bones

 

Cleveland, Ohio, USA (June 26, 2013) - Should women take calcium and vitamin D supplements after menopause for bone health? Recommendations conflict, and opinions are strong. But now, an analysis from the major Women's Health Initiative (WHI) trial throws weight on the supplement side—at least for women taking hormones after menopause. The analysis was published online today in Menopause, the journal of The North American Menopause Society.

 

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Memory improves for older adults using computerized brain-fitness program

 

Los Angeles, Cal., USA (June 25, 2013) - UCLA researchers have found that older adults who regularly used a brain-fitness program on a computer demonstrated significantly improved memory and language skills.

 

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Rates of infection in intensive care units in England show impressive fall

 

NHS staff matched gains in controlling infection seen in the US

 

Leicester, UK (June 24, 2013) - Hospitals across England reduced the rate of serious bloodstream infections in intensive care units (ICUs) during a two-year programme, research has shown. More than 200 ICUs in England participated in the National Patient Safety Agency's Matching Michigan programme, which aimed to bring down infections linked to central venous catheters to the rate seen in a landmark programme in the US state of Michigan. Reducing the number of infections by more than 60%, the English ICUs were able to equal the low rates seen in the US.

 

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Vitamin D reduces blood pressure and relieves depression in women with diabetes

 

MAYWOOD, Il., USA (June 24, 2013) - In women who have type 2 diabetes and show signs of depression, vitamin D supplements significantly lowered blood pressure and improved their moods, according to a pilot study at Loyola University Chicago Niehoff School of Nursing. Vitamin D even helped the women lose a few pounds. The study was presented at the American Diabetes Association 73rd Scientific Sessions in Chicago.

 

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FDA approves Vibativ for hospitalized patients with bacterial pneumonia

 

Silver Spring, MD, USA (June 21, 2013) - The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today expanded the approved use of the antibiotic Vibativ (telavancin) to treat patients with hospital-acquired and ventilator-associated bacterial pneumonia (HABP/VABP) caused by Staphylococcus aureus. Vibativ should be used for the treatment of HABP/VABP only when alternative treatments are not suitable.

 

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Studies demonstrate the strategy to kill melanoma by sensitizing resistant cells

Diabetes drug points the way to overcoming drug resistance in melanoma

 

Philadelphia, PA, USA (June 13, 2013) - Advanced metastatic melanoma is a disease that has proven difficult to eradicate. Despite the success of melanoma-targeting drugs, tumors inevitably become drug resistant and return, more aggressive than before. In the current issue of the journal Cancer Cell, however, researchers at The Wistar Institute describe how they increase the effectiveness of anti-melanoma drugs by combining anticancer therapies with diabetes drugs.

 

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American Society of Clinical Oncology

New cancer drug shows promise for treating advanced melanoma

 

Los Angeles, CA, USA (June 2, 2013) - Researchers from UCLA's Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center report that a new drug in preliminary tests has shown promising results with very manageable side effects for treating patients with melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer.

 

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Doctors prescribe more analgesics to women than to men just for being female

 

Madrid, Spain (May 21, 2013) - Regardless of pain, social class or age, a woman is more likely to be prescribed pain-relieving drugs. A study published in Gaceta Sanitaria (Spanish health scientific journal) affirms that this phenomenon is influenced by socioeconomic inequality between genders in the Autonomous Community in which the patient resides.

 

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FDA approves Kcentra for the urgent reversal of anticoagulation in adults with major bleeding

 

Silver Spring, MD (April 29, 2013) - The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved Kcentra (Prothrombin Complex Concentrate, Human) for the urgent reversal of vitamin K antagonist (VKA) anticoagulation in adults with acute major bleeding. Plasma is the only other product approved for this use in the United States.

 

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Seven new medicines recommended for approval

EMA-Meeting highlights from the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) 22-25 April 2013

 

London (April 26, 2013) - This page provides an overview of the opinions adopted at the April 2013 meeting of the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) and other important outcomes. 

  • The Committee recommended the approval of the first combined tissue-engineered medicine to be authorised across the European Union (EU). MACI (matrix-induced autologous chondrocyte implantation) is an advanced-therapy medicinal product (ATMP) intended for the repair of cartilage defects.
  • The Committee also gave a positive recommendation for the approval of Nuedexta, the first medicine for pseudobulbar effect approved in the EU.
  • Four medicines to treat cancer received a positive opinion by the Committee:  Erivedge, for the treatment of advanced basal cell carcinoma; Xtandi, for the treatment of prostate cancer and the two generic medicines Capecitabine Sun and Imatinib Accord.
  • The CHMP also recommended that Spedra should be granted a marketing authorisation for the treatment of erectile dysfunction.
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Supplement helped control blood-sugar levels in obese youths

Vitamin D May Lower Diabetes Risk in Obese Children and Adolescents, MU Study Finds

 

Columbia, Mo., USA (March 26, 2013) – Childhood and adolescent obesity rates in the United States have increased dramatically in the past three decades. Being obese puts individuals at greater risk for developing Type 2 diabetes, a disease in which individuals have too much sugar in their blood. Now, University of Missouri researchers found vitamin D supplements can help obese children and teens control their blood-sugar levels, which may help them stave off the disease.

 

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European Medicines Agency investigates findings on pancreatic risks with GLP-1-based therapies for type 2 diabetes

 

London (March 26, 2013) - The European Medicines Agency is investigating findings by a group of independent academic researchers that suggest an increased risk of pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas) and pre-cancerous cellular changes called pancreatic duct metaplasia in patients with type 2 diabetes treated with so-called GLP-1-based therapies (glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) agonists and dipeptidylpeptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitors).

 

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Large-scale study finds vitamin supports lung function as well as bone health

Vitamin D benefits breathing in tuberculosis patients

 

Chevy Chase, MD, USA (March 26, 2013) - Maintaining adequate levels of vitamin D can help people breathe better and may even protect against tuberculosis (TB), according to a recent study accepted for publication in The Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (JCEM).

The study of more than 10,000 Korean adults found that lung function improved when people had absorbed more vitamin D into their bodies. Vitamin D is absorbed primarily through sunlight, with a healthy diet as a secondary source.

 

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FDA

Temporary Tattoos May Put You at Risk

 

Silver Spring, MD, USA (March 25, 2013) - Spring break is on the way, or maybe summer vacation. Time to pack your swim suit, hit the beach, and perhaps indulge in a little harmless fun. What about getting a temporary tattoo to mark the occasion? Who could it hurt to get a temporary tattoo?

It could hurt you, if you actually get one. Temporary tattoos typically last from three days to several weeks, depending on the product used for coloring and the condition of the skin. Unlike permanent tattoos, which are injected into the skin, temporary tattoos marketed as "henna" are applied to the skin's surface.

 

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