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NB Productions Your guide on the Web since 2000: Health

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Page 2 of 18 (86 total stories) [ << | < | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | > | >> ]  

Thousands of New Proteins Discovered in Spinal Fluid

A U.S. and Swedish team identified 2,630 proteins in the clear fluid that protects the brain and spinal cord.

(PhysOrg.com) -- Scientists and doctors have a far better understanding of the proteins in healthy spinal fluid, thanks to a U.S., Swedish team who identified 2,630 proteins in the clear fluid that protects the brain and spinal cord. This discovery nearly triples the number of proteins known to exist in spinal fluid. Another striking finding was that slightly more than half of the proteins were not found in blood.

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Posted by NB on Friday, July 16, 2010 @ 13:19:33 UTC (1809 reads)
(Score: 0)
Female Answer To Viagra Just Can't Stand Up To Testing Says FDA

Sad news for the world of gettin-it-on today: A drug that had been intended as a female analog to Viagra has not only not shown promise in tests, but has actually demonstrated some quite non-sexy side effects.

According to documents released regarding the experimental drug flibanserin, women who tested the pill reported depression, fainting, fatigue and other problems. Additionally, the FDA says that the drug's tolerability was "only moderate."

An FDA panel is to meet tomorrow to discuss whether or not to approve flibanserin (proposed retail name: Girosa) as a prescription drug for treating premenopausal women with hypoactive sexual desire disorder, aka a lack of sex drive.

But the results of two sets of clinical trials have given the FDA concerns about the drug's efficacy.

According to the FDA, while the drug increased the number of sexually satisfying experiences it failed to improve sexual desire.

Wrote the reviewers in their notes for the panel:
"Therefore, neither study met the agreed-upon criteria for success in establishing [efficacy]."

As mentioned above, many trial subjects experienced fatigue, drowsiness and other side effects. Thus, the FDA isn't sure if just slapping a warning label on the drug would be enough. "It is not clear if labeling alone will be sufficient to alert women to the numerous drug interactions that exist with flibanserin," they said.

Regardless, the maker of the drug, German pharma biggie Boehringer Ingelheim, thinks they've got this one in the bag.

Says some guy from Boehringer whose medicine cabinet probably has all sorts of cool bottles in it, "We are confident in our data that flibanserin's safety and efficacy has been demonstrated."

The panel's recommendation isn't the final say on a drug's approval, though it is a very good barometer for whether or not the drug company should start ordering party hats.

The bigger question involved with this -- and all "female Viagras" -- is that, unlike Viagra, which fixes a mechanical issue in male patients, these drugs are attempting to deal with something perceived to be more mental or psychological in nature.

So do you think a drug that works on this level would be as successful in terms of sales as Viagra has been for Pfizer?

'Female Viagra' pill a failure in tests, FDA officials say

Posted by NB on Friday, June 18, 2010 @ 06:45:30 UTC (2021 reads)
(Score: 0)
FDA Investigating Walgreens Genetic-Testing Kits

If you were, well, salivating at the idea of spitting into a test tube at your corner Walgreens and sending off for a list of diseases you're at risk for, you may have to keep that drool in check for a while. The Food and Drug Administration is investigating the planned test kits, which were due to appear in stores later this month.

Walgreens announced the test kits yesterday, and said that they'd sell for $20. Genetic testing, to be done by San Diego-based Pathway Genomics, would cost anywhere from $79 to $249. But it turns out that neither Walgreens nor Pathway bothered to tell the FDA about their plans, according to the Chicago Tribune.

[T]he U.S. Food and Drug Administration told the Chicago Tribune it is investigating claims made by the San Diego-based company and Walgreens in marketing its genetic test, which has not been approved by U.S. regulators. "We are in the process of investigating this test," said Alberto Gutierrez, director for the FDA's office of in-vitro diagnostics. "We weren't aware of this test previously."

Walgreens issued the Chicago Tribune a statement on Pathway's behalf that said the San Diego company is "providing consumers with information about their personal genetic makeup and traits."


Some medical ethicists have criticized Walgreen's plans, as consumers will not be required to share the results of any tests with a doctor, and may misinterpret results. Privacy advocates have also expressed wariness about the test kits.

FDA to Investigate Genetic-Test Kits[Chicago Tribune]

Posted by NB on Thursday, May 13, 2010 @ 06:30:47 UTC (1932 reads)
(Score: 0)
WellPoint Targeted Then Dropped Breast Cancer Patients

Is it too late for WellPoint to get into the Worst Company In America competition? A new report says the insurance giant and its subsidiaries have been deliberately targeting policyholders recently diagnosed with breast cancer and going to great lengths to have their policies nullified According to Reuters, WellPoint, who cover 33.7 million Americans through its numerous subsidiaries, "used a computer algorithm that automatically targeted them and every other policyholder recently diagnosed with breast cancer. The software triggered an immediate fraud investigation, as the company searched for some pretext to drop their policies."

After being singled out by the computer, their policies were canceled "based on either erroneous or flimsy information."

WellPoint has been singled out before by Congress for being a major practicer of "recission," the process of weeding out policyholders after they've been diagnosed with a medical condition that could cost the insurer a significant amount of money.

In a statement to Reuters, WellPoint said that "various specified criteria trigger rescission investigations, including certain types of medical claims."
WellPoint swears, hand-on-heart, that it changed its rescission practices to ensure they are handled appropriately after a 2006 review.

To show just how much they care about the health of their policyholders, WellPoint even went so far as to add a doctor to the committee that makes decisions on recissions.

In recent months, another insurance company, Assurant wascaught targeting and then dropping HIV-positive policyholders.

Of interest: Assurant lost out in the first round of Worst Company in America to Anthem Blue Cross Blue shield, which is a major subsidiary of WellPoint.
 Exclusive: WellPoint routinely targets breast cancer patients

Posted by NB on Thursday, April 22, 2010 @ 23:32:32 UTC (2791 reads)
(Score: 0)
New Study Shows Link Between Teen Drinking And Breast Disease

Many teenagers aren’t deterred from drinking alcohol just because it happens to be illegal, but maybe the chance of developing non-cancerous breast disease will make teen girls think twice before picking up that six-pack of hard lemonade: A new study suggests that frequent alcohol consumption could increase the chances that a teen will get benign breast disease in their 20s.

USAToday discusses the study's research, which was published online recently in the journal Pediatrics. The study found that the diagnoses of BBD like fibroadenoma, a noncancerous tumor, in women under 30 rose as their consumption rose "to a 5.5 times greater risk for drinking six or seven days per week, when compared with those who never drank or who drank less than once per week.”

Study co-author Catherine Berkey, a biostatistician at Harvard Medical School in Boston, explains that the experiment was unique because it relied on girls reporting their drinking habits while they were still teens, as oppose to other studies that use information from women simply recalling their drinking habits years later.

"Our new study is the first in which alcohol data were collected during adolescence, with continued follow-up in the females as they develop disease," she said, adding that having a benign breast disease is known to also raise the risk for breast cancer.

Dr. Patricia Ganz, director of cancer prevention and control research at the Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of California, Los Angeles, says the new study is “excellent,” but that it shouldn’t necessarily be used to warn kids against drinking.

"I wouldn't scare (teens) and say, 'You are going to get breast cancer if you drink,'" Ganz told USA oday. But, duh: "The public health message is, these young girls shouldn't be drinking anyway."

Teen girls' drinking may lead to breast problems later [USAToday

Posted by NB on Sunday, April 18, 2010 @ 22:54:56 UTC (964 reads)
(Score: 0)

Page 2 of 18 (86 total stories) [ << | < | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | > | >> ]  

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