Reuters Health News Summary

Following is a summary of current health news briefs.

New food safety rules aim for more accountability 2013-01-04T211825Z_4_BRE9030MC_RTROPTC_0_US-FDA-FOOD-SAFETY.XML () -

Genetically modified food labeling measure to qualify for Washington state ballot

OLYMPIA, Washington (Reuters) - A measure to require special labeling of genetically modified foods appeared virtually certain to qualify for the ballot in Washington state on Friday, two months after voters in California rejected a similar initiative. Sponsors of the measure turned in petitions signed by an estimated 350,000 registered voters - at least 100,000 more signatures than required - on Thursday, a day ahead of deadline, said David Ammons, a spokesman for the Washington secretary of state.

Massachusetts governor seeks tighter rules on compounding pharmacies

BOSTON (Reuters) - Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick on Friday proposed new state rules to more closely regulate the type of pharmacy at the heart of a U.S. meningitis outbreak that has killed 39 people. The proposed legislation would require special licenses for compounding pharmacies, allow the state Board of Pharmacy to fine companies that violate its rules and require out-of-state pharmacies that ship drugs to Massachusetts to be licensed by the state.

Saturated fat tied to sinking sperm counts in Danes

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Saturated fats, like those found in rich cheeses and meats, may do more than weigh men down after a meal - a new study also links them to dwindling sperm counts. Researchers found that young Danish men who ate the most saturated fats had a 38 percent lower concentration of sperm and 41 percent lower sperm counts in their semen than those who ate the least fat.

Racial gaps in access to robotic prostate surgery

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Minority and Medicaid cancer patients are less likely to have their prostates removed at hospitals that use robot-assisted surgery, according to a new study that stops short of suggesting the robotic technique represents better care. "People who are poor - frequently Hispanic, African American or black, and Medicaid patients - tend to get what is considered to be less high-quality care than those who are middle class and wealthy," said Dr. Otis Brawley, chief medical and scientific officer of the American Cancer Society.

Competition affects who gets a liver transplant

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - More competition between medical centers that perform liver transplants may mean sicker patients get lower-quality donor organs, a new analysis suggests. When more than one center has patients on the same donor list, the centers have an incentive to get organs for as many of their own patients as possible, researchers explained.

Copying common in electronic medical records

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Most doctors copy and paste old, potentially out-of-date information into patients' electronic records, according to a new study looking at a shortcut that some experts fear could lead to miscommunication and medical errors. "The electronic medical record was meant to make the process of documentation easier, but I think it's perpetuated copying," said lead author Dr. Daryl Thornton, assistant professor at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Cleveland.

Eli Lilly banks on cost controls for higher 2013 profit 2013-01-04T181253Z_7_BRE9030EY_RTROPTC_0_US-LILLY-OUTLOOK.XML () -

Private equity pours money into India primary healthcare

MUMBAI (Reuters) - Private equity funds quadrupled their investment in India's primary healthcare, betting the sick and ailing will stop seeing family doctors in often cramped and dingy quarters and check into modern chains sprouting up across Asia's No.3 economy. Goldman Sachs Group Inc <GS.N>, Warburg Pincus LLC <WP.UL>, Sequoia Capital and the Government of Singapore Investment Corp <GIC.UL> are among investors that pumped $520 million into India's basic healthcare industry this year, compared with $137 million in 2011, according to Thomson Reuters data. Some analysts predict investment will surpass $1 billion in 2013.

New U.S. food safety rules by FDA seek more accountability 2013-01-04T183909Z_1_BRE9030PQ_RTROPTC_0_US-USA-FOOD-SAFETY.XML () -