Reuters Health News Summary

Following is a summary of current health news briefs.

New boss of meningitis-linked firm is poor choice: U.S. official

BOSTON (Reuters) - The person hired to run the bankrupt pharmacy linked to a deadly U.S. meningitis outbreak is "hopelessly conflicted" and should be removed from the job, a U.S. Justice Department official said on Tuesday. William Harrington, the U.S. Trustee for Region One, argued that New England Compounding Center's board should not be able to hand-pick its chief restructuring officer.

Three approaches for managing pre-Obamacare healthcare costs

New York (Reuters) - Having just earned his master's degree in written communication, Eric Kaplan should feel triumphant. But his academic success has been tempered by a failure outside the classroom: He can't find health insurance he can afford on his earnings as a freelance writer. Like many other Americans waiting for key provisions of the Affordable Care Act to kick in, Kaplan, 32, of Chicago, is adopting a novel strategy for protecting his health. He applied for another master's degree, this time in social work, because his target school offers health insurance to students.

Medicare spends $1 billion on mammograms: study

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Screening women for breast cancer costs the U.S. Medicare program $1 billion every year - about as much as it spends on treatment, according to a new study. "It's known that we're spending over $1 billion on treating cancer, but we were surprised to find that we're also spending over $1 billion for screening," said Dr. Cary Gross, the study's lead author from Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut.

Risks of binge drinking often overlooked for women: U.S. CDC

ATLANTA (Reuters) - Binge drinking contributes to the deaths of about 12,000 women and girls annually in the United States and is a problem that gets overlooked despite causing a long list of health risks, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Tuesday. The federal health agency found that one in every eight women and one in five high school girls reports binge drinking, which for females is defined as consuming four or more alcoholic drinks in a short time.

Caffeine in diet supplements all over the map

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - The amount of caffeine in diet supplements varies widely and product labels are often inaccurate or have no caffeine information at all, according to a new study of supplements sold on military bases. Although the caffeine doses probably wouldn't be a problem on their own, they may cause issues when the pills or powders are combined with energy drinks, coffee and other high-caffeine food and beverages, researchers said.

FDA staff say J&J's new diabetes drug may pose heart risks 2013-01-08T171702Z_1_BRE9070R0_RTROPTC_0_US-JOHNSONANDJOHNSON-F DA-DIABETES.XML () -

Medicines Co's anti-clotting drug late-stage study positive 2013-01-08T190612Z_2_BRE9070R2_RTROPTC_0_US-MEDICINESCO-CANGREL OR.XML () -

Experimental drug may help people with bipolar disorder

LONDON (Reuters) - A drug for bipolar disorder that works like lithium - the most common and effective treatment - but without lithium's side-effects has been identified by British researchers in tests on mice. Scientists say the drug, ebselen, may be a swift answer to long-sought after better medications for patients with the manic depressive disorder, since it is already known to be safe.

Baxter posts positive results from late-stage hemophilia study 2013-01-08T163138Z_1_BRE9070PK_RTROPTC_0_US-BAXTER-HEMOPHILIA.X ML () -

Pfizer wins EU approval to expand use of Prevenar to children 2013-01-08T163206Z_1_BRE9070PM_RTROPTC_0_US-PFIZER-PREVENAR.XML () -