Reuters Health News Summary

Following is a summary of current health news briefs.

Bird flu studies, halted over terrorism fear, to resume

LONDON (Reuters) - Scientists around the world declared an end on Wednesday to a moratorium on researching mutant forms of the deadly H5N1 bird flu that had raised international biosecurity concerns. Announcing their decision to resume what they say are risky but essential studies of the avian flu strain, the scientists said the work would only be carried out in the most secure sites in countries that agree it can go ahead.

Vanda sleep drug effective in second late-stage trial 2013-01-23T124913Z_1_BRE90M0NQ_RTROPTC_0_US-VANDA-TRIAL-SLEEPDR UG.XML () -

Regular aspirin use tied to age-related vision loss

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Taking at least one aspirin every week is linked to the development of age-related vision loss, according to a new study. The Australian researchers, however, caution that there's still not enough evidence to say taking the popular pain reliever leads to age-related macular degeneration, which is the leading cause of blindness in older people.

U.S. foes of legal pot focus on risks to the brain 2013-01-23T194758Z_1_BRE90M1CI_RTROPTC_0_US-USA-MARIJUANA-SCIEN CE.XML () -

Novartis expects sales to grow from 2014

ZURICH (Reuters) - Novartis <NOVN.VX> expects sales to grow in the mid-single digits from 2014 once it has absorbed the full impact of competition from cheaper drugs, and said its long-standing chairman and former Chief Executive would step down next month. The Basel-based group guided investors to expect a mid-single digit decline in its core operating margin on a constant currency basis in 2013, as competition from generic copies knocks $3.5 billion off sales.

Quest Diagnostics expects reimbursement cuts to hurt in 2013 2013-01-23T173320Z_1_BRE90M14J_RTROPTC_0_US-QUESTDIAGNOSTICS-RE SULTS.XML () -

Study casts doubt on link between cannabis, teen IQ drop

SYDNEY (Reuters) - A landmark study suggesting a link between cannabis use and a drop in teenage IQ may not have gone far enough in its research, with any falls in IQ more likely due to lower socioeconomic status than marijuana, according to a Norwegian study. The latest work, which appears in the journal PNAS, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, also suggests that different policy steps might be needed in that case.

Kaiser study finds Medicaid coverage gaps in states

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Adults who qualify for Medicaid often must have incomes well below the federal poverty line, while adults who have no dependent children are allowed to receive benefits in only nine of the 50 states, according to a survey released on Wednesday. The survey by the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation provides a snapshot of widespread coverage gaps in the national healthcare program for the poor, less than a year before Medicaid is scheduled to undergo a dramatic expansion under President Barack Obama's healthcare reform law.

J&J mulls sale of diagnostics unit

2013-01-22T193538Z_8_BRE90L0H6_RTROPTC_0_US-JJ-RESULTS.XML () -

U.S. top court rejects hospitals' Medicare claims suit 2013-01-22T214130Z_2_BRE90L0ZG_RTROPTC_0_US-USA-COURT-MEDICARE. XML () -