Following is a summary of current health news briefs.
Insight: GSK vaccine ingredient scrutinized for narcolepsy clues
LONDON (Reuters) - Mounting evidence of a link between GlaxoSmithKline's <GSK.L> Pandemrix flu shot and a spike in narcolepsy cases among children in Europe is putting one of the vaccine's key ingredients, AS03, under intense scrutiny. The ingredient is one of a class of pharmaceuticals known as adjuvants, or boosters, designed to turbo charge the potency of a vaccine and the body's immune response to it.
FDA outlines path to test Alzheimer's drugs earlier
CHICAGO (Reuters) - Proposed U.S. guidelines may make it easier for drug companies to test Alzheimer's treatments in people at an earlier stage, when scientists think they may have the best shot at working. The draft guidance document, issued on Thursday by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, reflects changes in scientists' understanding of Alzheimer's. They now believe the disease begins at least a decade before symptoms appear.
Tranzyme to explore strategic options 2013-02-08T112633Z_1_BRE9170E6_RTROPTC_0_US-TRANZYME-STRATEGICO PTIONS.XML () -
EU watchdog to review safety of Bayer acne drug
LONDON (Reuters) - The European Medicines Agency said on Friday it had started a formal safety review of Bayer's <BAYGn.DE> acne pill Diane 35 and its generic versions, following a request by France. French authorities suspended sales of medicines last week after four deaths over the past 25 years were linked to their use. Bayer said at the time it was "surprised" by the suspension.
Catholic bishops reject Obama offer on contraceptive coverage
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Roman Catholic bishops on Thursday rejected the Obama Administration's latest bid for compromise over a hotly disputed health policy that requires employees at religiously affiliated institutions to have access to insurance coverage for contraceptives. Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, said his group would redouble efforts to reach an agreement on the contraceptives issue after more than a year of protest and scores of federal lawsuits from Catholics groups and other social conservatives.
Psychiatric drugs tied to falls in the elderly
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Seniors taking psychiatric drugs may be at extra high risk for falling, new Dutch research suggests. Of about 400 elderly people in the study, those who took medications including antidepressants and antipsychotics were twice as likely to report having fallen three or more times in the previous year, researchers found.
Britain condemns "criminal" horsemeat scandal
LONDON (Reuters) - The British government accused unknown criminals for a growing scandal of horsemeat being sold in imported beef products that has generated shock headlines in a country where many recoil in horror at the very idea of eating horses. Prime Minister David Cameron assured consumers on Friday there was no health risk from a product considered a delicacy in France and Italy. But, as the furor saps public confidence in food labeling and hygiene supervision, he called it "completely unacceptable", and his office condemned "acts of criminality".
Slow and steady can win the diet drug race 2013-02-07T203803Z_2_BRE916119_RTROPTC_0_US-OBESITYDRUGS-STRATE GY-ANALYSIS.XML () -
Oncolytics lung cancer drug shrinks tumors in 95 percent patients 2013-02-08T194218Z_1_BRE9170X0_RTROPTC_0_US-ONCOLYTICS-CANCERDR UG.XML () -
Longer span between mammograms okay for older women
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Screening women over 65 each year for breast cancer doesn't catch any more early tumors - but it does lead to more false positives - than screening every other year, according to a new study. The findings are based on more than 140,000 older women included in five mammography registries across the United States.