Reuters Health News Summary

Following is a summary of current health news briefs.

Horsemeat scandal set to spur tougher European food tests

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - European countries demanded more DNA testing of meat products and tougher labeling rules over a scandal involving horsemeat sold as beef that has shocked the public and raised concerns over the safety of the continent's food supply chains. Officials have said there is no risk to public health from the tainted foods. But the suspected fraud has caused particular outrage in Britain, where many view the idea of eating horsemeat with distaste, and exposed flawed food controls.

House Republican aims to repeal Medicare doctor pay cuts

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Republicans in the House of Representatives will seek a permanent solution to scheduled steep cuts in physician payments from the federal Medicare health insurance plan for retirees and disabled people, a House committee chairman said on Wednesday. Rep. Fred Upton, chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, told doctors he hopes to send so-called "Doc Fix" legislation to the House floor this summer that would repeal payment reductions enacted in 1997 as part of a law to balance the federal budget.

ACL surgery may not shorten WNBA career

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - A common knee surgery that can sideline athletes for months does not ultimately affect the career length of women invited to the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA), according to a new study. "With appropriate rehabilitation, ACL injuries do not mean an early end to an otherwise promising athletic career," said lead author Dr. Moira McCarthy, an orthopedic surgeon at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City.

New SARS-like virus shows person-to-person transmission

LONDON (Reuters) - A third patient in Britain has contracted a new SARS-like virus, becoming the second confirmed British case in a week and showing the deadly infection is being spread from person to person, health officials said on Wednesday. The latest case, in a man from the same family as another patient, brings the worldwide number of confirmed infections with the new virus - known as novel coronavirus, or NCoV - to 11.

Hyper-parents can make college aged children depressed-study

LONDON (Reuters) - Turbo-charged parents still running their university-aged children's schedules, laundry and vacations could be doing more harm than good with a study on Wednesday showing these students were more likely to be depressed and dissatisfied with life. Researcher Holly Schiffrin from the University of Mary Washington in Virginia found so-called helicopter parenting negatively affected college students by undermining their need to feel autonomous and competent.

After failed trials, J&J pivots to early-stage Alzheimer's

CHICAGO (Reuters) - A little over a year ago, Dr. Husseini Manji, global head of neuroscience drug development at Johnson & Johnson <JNJ.N>, predicted that brain researchers were on the cusp of a golden age. That was before J&J's highly anticipated Alzheimer's drug, bapineuzumab, failed to improve memory and thinking skills in closely watched clinical trials of people with mild to moderate forms of the disease.

U.S. health advocates seek safe sugar limits for drinks 2013-02-13T170815Z_2_BRE91C0ZH_RTROPTC_0_US-USA-SOFTDRINKS-SUGA RS.XML () -

Ablynx books success with arthritis drug study

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Belgian biotech firm Ablynx <ABLX.BR> said a clinical study of its rheumatoid arthritis drug ALX-0061 showed promising results and it was now considering how to further develop the drug, including a partnership deal with a bigger company. "We are now investigating the various possibilities through which we can progress the development of ALX-0061, including discussions with potential partners and other paths which will allow us to maximise the value of this asset," Chief Executive Edwin Moses said in a statement on Wednesday.

Hospira gets FDA notice over medical device problems 2013-02-13T190819Z_3_BRE91C14L_RTROPTC_0_US-HOSPIRA-RESULTS.XML () -

Drugmakers eye Africa's middle classes as next growth market

PARIS (Reuters) - For pharmaceutical companies, Africa is changing. Not only is the continent's economic growth grabbing attention in boardrooms but the shifting nature of its disease burden is luring Big Pharma, as new opportunities open up for treating chronic diseases afflicting the middle classes, rather than just fire-fighting infection.