Following is a summary of current health news briefs.
Obama Medicare rebate plan could hurt drug companies 2013-02-13T233015Z_1_BRE91C1OE_RTROPTC_0_US-USA-HEALTHCARE-MEDI CARE.XML () -
Actelion sees Opsumit on U.S. market this year
ZURICH (Reuters) - Europe's biggest biotech expects it new heart and lung drug Opsumit to be on sale in the United States this year if it receives approval from regulators in October. "The assumption is that we will be on the market with macitentan (Opsumit) in the U.S. this year," Chief Financial Officer Andrew Oakley told Reuters in an interview.
More U.S. women using the "morning-after" pill: report
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - More U.S. women are taking the "morning-after" pill, but generally just once, according to the government's first report on how the emergency contraception drug has been used since regulators eased access to it in 2006. About 11 percent of sexually active women, or 5.8 million, used the pill between 2006 and 2010, compared to about 4 percent in 2002, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in its report released on Thursday.
Horsemeat scandal set to spur tougher EU food tests
BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Commission has proposed increased DNA testing of meat products to assess the scale of a scandal involving horsemeat sold as beef that has shocked the public and raised concern over the continent's food supply chains. "The tests will be on DNA in meat products in all member states," European Union Health Commissioner Tonio Borg told reporters after a ministerial meeting in Brussels to discuss the affair.
State policies on Medicaid committee disclosure vary
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - No standard policy covers whether the state-level Medicaid committee members choosing which drugs and treatments the program pays for should disclose their ties to drug and medical device companies, according to a new report. Health policy researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, who set out to examine conflict of interest policies for the 47 U.S. states plus the District of Columbia with Medicaid Preferred Drug List committees, found that many have no policy, and in the states that do, rules vary widely.
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.
Vitamin D supplement labels may be inaccurate
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - The amount of vitamin D in some supplements may be either much lower or much higher than what's written on the label, according to a new analysis. Researchers found that off-the-shelf pills from 12 different manufacturers had between 52 percent and 135 percent of their advertised vitamin D content.
Evidence lacking on how to help kids after trauma
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - There's no good evidence to say what types of treatment might help ward off anxiety and stress disorders in kids and teens exposed to traumatic events, according to a new analysis. Researchers said that a few psychological interventions, including talk therapy and school-based programs, "appear promising" for helping young people cope with the kind of trauma stemming from accidents, mass shootings and natural disasters. But so far, there are too many holes in the data to know what to recommend for children's long-term health and wellbeing, according to Meera Viswanathan from RTI International in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, and her colleagues.
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.
Thinning attendance pressures Weight Watchers forecast 2013-02-14T004713Z_2_BRE91C1OZ_RTROPTC_0_US-WEIGHTWATCHERS-FORE CAST.XML () -