Reuters Health News Summary

Following is a summary of current health news briefs.

FDA recalls J&J's orthopedic device because of fracture potential 2013-02-22T170044Z_1_BRE91L0TI_RTROPTC_0_US-FDA-JOHNSON-RECALL. XML () -

Rate of employer health insurance coverage stabilizes

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Less than half of adults received health insurance through their employer in 2012, but the market showed signs of stabilizing after three years of decline, according to a poll released on Friday. The Gallup survey said employer-sponsored insurance, long a pillar of the $2.8-trillion U.S. healthcare system, covered just under 45 percent of U.S. adults last year, down from about 49 percent in 2008, when the economy was engulfed by recession.

Los Angeles health officials concerned about TB outbreak on skid row 2013-02-22T202535Z_1_BRE91L140_RTROPTC_0_US-TUBERCULOSIS-LOSANG ELES.XML () -

Ranbaxy to resume generic Lipitor production for U.S 2013-02-22T172331Z_1_BRE91L0V7_RTROPTC_0_US-RANBAXY-LIPITOR.XML () -

FDA approves Roche drug for late-stage breast cancer 2013-02-22T173034Z_3_BRE91L0N5_RTROPTC_0_US-ROCHE-APPROVAL.XML () -

EU agency recommends Sanofi, Merck pediatric vaccine

LONDON (Reuters) - The European Medicines Agency recommended approval of Hexyon, a new 6-in-1 pediatric vaccine from Sanofi Pasteur MSD, a joint venture between Merck <MRK.N> and Sanofi <SASY.PA>, the companies said on Friday. The new vaccine protects against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough), hepatitis B, poliomyelitis and invasive infections caused by Haemophilus influenzae type b.

In U.S., flu vaccine worked in just over half of those who got it

CHICAGO (Reuters) - A U.S. government analysis of this season's flu vaccine suggests it was effective in only 56 percent of people who got the shot, and it largely failed to protect the elderly against an especially deadly strain circulating during flu season. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the findings underscore the need for more effective weapons in the fight against influenza, which kills between 3,000 and 50,000 people in the United States each year depending on the severity of the flu season.

Medicare drug costs to fall in 2014, but donut hole widens

CHICAGO (Reuters) - There will be good and bad news next year for seniors using Medicare's prescription drug program. Overall, enrollees can expect a year of flat or decreasing Medicare prescription drug costs, according to data released last week by the federal government. The government said Medicare's per-beneficiary drug costs fell 4 percent last year. As a result, some of the most important numbers in the program's 2014 Part D will drop by roughly the same amounts.

Most women misunderstand IUD birth control

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - In a new survey, most women had inaccurate perceptions about the safety and effectiveness of intrauterine devices (IUDs) in preventing pregnancy, say U.S. researchers, who urge doctors to talk more about the benefits of the devices. In particular, many of the study participants didn't know that IUDs are more effective contraceptives than the birth control pill and that the devices don't increase the risk of getting a sexually transmitted disease.

Male soccer players more prone to hamstring strains

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Men are more likely to strain a hamstring playing college soccer than women, according to a new analysis of National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) injury records. The findings also suggest that games - as compared to practices - and preseason training are the riskiest times for hamstring tears.