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FDA advisory panel rejects J&J drug for acute coronary syndrome

(Reuters) - Johnson & Johnson's anticoagulant Xarelto should not be approved to prevent further heart problems in patients who have recently suffered a heart attack, an advisory panel to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration concluded on Thursday. The panel voted 10 to 0, with one abstention, against approval, saying data from a single clinical trial was not strong enough to justify approval, especially since some data from the trial was missing.

Boehringer's blood clot drug shows promise in broader use trial

(Reuters) - German drugmaker Boehringer Ingelheim said its popular drug to prevent blood clots was found to be as effective as the standard blood thinner in a trial for broader use. Dabigatran, whose brand name is Pradaxa, is approved to prevent blood clots caused by irregular heartbeat called atrial fibrillation.

Researchers develop DNA test to catch doping cheats in elite sports

VANCOUVER - Researchers at the University of British Columbia are closing another avenue for cheating in sport with a DNA test which can catch athletes who use blood doping to enhance their performance. The test is touted as being easier, faster and cheaper than current tests for signs of doping when athletes get a transfusion of someone else's blood — something cyclist Lance Armstrong has admitted to doing. Elite cheats aim to boost their red blood cells, which carry oxygen from the lungs to the muscles, and help improve endurance.

Italy ordered to pay more for bad blood victims

The European Court of Human Rights on Tuesday ordered Italy to increase compensation payments to victims of contaminated blood transfusions, saying they should have been indexed to inflation. The court approved an appeal by 162 Italians who contracted the HIV virus and Hepatitis B and C in the 1980s and who are currently paid around 540 euros ($710) a month for medical costs. The judges at the court in Strasbourg said the government's refusal to allow for a yearly increase in the payments in line with inflation constitute an "abnormal and exhorbitant" charge.

Placido Domingo home from hospital

Madrid, Jul 13 (EFE).- Placido Domingo has been released from the Madrid medical center where he was admitted early this week for treatment of a pulmonary embolism, the tenor announced on his Twitter account. "Going home..." was Domingo's brief message, completed with two photos showing him getting into a car and waving.

Bayer rival Boehringer seeks wider use of anti-clotting pill

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Boehringer Ingelheim has asked European regulators to approve a wider use of its anti-blood-clotting pill Pradaxa to include the treatment of deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolisms. The application for approval filed with the European Medicines Agency also includes use of the drug to prevent the recurrence of the two potentially fatal conditions, the unlisted German drugmaker said in a statement on Monday. Bayer, with its rival pill Xarelto, won approval for similar uses in November.

Free T-shirts, other non-cash incentives can up blood donations, study finds

TORONTO - Maybe offering straight cash for a blood donation is a no-no, but research suggests that other incentives like free T-shirts and gift cards can boost donor rates without compromising the safety of the blood supply. Writing Thursday in the journal Science, an international team of economists says Canada and other countries that prohibit monetary incentives to blood donors may want to rethink that position, based on recent research.

Acne pill benefits outweigh blood clot risk: EU agency

Europe's medicines watchdog said Friday the benefits of acne drug Diane 35, widely used as a contraceptive, outweigh the risk of developing blood clots in the veins. The clot risk was "low", said a European Medicines Agency (EMA) ruling on a French-initiated review of the drug's safety. But it stressed Diane 35 should only be used when alternative acne treatments had failed. mlr/hmn

Acne pill benefits outweigh blood clot risk: EU agency

Europe's medicines watchdog said Friday the benefits of acne drug Diane-35, also widely used as a contraceptive, outweigh the risk of developing blood clots in the veins -- when correctly prescribed. The clot risk was "low", said a European Medicines Agency (EMA) ruling on a French-initiated review of the drug's safety. But it stressed Diane-35 and its generics should be used only for acne treatment, as indicated by the pill's German manufacturer, Bayer.

Victims of tainted blood scandal urging governments to stop plasma clinics

TORONTO - Victims of the tainted blood scandal and their families are urging the Ontario and federal governments to stop proposed blood-plasma clinics from operating in the province. Canada could face another blood tragedy unless the two governments refuse to approve three prospective paid-donor clinics in the Toronto area, said Antonia Swann, whose husband died after he contracted HIV and hepatitis C from tainted blood. Private blood-donor clinics were part of the problem that led to the scandal, she said Thursday.
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