Acquire the license to the best health content in the world
Contact Us

Health Highlights: Oct. 15, 2010

WHO Urges Action Against Dengue Knee Implant Approval A Mistake: FDA Judge Says States' Lawsuit Against Health Care Reform Can Go To Trial New Blood Test Detects Concussion: U.S. Army CVS Pays $75 Million Fine For Sales Of Meth Ingredient Grand Jury Indicts Canadian Doctor Who Treated Pro Athletes

Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:

WHO Urges Action Against Dengue

Dengue disease represents a major threat to global public health, warns the World Health Organization.

The UN health agency said the number of cases of the potentially deadly mosquito-transmitted illness has more than doubled in the last decade and the situation will worsen if countries don't take immediate action, BBC News reported.

Dengue is a threat for two-fifths of the world's population. Of those 2.5 billion people at risk, 70 percent live in the Asia Pacific region, the agency said.

"National resources need to be mobilized to sustain dengue prevention and control, and the disease's profile needs to be raised on the global health agenda to stimulate the interest of international agencies and donors," said Dr. Shin Young-soo, WHO's regional director for the Western Pacific, BBC News reported. "The fight against this disease is everybody's problem."


Knee Implant Approval A Mistake: FDA

The 2008 approval of the controversial Menaflex knee implant despite objections from its own experts was a mistake, acknowledges the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

FDA scientists protested that New Jersey-based ReGen Biologics' implant, designed to reinforce damaged knee tissue, provides little, if any benefit, to patients, the Associated Press reported.

Outside pressure, including lobbying from four New Jersey lawmakers, influenced the decision to approve Menaflex, the FDA said.

The agency is taking steps to revoke the device's approval, but will meet with Regen officials to discuss what data would be required to prove the implant is safe and effective, the AP reported.


Judge Says States' Lawsuit Against Health Care Reform Can Go To Trial

A lawsuit by 20 states challenging the new health care reform law can go to trial, a federal judge ruled Thursday.

U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson said he wants to hear additional arguments from the plaintiffs and the federal government over whether the law is unconstitutional, the Associated Press reported.

Vinson scheduled the hearing for Dec. 16.

Last week, another federal judge in Michigan tossed out a similar lawsuit, the AP reported.


New Blood Test Detects Concussion: U.S. Army

A simple blood test that can reveal mild traumatic brain damage (concussion) has been developed by the U.S. Army.

This test could be used to diagnose this difficult-to-detect injury in combat troops, young athletes and infants with shaken baby syndrome, USA Today reported.

The blood test looks for specific proteins that enter the bloodstream from damaged brain cells. A recent trial showed the test accurately diagnosed concussion in 34 patients.

Concussions can be missed by doctors because brain damage may not show up on imaging scans and patients may downplay symptoms such as headaches and dizziness, USA Today reported.

Permanent brain damage can result if a patient suffers a second concussion before the brain heals from a previous concussion, according to the National Brain Injury Association.


CVS Pays $75 Million Fine For Sales Of Meth Ingredient

Federal prosecutors say CVS Pharmacy Inc. agreed to pay $75 million in fines for allowing repeated purchases of pseudoephedrine, a cold medicine ingredient used to make the illegal drug methamphetamine.

Along with the largest civil penalty paid under the Controlled Substances Act, the nation's biggest operator of retail pharmacies will also forfeit about $2.6 million in profits from the sale of pseudoephedrine, the Associated Press reported.

Prosecutors said CVS didn't adequately monitor sales of pseudoephedrine and also violated federal drug regulations in at least five states.

The company has worked to fix the problem, said company chairman Thomas Ryan, the AP reported.


Grand Jury Indicts Canadian Doctor Who Treated Pro Athletes

A Canadian doctor has been indicted by a U.S. grand jury on five charges of distributing human growth hormone (HGH) and other performance-enhancing drugs to professional athletes.

The indictment says Anthony Galea treated more than 20 professional athletes in the U.S. between July 2007 and September 2009 and provided many of them with performance-enhancing drugs, The New York Times reported.

Conspiracy, fraud and lying to border guards are among the charges against Galea.

Tiger Woods, Alex Rodriguez, Jose Reyes and Dara Torres are among the athletes treated by Galea, who has said he gave Rodriguez anti-inflammatory medicines and treated Woods with a blood-spinning therapy that is not considered doping, The Times reported.


Consumer News