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Australia's Victoria state closer to legalizing assisted death
Australia's second-largest state on Wednesday took another step towards adopting a law allowing voluntary assisted dying for terminally ill patients. Any resident of Victoria state over 18, with a terminal illness and with less than six months to live can request a lethal dose of medication under the new legislation. Assisted dying will remain illegal in Australia's other five states.
As Malaria Resists Treatment, Experts Warn of Global Crisis
Typically, a three-day treatment regimen pairs the drug with other less effective but longer-lasting drugs to mop up any remaining parasites. The ambitious goal of eliminating falciparum malaria from mainland Southeast Asia by 2030 has support from major international donors, including the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. A key challenge, experts said, is that malaria is most intense in forests and jungles, and people living there are notoriously difficult to monitor.
U.S. FDA approves first two-drug HIV regimen from GSK
The US Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday approved the first two-drug regimen to treat HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, aimed at lessening the side effect burden of current treatments that combine three or four medicines. Juluca belongs to GlaxoSmithKline Plc's majority-owned ViiV Healthcare, in which Pfizer Inc and Shionogi also have small stakes. ViiV's dolutegravir is part of GSK's traditional triple-therapy used to control HIV, while rilpivirine is a Johnson & Johnson drug.
Proposed cuts in foreign aid could cause malaria resurgence
If US President Donald Trump cuts 44% of the President's Malaria Initiative (PMI) funding, a significant proportion of the global budget for malaria control, there would be a worldwide resurgence of malaria, British researchers say. Children under age 5 are particularly vulnerable to it, and 70% of all malaria deaths occur in this age group. Winskill estimated that PMI has had its greatest impact in Nigeria, which has the highest global burden of malaria.
AmerisourceBergen to pay $625 million to settle U.S. government probe
A unit of AmerisourceBergen Corp, one of the largest US drug wholesalers, has agreed to pay $625 million to resolve a US government probe into its pre-filled syringe program, the company said in a filing with US securities regulators on Tuesday. Reporting By Brendan Pierson in New York; Editing by Cynthia Osterman.
Canada proposes health warnings, child-proof packs for legal pot sales
The Canadian government proposed on Tuesday mandatory health warnings and child-proof packaging as well as a licensing regime for all cannabis products in legislation ahead of the July 2018 legalization of recreational marijuana. The government is on track to legalize recreational marijuana by July 2018, making it the first Group of Seven country to do so.
Hand, wrist injuries in high school sports often severe
High school athletes have high rates of hand and wrist injuries, especially in certain sports, according to a new US study. While playing sports has clear health benefits for children and teens, young athletes do run the risk of injury, the study team notes. Hand and wrist injuries represent 17% of pediatric and adolescent sports injuries, they add, and can affect students' ability to complete their school work in addition to keeping them off the field.
After penning Loxo deal, Bayer signs another $1B R&D pact
Bayer has signed a new and potentially major research pact with Japan's PeptiDream, marking the second big biobucks deal of its kind for the German pharma in the past week. Patrick Reid, CEO of PeptiDream, said: We are extremely excited to be initiating this discovery alliance with Bayer. This deal further exemplifies the power of our PDPS platform and the impact it is having on early drug discovery.
Toxicity knocks Ardelyx's hyperkalemia hopes back to preclinic
Unexpected side effects have spelled the end for Ardelyx's drug candidate to treat elevated potassium levels in the blood, which was in phase 3 testing. As patients with hyperkalemia tend to require long-term treatment, the bicarbonate issue is too big a challenge to overcome and makes the drug commercially limited, says the company. It has opted to shelve the polymer-based potassium binder-saving it about $40 million-and turn its attentions to small-molecule follow-up RDX013, which is back in preclinical development.
Cytokinetics sinks on abandoning ALS drug after failed trial
Cytokinetics Inc shares plummeted nearly 28 percent on Tuesday after the drugmaker said it would stop developing one of its treatments for ALS, a fatal neuro-degenerative disorder, after the drug failed to improve lung function in a key trial. The drugmaker said more patients on tirasemtiv dropped out of the late-stage trial, than patients on a placebo, due to certain side effects. Cytokinetics said it would focus on its second drug for ALS, CK-2127107, that has shown to have a better tolerability profile.
Opioid crisis cost U.S. economy $504 billion in 2015: White House
Opioid drug abuse, which has ravaged parts of the United States in recent years, cost the economy as much as $504 billion in 2015, White House economists said in a report made public on Sunday. The White House Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) said the toll from the opioid crisis represented 2.8% of gross domestic product that year. President Donald Trump last month declared the opioid crisis a public health emergency.
Sugar Industry Long Downplayed Potential Harms
The campaign was orchestrated by John Hickson, a top executive at the sugar association who later joined the tobacco industry. The new report on Tuesday revealed additional internal sugar industry documents from that era. The industry report suggested that Dr Pover was disappointed, noting that he expressed hopes of obtaining continuing support from other sources. Mr Hickson left the sugar industry in the early 1970s to work for the Cigar Research Council, a tobacco industry organization.
Cancer cell growth halted with cold and flu drug
The results of a new study, however, suggest that treat a cold, starve cancer cells might be a more appropriate motto. In the United States, more than 1.6 million new cancer cases were diagnosed last year. In terms of cancer treatment, we have come a long way over recent years. With this in mind, the team hypothesized that the antioxidant properties of NAC might help to starve cancer cells of these nutrients.
Johnson & Johnson drug succeeds in newly diagnosed multiple myeloma patients: study
Darzalex, a biotech drug known chemically as daratumumab, is already approved in combination with other medicines or alone in patients who had received one or more prior treatment regimens. The drug had third-quarter sales of $317 million, with annual sales forecast to reach about $5 billion by 2021, according to Thomson Reuters data. J&J has applied for expanded US and European approvals for the Darzalex combination to treat newly diagnosed patients, Genmab, which licensed the drug to J&J, said on Tuesday.
Nursing home residents eligible for palliative care often don't get it
Many nursing home residents who might benefit from palliative care to make them more comfortable and improve their quality of life don't receive it, a small US study suggests. Even though nursing home care costs an estimated $136 billion a year, it's often associated with poor quality and low patient satisfaction. In the current study, the nursing home residents eligible for palliative care were 81 years old on average and 47 percent of them had Alzheimer's disease or dementia.
Cancer: 42 percent of cases down to risk factors you can change
A large new study from the American Cancer Society inventories the risk factors for various types of cancer. These 17 risk factors are called modifiable because people can take active measures to change them. The study revealed that 42 percent of all cancers and over 45 percent of all cancer deaths were down to modifiable risk factors.
Study shows how gut bacteria may trigger MS
Alterations in gut bacteria at a young age could help to trigger and progress multiple sclerosis in people who are genetically predisposed to the autoimmune disease. A significant feature of the new study is that it suggests a mechanism through which altered gut bacteria and MS risk genes - acting during young adulthood - may collaborate to trigger the disease.
Precordial catch syndrome: Symptoms, causes, and treatment
In this article, we look at the symptoms of precordial catch syndrome, along with why it occurs and what can be done to treat it. Fast facts on precordial catch syndrome: Precordial catch syndrome was first described by Miller and Texidor in 1955 after seeing it in 10 people, including Miller himself. People who experience precordial catch syndrome tend to grow out of it by the time they reach their 20s.
Brexit gets real for drugmakers as regulator moves to Amsterdam
Drugmakers are racing to implement Brexit contingency plans to prepare for a jolt to their regulatory system as the European Medicines Agency is uprooted from London to Amsterdam. EU ministers selected Amsterdam from 19 cities as the new home of the EMA and its staff of around 900. It must relocate to Amsterdam by the end of March 2019, when Britain leaves the European Union. Choosing Amsterdam should avoid a mass staff exodus that would have torpedoed European medicines regulation.

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