Reuters Health News Summary

Following is a summary of current health news briefs.

Drinking milk does not appear to impact longevity

People who consume lots of milk and cheese and yogurt may not necessarily live any longer than those who don't, a recent study suggests. Researchers examined data on total dairy consumption for more than 168,000 women and more than 49,000 men without any history of cancer or heart disease. During about three decades of follow-up, 51,438 people died.

Powder Keg: FDA bowed to industry for decades as alarms were sounded over talc

At an invitation-only gathering late last year, U.S. regulators and their guests huddled at a hotel near Washington, D.C., to discuss the best way to detect cancer-causing asbestos in talc powders and cosmetics. The “Asbestos in Talc Symposium,” sponsored by the Food and Drug Administration, was dominated by industry hands: Most of the 21 non-government participants had done work for talc companies, such as testing and serving as expert witnesses and consultants, symposium documents and other records show.

U.S. authorities confiscate migrant kids' medications at the southern border

Doctors on Long Island say two migrant children showed up at their hospital in seriously ill condition at least in part because their asthma medication had been taken away by immigration authorities at the southern border. The families of the children "indicated that they had albuterol in their possession that was confiscated and replacements were not supplied," said Dr. Noy Halevy-Mizrahi of Stony Brook University, coauthor of the report in Pediatrics. "We wanted to bring awareness to this topic. Our main message is one of advocacy. We wanted to make sure to alert other physicians who might be caring for these patients."

Pharmacy benefits manager Abarca inks discount deal for Amgen's Enbrel

Abarca, a small Puerto Rico-based pharmacy benefits manager, said on Tuesday Amgen Inc had agreed to give its health insurer clients an additional discount on its blockbuster rheumatoid arthritis drug Enbrel, if patients discontinue taking it after three months. Pharmacy benefits managers like Abarca act as middlemen in the drug supply chain, and negotiate discounts on drugs on behalf of health insurers. Depending on the discounts drugmakers are willing to provide, pharmacy benefits managers make decisions about which drugs to include in coverage plans.

U.S. regions hard hit by opioids to ditch class action, pursue own lawsuits

Local governments in regions hard hit by the U.S. opioid epidemic have opted out of massive litigation taking aim at the drug industry over the crisis, potentially weakening a novel legal mechanism created to help settle thousands of lawsuits. Overall, 98% of some 34,000 local governments agreed to be bound by a class action against companies such as drug distributor McKesson Corp, drugmaker Johnson & Johnson and pharmacy chain Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc, according to a Monday court filing.

Malaria fight stalling at 'unacceptably high level' of deaths: WHO

Malaria still infects millions of people every year and kills more than 400,000 - mostly children in Africa - because the fight against the mosquito-borne disease has stalled, the World Health Organization said on Wednesday. Funding for the global battle against malaria - which kills a child every 2 minutes - is broadly flat, the WHO warned, and because of ongoing transmission via mosquitoes, half the world's population is still at risk of contracting the disease.

Climate change hits health, yet funds lacking: WHO

Climate change is harming human health as more people suffer from heat stress, extreme weather and mosquito-borne diseases including malaria, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Tuesday. The U.N. agency, in a report issued a day after a climate summit began in Madrid, urged governments to meet ambitious targets to reduce heat-trapping carbon emissions saying it could save a million lives a year through lower air pollution alone.

More U.S. women know how breast density impacts cancer risk

A growing number of U.S. women understand that breast density can impact cancer risk, but a new study suggests this isn't prompting more patients to discuss the issue with their doctors. As of 2017, 66% of women were aware that dense breast tissue is associated with an increased risk of cancer, up from about 59% in 2012, researchers report in the Journal of the American College of Radiology.

Asthma attacks in pregnancy tied to complications for mothers, babies

Asthma attacks during pregnancy are associated with an increased risk of complications for mothers and their babies, a Canadian study suggests. Researchers examined data on more than 103,000 pregnancies among more than 58,000 women with asthma who had babies in Ontario, Canada, from 2003 to 2012.

Johnson & Johnson says new tests show no asbestos in Johnson's Baby Powder

Johnson & Johnson said on Tuesday that recent tests showed that Johnson's Baby Powder was free of asbestos, after U.S. Food and Drug Administration investigations reported trace amounts of the material in the product earlier this year. A total of 155 tests were conducted by two different third-party labs using four different testing methods on samples from the same bottle tested by the FDA's contracted lab, the company said.