Reuters Health News Summary

Following is a summary of current health news briefs.

To mask or not to mask: confusion spreads over coronavirus protection

"Do not wear a mask if you are well" read a warning plastered across the front of Singapore's main newspaper on Friday, as authorities around the world sought to calm panic buying of masks seen as a guard against the fast-spreading coronavirus. In neighboring Malaysia, the government urged people to always have masks and hand sanitizers ready, similar to advice by authorities in Thailand and Vietnam.

Eli Lilly prices migraine therapy at $640 for pack of eight pills

Eli Lilly and Co on Friday priced its acute migraine treatment at $640 for a pack of eight pills and said it will be made available in pharmacies in the next few days. The list price of a drug is not necessarily what patients actually pay. "Out-of-pocket" costs vary based on the duration of the treatment and individual healthcare plans.

After miscarriage, women seek support, emotional outlet on Instagram

Expressing grief and other emotions, and connecting with others who have had similar losses, are some of the ways women use the photo-sharing platform Instagram to cope with a miscarriage, researchers say. In analyzing hundreds of posts under the "ihadamiscarriage" hashtag, the study team observed that women use the social media site for finding community and "breaking the silence" around pregnancy loss. Healthcare providers should consider discussing this outlet as a resource, the researchers write in Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Gilead working with China to test Ebola drug as new coronavirus treatment

Gilead Sciences Inc said on Friday it provided its experimental Ebola therapy for use in a small number of patients with the coronavirus that has killed over 200 so far in China and is working with the country's authorities to set up a study. The announcement comes a day after the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus epidemic a public health emergency of international concern.

European drug panel recommends approving Novo Nordisk's new diabetes pill

A panel of the European medicines regulator has recommended approving Novo Nordisk's new diabetes pill, Rybelsus, further boosting prospects for the Danish drugmaker with its first-of-a-kind, non-injectable treatment. The European Medicines Agency said its human medicines committee (CHMP) adopted a positive opinion on the treatment, chemically called semaglutide, for the treatment of type-2 diabetes - the most common form of the disease.

Healthcare company Novacyt launches new coronavirus test

Healthcare company Novacyt said on Friday it had launched a new molecular test for the coronavirus currently afflicting China and other parts of the world. The company said its Primerdesign coronavirus test could detect the 2019 strain of the virus, adding it believed this would differentiate it from other current tests which it said were less specific.

China chides 'mean' U.S. for travel warning as virus impact spreads

The United States angered China on Friday with a warning to Americans not to travel there because of a coronavirus epidemic that has rattled the global economy with increasing disruption to business supply lines. Originating in the Chinese city of Wuhan, the flu-like virus first identified earlier this month has resulted in 213 deaths in China. Wuhan and the surrounding region are in virtual quarantine.

Where Democratic presidential candidates stand on 'Medicare for All'

Perhaps no issue has divided the field of Democratic 2020 presidential hopefuls more than "Medicare for All." Liberal candidates favor the sweeping proposal, which would replace private health insurance with a single government-run plan. Moderate candidates have embraced less drastic measures they say would achieve broader healthcare coverage while allowing individuals to choose their plan.

Nearly 200 Americans repatriated from China placed under quarantine

Nearly 200 Americans were placed under quarantine after being evacuated from Wuhan, China, to a U.S. air base in California, U.S. health officials said on Friday, hoping to prevent the spread of coronavirus that originated in that city. "We are preparing as if this is the next pandemic, but we are hoping that is not the case," said Nancy Messonnier, director of National Center For Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, in a telephone interview from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.

Bayer wins EU recommendation for prostate cancer drug

Bayer on Friday won an endorsement from the European Union's drug regulator for its prostate cancer drug darolutamide, putting it on track for approval, as it takes on rival products by Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson. An expert panel at the European Medicines Agency (EMA) recommended the drug for approval for use in early-stage prostate cancer that does not respond to hormonal therapy to slow its spread to other body parts, the German drugmaker said on Friday.