Following is a summary of current health news briefs.
Walgreens, Target remove all 22-ounce J&J baby powder from their shelves
Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc and Target Corp on Friday became the latest retailers to remove all 22-ounce bottles of Johnson & Johnson baby powder from their stores, after the healthcare conglomerate recalled some bottles because of possible asbestos contamination. "Following the national voluntary recall initiated by Johnson & Johnson, Target removed all Johnson & Johnson's Baby Powder 22-ounce bottles from our stores and Target.com," the company said.
Vaping case numbers tapering off, but U.S. outbreak may not have peaked -CDC
The number of cases reported in the epidemic of lung-related injuries from vaping appears to be leveling off or declining, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said on Friday, but it is too early to say whether the outbreak has peaked. "There may be less intensive investigation of possible cases by the health departments, fewer cases from earlier in the year reported into the public heath system, or lags in data reporting to the CDC," Dr. Anne Schuchat, principal deputy director of the CDC, Schuchat said in a conference call with reporters.
Big U.S. retailers pull 22-ounce J&J baby powder off shelves after recall
Four major U.S. retailers, including Walmart and Target Corp, are removing all 22-ounce bottles of Johnson & Johnson's baby powder from their stores, following the healthcare conglomerate's recall last week of some bottles due to possible asbestos contamination. J&J, which is facing thousands of lawsuits over a variety of products, said last week it was recalling around 33,000 bottles of baby powder in the United States after U.S. health regulators found trace amounts of asbestos, a known carcinogen, in samples taken from a bottle purchased online.
Tailored treatments could help athletes with eating disorders
(Reuters Health) - Athletes face an increased risk for eating disorders, and a treatment program tailored to their specific needs can help them regain a healthy relationship with food, a small study suggests. Researchers tested a program developed to focus on psychology and nutrition in helping athletes with their body image - as an athlete and in society – as well as understanding the role of food as fuel for their body, the study team writes in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
Two charities to pay $6 million to resolve U.S. pharma kickback probe
Two charities will pay $6 million to resolve claims they operated as pass-throughs for seven pharmaceutical companies to pay kickbacks to Medicare patients using their high-priced medications, the U.S. Justice Department said on Friday. The settlements with the patient assistance charities Good Days and Patient Access Network Foundation were the first with foundations linked to an industry-wide probe that has resulted in $840 million in settlements with drugmakers.
Direct-to-consumer genetic test results may be unreliable
(Reuters Health) - Genetic tests sold online or in stores may produce false results, warn genetics experts in the UK. When one of these tests indicates a "health risk," it doesn't necessarily mean someone will develop the health problem, and conversely, "reassuring" results may be unreliable, they caution in the medical journal BMJ.
FDA investigating whether Zantac causes carcinogens to form in users
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is investigating whether the popular heartburn drug Zantac causes carcinogens to form in the bodies of users, in an effort to fully understand the risks posed by the already recalled drug, the agency's spokesman said on Thursday. The issue of whether ranitidine, commonly known as Zantac, causes levels of the probable carcinogen N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) to rise in users' bodies has been raised previously by Valisure, an online pharmacy that originally flagged the potential contamination of ranitidine to the FDA.
Biogen's secret campaign to bring its Alzheimer's drug back from the ashes
Biogen Inc's shock decision this week to bring its experimental Alzheimer's drug back from the scrap heap was born out of “top secret" meetings, non-disclosure agreements and six months of hashing over trial data with scientists, regulators and statisticians, researchers told Reuters. Biogen had announced in March that it would terminate two large clinical trials of aducanumab because they were likely to fail. Within weeks, a group of company researchers set out to understand what went wrong.
Buying birth control pills online may be safe, efficient
(Reuters Health) - Services based on the web or on smartphone apps are mostly safe and efficient for purchasing oral contraceptives, a small U.S. study concludes "If a woman is looking for easier access to birth control, this seems like a very reasonable option, in particular, for those struggling to find a provider or having difficulty getting into a doctor's office," said senior author Ateev Mehrotra of Harvard Medical School in Boston.
China reports African swine fever outbreak in Yunnan province
China's Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs on Friday confirmed a new outbreak of African swine fever in the southwestern province of Yunnan. The case was reported on a farm with 15 pigs in the Chuxiong autonomous prefecture in the center of the province.