Reuters Health News Summary

Following is a summary of current health news briefs.

Orion, Bayer prostate cancer drug gets FDA approval

Finland's Orion and Germany's Bayer said on Wednesday the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had approved prostate cancer drug daroluramide, which the two companies have been developing together. "The compound was approved under the FDA Priority Review designation, which is reserved for medicines that may provide significant improvements in the safety or effectiveness of the treatment for serious conditions," Orion said.

Fifth Bulgarian pig farm hit by African swine fever

Bulgarian veterinary authorities said on Wednesday that they would cull 17,000 pigs after detecting an outbreak of African swine fever at a breeding farm in the northeast of the country, the fifth industrial farm hit by the fast-spreading virus. The outbreak was detected at a farm in the village of Balgarsko Slivov, near the Danube town of Svishtov. More than 100,000 pigs have already been culled in another three farms in the past two weeks.

U.S. abortion rights groups sue over Missouri law

Prominent U.S. abortion rights groups Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union filed a federal lawsuit late on Tuesday in an effort to stop a new Missouri law that bans almost all terminations of pregnancies after eight weeks. The new law was signed by Republican Governor Mike Parson in May and is set to go into effect on Aug. 28.

Second Ebola case in Congo's main eastern city dies

The second patient to be diagnosed with Ebola in eastern Congo's main city of Goma has died after he sought treatment too late and was already bleeding, the head of the Congolese response effort said on Wednesday. Confirmation of the case on Tuesday increased fears the virus could take root in the densely populated city of 2 million, which is more than 350 km (220 miles) south of where the outbreak was first detected.

U.S. nurses may not be ready for nuclear emergencies

U.S. nurses may not receive adequate training in how to care for patients during a nuclear event or radiation emergency, a nationwide survey of nursing schools suggests. More than three-fourths of nursing school administrators and faculty who participated said their curriculum included no training or less than one hour of training on nuclear emergency preparedness, researchers report in the journal Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness.

Beyond Meat competitor Impossible Foods receives FDA approval for 'bleeding' plant burger

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday approved a key ingredient in plant-based burger patties made by Impossible Foods, a rival to Beyond Meat, clearing the way for direct-to-consumer sales at U.S. grocery stores. The FDA in a statement said it concluded soy leghemoglobin, a protein-based color additive Impossible Food uses to make its burgers look and "bleed" like real meat, was safe.

Poorer U.S. patients less likely to get blood pressure controlled

(Reuters Health) - Poorer patients in the U.S. may be less likely to get their blood pressure under control, even when they are participating in a clinical trial where medication and doctor's visits are provided free of charge, a new study finds. Compared to patients from the wealthiest counties, those from the poorest counties were half as likely to get their blood pressure under control during a six-year-clinical trial, researchers report in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

Congress seeks briefing on potential threat to U.S. heparin supply

Leaders of the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee on Tuesday asked the Food and Drug Administration about the potential threat to the U.S. heparin supply due to the outbreak of African swine fever in China. Heparin is currently on the FDA's drug shortage list.

Trump firms up plan to import medicines; pharma companies resist

The Trump administration took a step Wednesday toward allowing importation of medicines from Canada, an action the president has advocated as a way to bring cheaper prescription drugs to Americans, but the pharmaceutical industry was quick to resist the move. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) said it and the Food and Drug Administration will propose a rule that will allow it to authorize states and other groups to pursue pilot projects related to importing drugs from Canada.

Pluristem gets positive results from radiation treatment trials

Israel's Pluristem Therapeutics Inc reported on Wednesday positive results from a series of studies in animals of its placenta-based stem cell therapy to treat acute radiation syndrome (ARS). The studies were conducted by the U.S. Department of Defense’s Armed Forces Radiobiology Research Institute.

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