Reuters Health News Summary

Following is a summary of current health news briefs.

Judge summons drug company CEOs to court to discuss opioid settlement: source

The chief executives of the three largest U.S. drug distributors and a drugmaker have been summoned to appear before a federal judge to discuss a proposal to resolve thousands of lawsuits alleging they fueled the U.S. opioid crisis, a person familiar with the matter said on Thursday. The order by U.S. District Judge Dan Polster in Cleveland, Ohio, came as distributors McKesson Corp, Cardinal Health Inc, AmerisourceBergen Corp and Israel-based drugmaker Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd moved to reach a deal ahead of a trial before him that begins on Monday.

Heavy-resistance training can help running performance

It's a myth that low-resistance, high-rep workouts that promote endurance are the best form of strength-training for runners, researchers say. Running itself is the best endurance training for muscles, they write in the British Journal of Sports Medicine. But to improve speed as well as oxygen and energy use, studies show that "explosive" heavy-resistance exercises should be an important part of a runner's routine.

U.S. vaping-related deaths rise to 33, cases of illness to 1,479

U.S. health officials on Thursday reported 33 deaths and 1,479 confirmed and probable cases so far from a mysterious respiratory illness tied to vaping. Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported 1,299 cases and 26 deaths from the illness.

Teva's UK arm recalls some batches of Ranitidine: Medicines watchdog

Teva Pharmaceutical's UK unit has recalled some batches of heartburn medicine Ranitidine, Britain's medicines watchdog said on Thursday, making it the latest drugmaker to pull the product. Teva, the world's largest generic drugmaker, is recalling all unexpired stock of Ranitidine Effervescent Tablets in 150 micrograms and 300 micrograms dosages, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) said

U.S. ramps up testing in search vaping illness cause as cases near 1,500

U.S. health officials on Thursday reported another 180 cases of vaping-related lung illnesses and announced plans to start testing aerosols produced by e-cigarettes and vaping products as they search for the source of the nationwide outbreak that has so far killed at least 33 people in 24 states. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also said it plans to start testing lung cells collected from people who became sick in the outbreak.

AstraZeneca breast cancer treatment gets FDA priority review

AstraZeneca Plc said on Thursday that the U.S. drug regulator will give a speedy review to its experimental breast cancer treatment, which could put the British drugmaker in direct competition with bigger rival Roche Holding AG. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) accepted AstraZeneca's application and granted the treatment, trastuzumab deruxtecan, a priority review for the treatment of HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer, the drugmaker said.

Big income drops tied to heart attack, stroke

Experiencing a substantial drop in income may raise the risk of having a heart attack or stroke years later, a recent study suggests. Researchers followed income changes for 8,989 middle-aged adults over six years, starting when they were 53 years old, on average. Most people had relatively steady income during this period, but 10% saw their pay cut by more than half and 20% had their income surge by at least 50%.

Juul halts all U.S. sales of many flavored nicotine liquids

E-cigarette maker Juul Labs Inc said on Thursday it will completely halt U.S. sales of all flavors except tobacco, mint and menthol, as the company faces heightened scrutiny from regulators, lawmakers and state attorneys general over the appeal of its nicotine products to teenagers. Thursday's move, which ends online sales, means Juul's mango, fruit, creme and cucumber nicotine pod flavors will no longer be available for sale anywhere in the United States. The company last year pulled those flavors from retail stores but continued to sell them on its website with what the company said were "strict age-verification controls."

Johnson & Johnson agrees to pay about $117 million to settle U.S. states' mesh probe

Johnson & Johnson has agreed to pay nearly $117 million to resolve allegations that it deceptively marketed transvaginal surgical mesh devices, U.S. state attorneys general said on Thursday. The settlement resolves a multistate investigation that found J&J violated consumer protection laws by misrepresenting the safety and effectiveness of its devices and failing to sufficiently disclose risks associated with their use, the attorneys general said.

As 'Cannabis 2.0' kicks off in Canada, industry strangled by limited retail outlets

A year after Canada legalized use of recreational marijuana cannabis stocks have lost half their market value, and investors betting that the launch of higher-margin pot-infused drinks and other products will quickly lift shares may be in for a bumpy ride. So-called cannabis 2.0 - legalization of marijuana derivatives including edibles, beverages, extracts and vape pens - takes effect on Thursday, with sales seen beginning in mid-December. While that is expected to help sagging share prices, the crucial factor for a turnaround is a significant increase in the number of stores selling the products, investors, companies and analysts said.