Health Highlights: March 16, 201203/16/12
Here are some of the latest health and medical news
developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:
Use of Meds That Conflict With Cancer Drugs Common: Study
Many patients on targeted cancer drugs also take other medicines
that may reduce the cancer treatment's effectiveness or cause toxic
side effects, according to a new study.
Researchers found that 23 percent to 57 percent of patients who
received one of nine targeted cancer pills were also prescribed
medicines that may limit the effects of the cancer treatment, and
24 percent to 74 percent were given drugs that could cause toxic
side effects when used at the same time as the cancer drugs,
Bloomberg news reported.
The study was conducted by a team at Medco Healthy Solutions
Inc. and presented today at the annual meeting of the American
Society for Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics.
"Oncologists are not always aware of other medications prescribed by other doctors and vice-versa, which can pose a real hazard for their patients on oral cancer therapies," Steven Bowlin, one of the study authors and senior director at Medco's research division, said in a statement, Bloomberg reported.
Schools' Use of 'Pink Slime' Beef to Become Optional: USDA
Starting in the fall, schools in the national school lunch
program will be able to refuse ammonia-treated ground beef filler
that some refer to as "pink slime."
The announcement Thursday by the U.S. Department of Agriculture
comes amid growing social media outrage over the so-called "lean
finely textured beef," the
Associated Press reported.
The product is made from fatty pieces of meat left over from
other cuts. The pieces are heated and spun to remove most of the
fat, and compressed into blocks for use in ground meat. The product
is exposed to ammonium hydroxide gas to kill bacteria.
The change is USDA policy means that schools will be allowed to
choose between 95 percent lean beef patties made with the low-cost
lean beef product or less lean bulk ground beef without it, the
No More Federal Funding for Texas Women's Health Program
The U.S. government says all funding for the Texas Medicaid
Women's Health Program will be stopped due to the state's ban on
funding for clinics affiliated with abortion providers.
The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services regrets
the move but had no other option, according to director Cindy
"We had hoped not to be at this point. But, unfortunately, as we've made clear to the state at all points in this process, we don't have a choice," Mann said during a conference call with reporters, the Associated Press reported.
"Medicaid law is clear," she noted. "Patients, not state government officials, are able to choose the doctor and health care providers that are best for them and their family."
The Texas program covers about 130,000 low-income women, ages
18-44. Federal funds cover 90 percent of the cost and the state
pays the rest, the
Federal support continues for similar programs in about 29 other
states, Mann said.
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