Health Highlights: Nov. 2, 201211/02/12
Here are some of the latest health and medical news
developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:
Pradaxa Bleeding Risk Same as Warfarin: FDA
The risk of serious bleeding among new users of the blood
thinner Pradaxa is no higher than among new users of the popular
blood thinner warfarin, according to a U.S. Food and Drug
Administration safety review.
Blood thinners are used to prevent blood clots in patients with
certain kinds of heart or blood vessel disease. Blood clots can
lead to heart attack and stroke.
The FDA initiated the safety review after receiving reports of
serious bleeding among patients prescribed Pradaxa. The agency said
it will continue to monitor data as part of the ongoing safety
Doctors who prescribe Pradaxa should carefully follow the drug's
dosing instructions, especially for patients with kidney problems,
to reduce the risk of bleeding, the FDA said. It also said that
patients with the heart rhythm disorder atrial fibrillation should
not stop taking Pradaxa without talking to their doctor.
Planned Parenthood in Texas Continues to Receive Funding for
Planned Parenthood in Texas will continue to receive money from
a joint state and federal program for the time being, despite Gov.
Rick Perry's pledge to cut its funding by Nov. 1, the
A new Texas law forbids state funds from going to organizations
linked to abortion providers. Planned Parenthood in the state is
funded by the joint state and federal program that provides health
care to low-income women.
The federal government funds 90 percent of the $40 million
yearly cost of the program, but says the Texas law violates federal
rules. Perry said only state money will be used to keep the program
On Wednesday, Perry announced that the state was ready Thursday
to begin a women's health program with state-only funding. But
Health and Human Service Commissioner Kyle Janek said the program
will not begin immediately and may not take effect until Dec. 31
since federal funding will continue until then, the
In addition, there are three unresolved lawsuits over the
More Drug Trial Data Required Under New Journal Policy
Beginning in January, the
British Medical Journalwill no longer publish the results of
clinical trials unless drug makers and researchers agree to provide
detailed study data on request.
The move is meant to push drug companies to provide access to
the huge amounts of data they collect when researching new drugs.
Currently, very little of that data is made public.
Critics say that when clinical trial results are published in
medical journals, they often include only the most favorable
findings and independent researchers are not allowed to analyze all
Journal editor Dr. Fiona Godlee said she hopes other major
journals will adopt similar policies. "We expect that eventually
this will become the norm," she told
The journal will publicize cases in which access to full
clinical trial data is denied, Godlee said.
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