Health Highlights: Jan. 11, 201301/11/13
Here are some of the latest health and medical news
developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:
FDA Should Approve New Diabetes Drug: Expert Panel
Approval of a new diabetes drug called canagliflozin was
recommended Thursday by a U.S. Food and Drug Administration
advisory panel, but several members of the committee had concerns
about potentially serious risks associated with the drug.
Johnson & Johnson's canagliflozin is one of a new group of
drugs that lowers blood pressure by causing blood sugar to be
excreted in the urine. Many current diabetes drugs work by
affecting the supply or use of insulin,
The New York Timesreported.
The drug would be taken once a day by adults with type 2
The advisory panel's recommendation was based on clinical trials
or more than 10,000 patients worldwide showing that canagliflozin
improved blood sugar levels, lowered blood pressure, and led to
However, some panel members raised concerns about potential
stroke and other cardiovascular risks associated with the drug and
its use in patients with impaired kidney function,
The FDA typically follows the recommendations of its advisory
Medical E-Records Haven't Provided Predicted Cost-Savings:
The switch to electronic health records in the United States has
not yet resulted in hoped-for cost savings or major improvements in
efficiency or patient care, according to a new analysis by the RAND
In 2005, RAND predicted that widespread use of electronic
medical records could save the U.S. health care system at least $81
billion a year. RAND's new study says that figure was overstated,
The New York Timesreported.
The new analysis did not put a dollar figure on how much
electronic medical records have helped or hindered efforts to
reduce health care costs.
"We've not achieved the productivity and quality benefits that are unquestionably there for the taking," said Dr. Arthur Kellermann, one of the authors of the new RAND analysis published in this month's edition of the journal Health Affairs.
The findings add to concerns about the costs of electronic
health record systems and the push for their rapid adoption,
Miss America Contestant Plans to Have Double Mastectomy
A 24-year-old contestant in this weekend's Miss America pageant
plans to undergo a double mastectomy after the competition.
Allyn Rose, who is Miss D.C., said she will have both her
breasts removed to reduce her risk of developing breast cancer,
which killed her mother, grandmother and great aunt, the
Her father first raised the subject with Rose during her
freshman year of college, two years after her mother died. She
initially dismissed the suggestion but has thought about that
conversation for the past three years.
"My mom would have given up every part of her body to be here for me, to watch me in the pageant," Rose told the AP. "If there's something that I can do to be proactive, it might hurt my body, it might hurt my physical beauty, but I'm going to be alive."
Major League Baseball to Widen Drug-Testing Program
Major League Baseball, along with its players union, announced
Thursday that they had reached a deal on expansion of the sport's
According to the league, blood testing for muscle-enhancing
human growth hormone (HGH) will now be conducted in-season, and a
new test aimed at catching players who are dosing up on
testosterone will also be used,
The New York Timesreported. Prior to the new agreement, HGH
testing was performed only during spring training and the
The move comes a day after players such as Barry Bonds and Roger
Clemens -- each embroiled in drug-doping scandals -- failed to be
inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame because they could not
reach the 75 percent of votes from members necessary for
According to the
Times, Major League Baseball is now outpacing the National
Football League in its monitoring of potential doping infractions
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