Health Highlights: Jan. 23, 201301/23/13
Here are some of the latest health and medical news
developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:
Petition to Reclassify Marijuana Rejected by Appeals Court
A petition to reclassify marijuana from its current status in
the United States as a dangerous drug with no accepted medical use
was rejected Tuesday by a federal appeals court.
The petition was submitted by several individuals and three
medical marijuana groups, the
Associated Pressreported. In 2011, a petition to change
marijuana's classification was rejected by the U.S. Drug
Tuesday's appeals court ruling came a few months after Colorado
and Washington state legalized marijuana for recreational use.
In his majority opinion Tuesday, Judge Harry Edwards noted that
the issue wasn't whether marijuana may have some medical benefits,
but rather whether the DEA's decision to reject the petition was
"arbitrary and capricious," the
The appeals court concluded that this was not the case.
Drug Co. Analysis Predicted High Failure Rate for Hip
An internal Johnson & Johnson analysis revealed that the
company believed that an all-metal hip implant would fail within
five years in nearly 40 percent of patients who received the
The company recalled the Articular Surface Replacement in
mid-2010. The analysis was conducted in 2011 but never released,
according to newly disclosed court documents,
The New York Timesreported.
At the same time it was conducting the analysis, Johnson &
Johnson was publicly playing down a British implant registry's
similar findings about the hip implant's early failure rate.
The analysis also indicates that the device is likely to fail
prematurely over the next few years in thousands more patients in
addition to those who have already undergone surgery to replace it,
The analysis is among hundreds of internal Johnson & Johnson
documents expected to be made public as the first of more than
10,000 lawsuits over the all-metal hip implant prepares to go to
trail this week.
Bill and Melinda Gates Get Public Welfare Medal
Bill and Melinda Gates have been presented with the 2013 Public
Welfare Medal for their efforts to improve the lives of millions of
people around the world, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences
The award is the academy's most prestigious award and is
presented each year to honor recipients' use of science for the
public good. This year's winners are co-chairs and trustees of the
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which works to help all people
lead, healthy productive lives, according to the academy.
Since 1994, the foundation has provided $25 billion in grants
and works in more than 100 countries.
"Bill and Melinda Gates have changed the trajectory of international public health," Susan Wessler, home secretary of the National Academy of Sciences and chair of the selection committee for the award, said in an academy news release.
"Their science-driven approach to tackling so many seemingly intractable problems -- from reducing the spread of deadly diseases to curbing hunger and poverty -- has benefited the world's neediest people," Wessler said.
Most U.S. Research Chimps To Be Retired
All but 50 of hundreds of chimpanzees used for U.S.
government-funded research should be retired from labs and sent to
a sanctuary, federal scientists said.
A U.S. National Institutes of Health committee also called for
major cuts in grants to study chimps in laboratories and said there
should be no return to breeding chimps for research, the
The recommendations, which were approved Tuesday by the NIH
Council of Councils Working Group, were welcomed by animal-rights
A statement released by People for the Ethical Treatment of
Animals said: "At last, our federal government understands: A
chimpanzee should no more live in a laboratory than a human should
live in a phone booth."
The freed chimps will be sent to the Chimp Haven sanctuary in
Louisiana. Sanctuary officials said nine chimps arrived Tuesday,
seven more are expected Thursday, and another 95 will arrive over
coming months, the
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