Health Highlights: March 5, 201303/05/13
Here are some of the latest health and medical news
developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:
Non-Hormonal Drugs for Hot Flashes Rejected by FDA Panel
Two drugs being proposed as alternatives to hormones to treat
hot flashes in menopausal women were rejected Monday by a U.S. Food
and Drug Administration advisory panel.
The committee of outside experts voted 12 to 2 against approving
Depomed's extended-release gabapentin and voted 10 to 4 against
approving a low-dose formulation of the antidepressant paroxetine
developed by Noven Pharmaceuticals,
The New York Timesreported.
The FDA typically follows the recommendations of its advisory
There are no FDA-approved nonhormonal treatments for
menopause-related hot flashes and the committee acknowledged the
need for new drugs. However, they said the drugs' risks outweighed
their benefit. Research showed that the drugs reduced the number of
hot flashes by only one a day compared to a placebo,
Energy Drink Co. Says Teen's Death Not Caused by Caffeine
There is no evidence to link a 14-year-old girl's death with
caffeine toxicity, according to a group of doctors hired by Monster
The energy drink maker is facing a lawsuit related to the death
of Anais Fournier, who died from cardiac arrest in December 2011
after drinking two 24-ounce cans of Monster energy drinks within 24
Wall Street Journalreported.
Her family has sued Monster Beverage Corp., blaming the girl's
death on the energy drinks.
On Monday, the company said it had hired heart specialists and
other medical experts to examine the girl's medical records. They
found no evidence to support the Maryland Medical Examiner's report
of "caffeine toxicity" or any connection between her death and the
consumption of the energy drinks,
A jury will determine Monster's accountability in the case, "not
doctors paid by billion dollar corporations to attend press
conferences," said Kevin Goldberg, a lawyer representing Anais
Candy Industry Exec Speaks Out Against Obesity
Candy makers need to develop ways to tackle the childhood
obesity crisis before they are forced to by the government, the
president of Mars Chocolate in North America reportedly urged in a
speech at last week's National Confectioners Association meeting in
ABC News, the candy trade publication
Confectionary Newsreported that Debra Sandler said: "If we
don't [act], I worry that someone else will do it for us. ... We
need the whole industry to step up. ... We are not judged by the
leaders of the category but by those who do not take responsibility
Candy accounts for only 2 percent of calories in the average
American diet, but candy makers shouldn't use that as an excuse to
avoid the issue, Sandler warned. She said candy makers need to do
things such as reformulate recipes to lower their products' calorie
levels and improve nutrition, and display calorie content more
prominently on the front of packaging.
Sandler's remarks were praised by anti-obesity campaigners.
"Mars has been making an effort to be more responsible in how they market candy. It's good to see them calling on their colleagues to do the same," said Margo Wootan, director of nutrition policy at the Center for Science in the Public Interest, told ABC News. The watchdog group has often criticized large food companies.
Each year, Americans consume more than 7.7 billion pounds of
candy a year, or about 25 pounds per person, according to the U.S.
Census Bureau. About 60 percent of that is chocolate.
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