Health Highlights: Dec. 11, 201312/11/13
Here are some of the latest health and medical news
developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:
Female Libido Drug Maker Appealing FDA Decision
It's not clear whether the benefits of a drug meant to increase
sexual desire in women outweigh the risks, the U.S. Food and Drug
The agency considers the effectiveness of Sprout
Pharmaceuticals' drug flibanserin to be "modest," while side
effects include fatigue, dizziness and nausea, the
The daily pill was developed to boost libido in women by
targeting brain chemicals linked to mood and appetite.
An October letter from the FDA to Sprout denied approval of the
drug and requested more information. The company is appealing the
decision, but it appears to have a low chance of success. Only 3 of
17 appeals considered last year by the FDA were successful, the
So far, all attempts to develop a drug to increase women's
sexual desire have been unsuccessful.
Colorado Co. Recalls 90,000 Lbs of Meat, Poultry Products
A Colorado company is recalling about 90,000 pounds of meat and
poultry products that were produced under unsanitary conditions,
the U.S. Department of Agriculture says.
Federal inspectors found rodent activity in the production,
storage and retail areas of the facility owned by Yauk's Speciality
Meats of Windsor. The recalled products were sold in Colorado,
Nebraska, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming,
The recalled products include: "Colorado Best Beef" brand of
various fresh, smoked and shelf-stable meat products; "James Ranch"
brand jerky and summer sausage; "Rocky Plains Meats" brand hams,
bacon, raw and smoked sausage, jerky and raw poultry; "John Long
Farms" brand fresh and smoked pork products; "Horned Beef" brand
jerky; and "Mile High Hungarian Sausage" brand fresh and smoked
bacon and sausage.
The recalled products were produced between April 1, 2013, and
Dec. 5, 2013 and are in packages with the establishment number
"Est. 20309" or "P-20309" inside the USDA Mark of Inspection. No
illnesses have been reported,
Gynecology Board Decision Causes Problems for Men With Pelvic
Many American men can't find treatment for pelvic pain after the
American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology told its members they
could not treat men for the problem.
On Sept. 12, the board posted on its website a statement
outlining what its members were permitted to do. The rules said
that, except for a few conditions, gynecologists could not treat
men. Pelvic pain was not one of the exceptions,
The New York Timesreported.
There are a number of nerve and muscle problems that can cause
pelvic pain in both women and men. However, such problems are more
common in women and gynecologists typically have the most skill in
treating this type of pain, experts say.
But the gynecology board feels that other types of doctors can
treat pelvic pain in men, board spokesman David Margulies told
The board refused an International Pelvic Pain Society request
that gynecologists be permitted to continue treating men for pelvic
"Gynecologists with the appropriate skills, experience and knowledge who choose to participate in the care of men with chronic pelvic pain should not be at risk of losing their board certification, solely because they participate in the care of patients who have a real need, suffer tremendously and have limited options for treatment," the society said in an email, The Timesreported.
Last month, the gynecology board changed its stance about
another group of male patients and said that gynecologists could
screen and test men who are at high risk for anal cancer.
Couric Apologizes for HPV Segment on Talk Show
Talk show host Katie Couric apologized Tuesday for an HPV
segment on her program last week that was widely criticized,
including accusations of irresponsibility and scaremongering.
Writing in the
Huffington Post, Couric said that some of the criticism that
the show was "too anti-vaccine and anti-science" was valid,
"We simply spent too much time on the serious adverse events that have been reported in very rare cases following the vaccine. More emphasis should have been given to the safety and efficacy of the HPV vaccines. As someone who has spent the last 15 years relaying important medical information with the goal of improving public health, it is critical to me that people know the facts," Couric wrote.
She noted that some people have concerns about vaccine in
general and that this is an emotional issue,
"But based on the science, my personal view is that the benefits of the HPV vaccine far outweigh its risks," Couric wrote. "That is why, as I said on my show, I had my own two daughters vaccinated against HPV. I hope that other parents will look at the research and the facts, and make a reasoned decision on the HPV vaccine and what is best for their children."
Aspartame in Diet Sodas is Safe, Report Says
It's safe to consume the artificial sweetener aspartame at
levels currently used in diet sodas, according to the European Food
The agency's conclusion, announced Tuesday after a major review
of evidence, ruled out any "potential risk of aspartame causing
damage to genes and inducing cancer," the
Aspartame, also known under the brand name NutraSweet, is the
sweetener used in Diet Coke. Sales of the drink declined after
other studies showed that aspartame might be a health threat.
Coca Cola Co. recently launched an advertising campaign to ease
consumers' fears about Diet Coke, the
States' Spending on Antismoking Programs Decreasing: Report
Only a small portion of money from tobacco taxes and settlements
with tobacco companies is being used by states for antismoking
programs, according to a report by an coalition of advocacy
They said that in 2014, states would earn about $25 billion in
this type of revenue but are expected to spend only $481 million on
programs to prevent or reduce tobacco use. That's far below the
$3.7 billion recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and
The New York Timesreported.
In 2002, states spent $750 million on anti-smoking efforts.
Next year, only Alaska and North Dakota are set to meet the CDC
recommendations for tobacco prevention spending, according to the
report from the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, the Robert Wood
Johnson Foundation and four other anti-smoking groups.
"I would call it horrible health policy and horrible fiscal policy," Danny McGoldrick, vice president for research at the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, told The Times"They are passing up an opportunity to save lives, save suffering and save health care dollars for the state."
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