Health Highlights: Jan. 8, 201401/08/14
Here are some of the latest health and medical news
developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:
New Diabetes Drug Approved by FDA
A new pill to treat adults with type 2 diabetes has been
approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Farxiga (dapaglifozin) tablets were approved to improve
patients' blood sugar control, in combination with diet and
exercise. The approval is based on findings from 16 clinical trials
that included more than 9,400 people with type 2 diabetes.
An increased number of bladder cancers were diagnosed among
patients who took the drug, so it is not recommended for patients
with bladder cancer, the FDA said. The most common side effects
among patients who took Farxiga were genital fungal infections and
urinary tract infections.
The FDA ordered six post-approval studies for the drug. The
studies will examine things such as cardiovascular and bladder
cancer risk, liver problems, and pregnancy outcomes among patients
taking the drug. Two studies will assess the use of the drug in
Farxiga is marketed by Bristol-Meyers Squibb Company and
SafeSpout and SafeShower Water Filtration Products Recalled
At least one death has been linked to recalled SafeSpout and
SafeShower water filtration products made by Nephros Inc. of New
Jersey, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration says.
If the products' fiber filter breaks or the sealing compound
that holds the fiber in place breaks apart, people could be exposed
to potentially harmful bacteria or viruses, according to the
So far, the FDA has received reports of one death and one
infection associated with the recalled products, which are
installed at the end of a standard sink faucet or shower head and
are meant to filter water for drinking and washing. They were
distributed between October 2011 and September 2013.
Nephros issued recall letters on Oct. 28, 2013, asking customers
to remove and return filters from the products. For more
information, contact the company at 1-201-343-5202, extension 100,
between 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday, the FDA
Government Oversight Lacking in Switch to Electronic Health
The U.S. government is encouraging doctors and hospitals to use
electronic health records, but has not implemented measures to
prevent the technology from being used to inflate costs and
overcharge, according to a report released Wednesday by the Office
of the Inspector General for the Health and Human Services
The federal government is spending more than $22 billion to
promote adoption of electronic health records, but has "directed
less attention to addressing potential fraud and abuse," according
to the report,
The New York Timessaid.
The report noted that Medicare has not made changes to the way
it attempts to detect fraud and has provided contractors "with
This is the second report in two months revealing problems in
the oversight of the federal government's program to get doctors
and hospitals to convert patient records from paper to electronic,
Meals at Full-Service Restaurants High in Calories and Salt:
Adult meals at full-service restaurant chains are extremely high
in calories and salt, a new study says.
Researchers analyzed menus from 21 full-service restaurant chain
outlets in Philadelphia, including Dennys, Pizza Hut, Red Lobster,
Olive Garden and Perkins. Adult meals averaged 1,500 calories, or
75 percent to 100 percent of a person's calories for an entire day,
The meals also had an average of 3,510 milligrams of sodium,
which exceeds daily recommended levels by 153 percent, according to
the study in the
Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior.
The researchers noted that a plan was put in place to reduce
salt in processed and restaurant foods by 25 percent by 2014.
"However, current sodium levels at full-service restaurants are so high that even after a reduction of 25 per cent, mean sodium in a la carte entrees would still be about 1,300 milligrams," wrote Amy Auchincloss of the Drexel University School of Public Health and her colleagues, CBS Newsreported.
Weight-Loss Product Makers Penalized by FTC
Fines and other penalties have been handed out to four companies
that used deceptive advertising claims to sell weight-loss
products, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission said Tuesday.
The marketers of Sensa, a weight-loss product sprinkled on food,
will pay $26.5 million to settle FTC charges that the company made
unfounded weight-loss claims and used misleading endorsements. The
product was sold by retail chains such as GNC and Costco, on the
Home Shopping Network, and on the Internet,
L'Occitane Inc. was hit with a $450,000 penalty for claims that
its Almond Beautiful Shape and Almond Shaping Delight skin creams
could reduce body size and were clinically proven, even though
there was no scientific evidence.
The FTC also said that LeanSpa principal Boris Mizhen and three
companies he controls will hand over cash, real estate and personal
property worth an estimated $7 million in a partial settlement over
fake news websites of acai berry and "colon cleanse" weight-loss
supplements. His wife, Angelina Strano, will hand over nearly
The fourth company is Arizona-based HCG Diet Direct, which
marketed an "unproven human hormone that has been touted by
hucksters for more than half a century as a weight-loss treatment,"
the FTC said.
The agency said the company sold liquid drops containing a
diluted form of human chorionic gonadotropin, a hormone produced by
the human placenta. However, HCG Diet Direct had its $3.2 million
judgment suspended because of its inability to pay,
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