Angry mothers meet U.S. EPA over concerns with Roundup herbicide


Jameson Bluma, 3, holds a sign during one of many worldwide ''March Against Monsanto'' protests against Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) and agro-chemicals, in Los Angeles, California October 12, 2013. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson


Jameson Bluma, 3, holds a sign during one of many worldwide ”March Against Monsanto” protests against Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) and agro-chemicals, in Los Angeles, California October 12, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Lucy Nicholson


(Reuters) – A group of mothers, scientists and environmentalists met with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regulators on Tuesday over concerns that residues of Roundup, the world’s most popular herbicide, had been found in breast milk.

Allergan makes case against Valeant takeover ahead of higher bid


J. Michael Pearson, Chairman of the board and Chief Executive Officer of Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc., waits for the start of their annual general meeting in Laval, Quebec May 20, 2014.   REUTERS/Christinne Muschi


J. Michael Pearson, Chairman of the board and Chief Executive Officer of Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc., waits for the start of their annual general meeting in Laval, Quebec May 20, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Christinne Muschi


(Reuters) – Allergan Inc (AGN.N) on Tuesday built its case with investors for rejecting a $47 billion takeover offer from Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, (VRX.TO), saying the Canadian drugmaker has overstated the possible savings from the deal.

Be wary of Wikipedia, say scientists








By Pippa Stephens
Health reporter, BBC News


DoctorScientists compared Wikipedia entries with peer-reviewed medical research


Wikipedia, the online encyclopaedia, contains errors in nine out of 10 of its health entries, and should be treated with caution, a study has said.

Scientists in the US compared entries about conditions such as heart disease, lung cancer, depression and diabetes with peer-reviewed medical research.

They said most articles in Wikipedia contained “many errors”.

Child sight loss 'on the increase'








Premature baby's footVery premature babies may be born with vision problems


Increasing numbers of British children are being registered as blind or partially sighted, say campaigners.

Blind Children UK says much of the rise is down to more very premature babies surviving, with one in 20 of these now likely to be born blind.

It estimates the number of babies born with sight difficulties as a result of being premature has risen 22% over the past decade to more than 1,800 a year.

Economic slowdown tied to rise in obesity in richer nations: OECD

An overweight woman sits on a chair in Times Square in New York, May 8, 2012. . REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

An overweight woman sits on a chair in Times Square in New York, May 8, 2012. .

Credit: Reuters/Lucas Jackson


(Reuters) – The rate of obesity continues to climb across the world’s most developed countries, with certain nations and groups of people such as women and the poor hit harder by the recent economic crisis, the OECD said on Tuesday.

While rates are rising as much as 3 percent a year in countries such as Australia, France, Mexico and Switzerland, they have been fairly stable in other countries such as the Unites States, Canada, Korea and Italy, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development said in report.

Economic slowdown tied to rise in obesity in richer nations: OECD


(Reuters) – The rate of obesity continues to climb across the world’s most developed countries, with certain nations and groups of people such as women and the poor hit harder by the recent economic crisis, the OECD said on Tuesday.

While rates are rising as much as 3 percent a year in countries such as Australia, France, Mexico and Switzerland, they have been fairly stable in other countries such as the Unites States, Canada, Korea and Italy, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development said in report.

A bitter pill as China crackdowns squeeze pharma margins

The logo of Shanghai Roche Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. is seen outside their headquarters in Shanghai May 22, 2014.  REUTERS/Aly Song


(Reuters) – A crackdown on corruption and pricing in China’s fast-growing pharmaceutical market has squeezed profits and margins, raising a red flag to global Big Pharma that the days of easy growth in the country may be over.

A Reuters’ analysis of more than 60 listed Chinese healthcare firms shows average profit margins declined to around 10 percent last year from 15 percent in 2012. Average net profits fell 2.1 percent, down from close to 20 percent growth in previous years.

Duchenne drug 'nears approval' in EU








PillsA new drug could be used to treat children in the UK with Duchenne in 2015


A drug to treat a particular form of Duchenne muscular dystrophy has been given the green light by the European Medicines Agency and could be available in the UK in six months.

Translarna is only relevant to patients with a ‘nonsense mutation’, who make up 10-15% of those affected by Duchenne.

The EMA decided not to pass the drug in January, but they have since re-examined the evidence.

Qiagen wins U.S. approval for test to accompany Amgen cancer drug


(Reuters) – U.S. health regulators on Friday approved Qiagen NV’s gene-testing kit to identify those colorectal cancer patients most likely to benefit from Amgen Inc’s drug, Vectibix, Qiagen said.

In addition, the Food and Drug Administration expanded the approval of Vectibix to allow its use as a first-line, or initial, treatment for colon cancer in combination with the widely used FOLFOX chemotherapy regimen, Amgen said.

The expanded Vectibix approval is for patients who have a non-mutated, or wild type, KRAS gene after clinical trials demonstrated that those patients were most likely to be helped by the drug.

OncoBriefs: Myeloma Tx, Penis Shrinkage, Rx OKs

Oncology/Hematology

Published: May 24, 2014

Continuous therapy topped fixed-duration treatment for newly diagnosed multiple myeloma in a retrospective review that will be reported during the American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting, which begins May 30 in Chicago.

Other oncology-related news in this edition of OncoBriefs includes a possible therapy to minimize penile shrinkage after radical prostatectomy and regulatory approvals for drugs used to treat a type of leukemia and colorectal cancer.

Continuous Therapy Gets the Nod for Newly Diagnosed Multiple Myeloma