Exclusive: Federal agents found fetuses in body broker’s warehouse (Warning: Graphic images)

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Federal agents discovered four preserved fetuses in the Detroit warehouse of a man who sold human body parts, confidential photographs reviewed by Reuters show.

The fetuses were found during a December 2013 raid of businessman Arthur Rathburn’s warehouse. The fetuses, which appear to have been in their second trimester, were submerged in a liquid that included human brain tissue.

Rathburn, a former body broker, is accused of defrauding customers by sending them diseased body parts. He has pleaded not guilty and his trial is set for January.

Concussion protocol altered after recent missteps

(Reuters) – The NFL’s concussion protocol has been altered with late-season changes following recent incidents that have triggered investigations.

The changes were implemented last weekend, Dr. Allen Sills, the NFL’s chief medical officer, told ESPN.

Most notably, a central unaffiliated neurotrauma consultant (UNC) was stationed at the command center that has been used primarily for game-replay review, Sills said.

“We are constantly looking at the protocol and how it’s applied and trying to get better,” Sills said. “The process happens through the season.”

Peers may influence how well type 1 diabetes is managed

(Reuters Health) – How young people with type 1 diabetes relate to their peers may have important effects on how well they manage the disease and how distressing it is for them, a small study suggests.

Peers can help teens and young adults accept their disease and follow their treatment plans, but youth who are too attuned to what their friends think of them may neglect disease management to fit in, the authors report in Diabetes Care.

Israel’s Super-Pharm in talks to buy Teva Pharm plant: source

TEL AVIV (Reuters) – Israel’s largest pharmacy chain Super-Pharm (Israel) Ltd is in talks to acquire Teva Pharmaceutical Industries’ plant in the coastal city of Ashdod, a source familiar with the matter said on Sunday, confirming media reports.

Super-Pharm would pay 60-80 million shekels ($17-23 million) and is prepared to commit to continue employing the factory’s 70 workers, said the source, who asked not to be named.

Super-Pharm is interested in the pharmaceutical preparation activities that have an estimated 100 million shekels in annual sales, the Globes financial news site said.

Children’s Insurance, Other Health Programs Funded — For Now — In Bill

The bill passed by Congress late Thursday to keep most of the federal government funded for another month also provided a temporary reprieve to a number of health programs in danger of running out of money, most notably the Children’s Health Insurance Program, or CHIP.

Funding for CHIP technically expired Oct. 1. States have been operating their programs with leftover funds provided by the Department of Health and Human Services since then. But nearly half of the states were projected to run out of money entirely by the end of January, putting health coverage for nearly 2 million children at risk by that point.

FDA Chief Says He’s Open To Rethinking Incentives On Orphan Drugs

The commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration questions whether the right financial incentives are in place for drugmakers who develop orphan drugs for rare diseases.

In an interview this week, the FDA’s Scott Gottlieb said the Orphan Drug Act of 1983 has provided “an enormous amount of public health value” over the years, but the “market has changed.”

Boston-area paramedics on front lines of U.S. opioid crisis

(Reuters) – The paramedics find them everywhere – slumped over car steering wheels, barely breathing in doughnut shop bathrooms or dead in derelict apartments and expensive mansions.

For the Cataldo Ambulance Service crews outside Boston on the front lines of the U.S. opioid epidemic, the flood of overdose calls is a grim daily reality, despite expanded access to overdose reversal drugs.

“When I started, this was a rare thing. You did one or two here and there. Now, we do quite a few,” said Dave Franklin, 44, a supervisor at the private service that contracts with cities who has worked in the field for more than 20 years.

FDA rejects Agile’s contraceptive patch, shares plunge

(Reuters) – Agile Therapeutics Inc said on Friday the U.S. Food and Drug Administration declined to approve its contraceptive patch for the second time, sending the drug developer’s shares down about 50 percent.

The health regulator cited deficiencies related to its quality adhesion test methods and asked the company to resolve the observations found during an inspection of its third-party manufacturing facility, Corium International Inc.

Agile’s lead product, Twirla, is a once-weekly, low-dose contraceptive patch made from a combination of ethinyl estradiol and levonorgestrel.

Podcast: ‘What The Health?’ 2017: The Year In Health Policy

This has been quite a year in health policy. In 2017, the Affordable Care Act survived numerous GOP efforts to repeal and replace it, although the year-end tax bill will eliminate fines for failing to obtain health insurance in 2019. And, ironically, the more Republicans talked the health law down, the more popular it got.

Meanwhile, Congress may have passed the tax bill, but lawmakers are still scrambling to finish legislation needed to keep the government open after Dec. 22. On the line in that bill is the Children’s Health Insurance Program that provides coverage to 9 million kids around the country. Its formal funding ran out in September.

Near Incineration Of Psychiatric Hospital Highlights Gaping Need For More Beds

As fire raged in Ventura, Calif., earlier this month, Gracie Hartman made her way to the county fairgrounds to look for her friend, Fernando.

She found him there at the evacuation center, among 69 patients from the Vista del Mar acute psychiatric hospital, one of two such facilities in the county. They had been removed with little time to spare as the hospital was overtaken by flames.

Over the next couple of days, Fernando was transferred to one general hospital as a stopgap, then to another, because, unlike the first, it would accept his insurance.