U.S. patent court deals setback to Allergan’s Restasis strategy

(Reuters) – A U.S. administrative court said it has the authority to decide the validity of patents Allergan Plc transferred to a Native American tribe, dealing a setback to a strategy the company adopted to protect one of its best-selling medicines from generic competition.

The Patent Trial and Appeal Board, a court run by the U.S. patent office, declined on Friday a request to dismiss litigation brought by the generic drug company Mylan NV challenging the validity of Allergan’s patents on its dry eye medicine Restasis.

Yemen’s cholera epidemic likely to intensify in coming months: WHO

RIYADH (Reuters) – The World Health Organization warned on Monday that a cholera epidemic in Yemen that killed more than 2,000 people could flare up again in the rainy season.

WHO Deputy Director General for Emergency Preparedness and Response Peter Salama said the number of cholera infections had been in decline in Yemen over the past 20 weeks after it hit the 1 million mark of suspected cases.

“However, the real problem is we’re entering another phase of rainy seasons,” Salama told Reuters on the sidelines of an international aid conference in Riyadh.

Evaluations Of Medicaid Experiments By States, CMS Are Weak, GAO Says

With federal spending on Medicaid experiments soaring in recent years, a congressional watchdog said state and federal governments fail to adequately evaluate if the efforts improve care and save money.

A study by the Government Accountability Office released Thursday found some states don’t complete evaluation reports for up to seven years after an experiment begins and often fail to answer vital questions to determine effectiveness. The GAO also slammed the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services for failing to make results from Medicaid evaluation reports public in a timely manner.

New low-cost microfluidic device brings single-cell technology to bedside

February 23, 2018

Single-cell analysis holds enormous potential to study how individual cells influence disease and respond to treatment, but the lack of cost-effective and user-friendly instrumentation remains challenging. As described in a study published today in Nature Communications, researchers at the New York Genome Center (NYGC) and New York University (NYU) have taken steps to facilitate broad access to single-cell sequencing by developing a 3D-printed, portable and low-cost microfluidic controller. To demonstrate the utility of the instrument in clinical environments, the researchers deployed the device to study synovial tissue from patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) at the Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS).

Respiratory disease patients with arthritis struggle to use complex inhalers

February 23, 2018

Respiratory disease patients with arthritis could struggle to manage their conditions because their inhalers are too fiddly for them to use, University of Bath research has found.

Medical professionals should check that patients with respiratory diseases and rheumatoid arthritis can use their inhalers properly to reduce the risk of them being unable to take their medicines say the scientists from the University of Bath’s Department of Pharmacy & Pharmacology.

Respiratory diseases, including asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), are common in people with rheumatoid arthritis. It is estimated that more than 60,000 people in the UK have both rheumatoid arthritis and a lung disease.

Ten ERs In Colorado Tried To Curtail Opioids And Did Better Than Expected

DENVER — One of the most common reasons patients head to an emergency room is pain. In response, doctors may try something simple at first, like ibuprofen or acetaminophen. If that wasn’t effective, the second line of defense has been the big guns.

“Percocet or Vicodin,” explained ER doctor Peter Bakes of Swedish Medical Center, “medications that certainly have contributed to the rising opioid epidemic.”

Now, though, physicians are looking for alternatives to help cut opioid use and curtail potential abuse. Ten Colorado hospitals, including Swedish in Englewood, Colo., participated in a six-month pilot project designed to cut opioid use, the Colorado Opioid Safety Collaborative. Launched by the Colorado Hospital Association, it is billed as the first of its kind in the nation to include this number of hospitals in the effort.

Northern Ireland abortion laws violate women’s rights, U.N. body says

GENEVA (Reuters) – The United Kingdom violates women’s rights in Northern Ireland by unduly restricting their access to abortion, a report by the U.N. Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) said on Friday.

“Denial of abortion and criminalisation of abortion amounts to discrimination against women because it is a denial of a service that only women need. And it puts women in horrific situations,” the committee’s vice-chairwoman, Ruth Halperin-Kaddari, said in a statement.

“The situation in Northern Ireland constitutes violence against women that may amount to torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment,” she said.

Virtual reality coronation takes dementia patients down memory lane

HINDHEAD, England (Reuters) – For 93-year-old Daphne Padfield, a dementia sufferer in an English care home, the arrival of a virtual reality (VR) headset offered a window back to the day in 1953 when Britain crowned its new queen.

“Those things don’t happen too often, so we were very privileged that day,” said Padfield, casting her mind back to the coronation.

The VR film she watched is the work of a project called The Wayback, designed to trigger memories and emotions in people with dementia and help them re-engage with relatives and carers.