Heat-related illness affects ethnic groups disproportionately

(Reuters Health) – Health conditions related to heat are sharply rising and may affect ethnic populations disproportionately, California statistics suggest.

FILE PHOTO: A women keeps in the shade of her umbrella as she tries to beat the heat at Cardiff State beach in Encinitas, California, U.S. July 6, 2018. REUTERS/Mike Blake

The data were compiled by the California Environmental Health Tracking Program, which tracks emergency room visits and hospitalizations due to heat-related medical conditions such as exhaustion and heat stroke.

Over the course of a decade, emergency room visits for heat-related illness increased across California by 35 percent, researchers found.

U.S. senators tell drug company executives pricing is ‘morally repugnant’

WASHINGTON/NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. senators called drug pricing practices “morally repugnant” and told drug company executives they do not want to hear them blame others for the high prices, taking an aggressive stance at a Senate hearing on the rising costs of prescription medicines.

FILE PHOTO: Senator Ron Wyden, L, (D-OR) questions Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross as Sen. Orrin Hatch, R, (R-UT) listens on during a Senate Finance hearing on “Current and Proposed Tariff Actions Administered by the Department of Commerce” on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., June 20, 2018. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque/File Photo

New protein ‘switch’ could stop progression of blood-poisoning and increase chances of survival

Scientists at the University of British Columbia have discovered a new protein “switch” that could stop the progression of blood-poisoning, or sepsis, and increase the chances of surviving the life-threatening disease.

Sepsis, an inflammatory disease that arises when the body’s response to an infection injures its own tissues and organs, causes an estimated 14 million deaths every year. In a study published recently in Immunity, researchers examined the role of a protein called ABCF1 in regulating the progression of sepsis.

Brazil health agency concludes safety evaluation of weedkiller glyphosate

BRASILIA (Reuters) – Brazil’s health agency has concluded a re-evaluation of the safety of the weedkiller glyphosate, the most widely-used agriculture chemical in the country, and will present the findings and recommended guidelines for its future use on Tuesday, an official said.

The proposed issuance of new guidelines for glyphosate, which has been under re-evaluation since 2008, indicate that Brazil will likely permit continued use of the herbicide in the country and not issue a blanket ban.

U.S. trial tests claims Roundup weed killer caused cancer

(Reuters) – Bayer AG on Monday faced a second U.S. jury over allegations that its popular glyphosate-based weed killer Roundup causes cancer, six months after the company’s share price was rocked by a $289 million verdict in California state court.

FILE PHOTO: A woman uses a Monsanto’s Roundup weedkiller spray without glyphosate in a garden in Ercuis near Paris, France, May 6, 2018. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier/File Photo

The lawsuit by California resident Edwin Hardeman against the company began on Monday morning in federal rather than state court. The trial is also a test case for a larger litigation. More than 760 of the 9,300 Roundup cases nationwide are consolidated in the federal court in San Francisco that is hearing Hardeman’s case.

Bayer faces second trial over alleged Roundup cancer risk

(Reuters) – Bayer AG is set to face a second U.S. jury over allegations that its popular glyphosate-based weed killer Roundup causes cancer, six months after the company’s share price was rocked by a $289 million verdict in California state court.

FILE PHOTO: A woman uses a Monsanto’s Roundup weedkiller spray without glyphosate in a garden in Ercuis near Paris, France, May 6, 2018. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier/File Photo

A lawsuit by California resident Edwin Hardeman against the company was scheduled to begin on Monday in federal rather than state court. The trial is also a test case for a larger litigation. More than 760 of the 9,300 Roundup cases nationwide are consolidated in the federal court in San Francisco that is hearing Hardeman’s case.

China reports two new African swine fever outbreaks

BEIJING (Reuters) – China on Sunday confirmed two new outbreaks of African swine fever, one in the northern province of Hebei and the other in the northern region of Inner Mongolia, as the highly contagious disease spreads through the world’s largest hog herd.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs said the first outbreak is on a farm in the Xushui district of Baoding city which has 5,600 hogs, some of which died because of the swine fever, though it did not give a death toll.

The farm has been quarantined and the herd slaughtered, it added.

HHS Finalizes Rule Seeking To Expel Planned Parenthood From Family Planning Program

The Trump administration Friday finalized a regulation intended to push Planned Parenthood out of the Title X federal family planning program, keeping a campaign promise to anti-abortion groups.

The program provides contraceptives, screening and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases and other primary health services to 4 million patients each year, many of them low-income or uninsured, at more than 4,000 clinic sites. Planned Parenthood serves about 40 percent of that caseload.

Talk About Déjà Vu: Senators Set To Re-Enact Drug Price Hearing Of 60 Years Ago

Kenneth Frazier, CEO of pharma giant Merck, is set to face senators Tuesday who say drug costs are “sky-high” and “out of control.”

But Frazier doesn’t need new talking points. Sixty years ago, a different panel of senators grilled a different Merck boss about the same problem.

To a striking degree, the subjects likely to surface Tuesday — high drug prices and profits, limited price transparency, aggressive marketing, alleged patent abuse and mediocre, “me-too” drugs — are identical to the issues senators investigated decades ago, historical transcripts show.

United States charges man accused in leak of Singapore HIV data

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Authorities in the United States have charged a man accused of leaking information on thousands of HIV victims in Singapore with possession and unlawful transfer of stolen documents.

Mikhy Farrera-Brochez was deported last year from the wealthy Asian city state after serving a prison sentence for numerous drug-related and fraud offences, including lying about his own HIV status.

In January, Singapore’s health ministry said Brochez had disclosed online the personal information, from names and identity numbers to addresses, of 5,400 citizens diagnosed with HIV up to January 2013, and of 8,800 foreigners diagnosed up to December 2011.