Opioid settlement talks fail, landmark trial expected Monday

CLEVELAND (Reuters) – A landmark trial over the U.S. opioid epidemic is on track to begin on Monday after drug companies and local governments failed to agree on a settlement on Friday that had been expected to be valued at around $50 billion.

A view of the statue standing in front of the U.S. District Courthouse in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S., October 18, 2019. REUTERS/Aaron Josefczyk

Top executives of the largest U.S. drug distributors and drugmaker Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd left a Cleveland courthouse on Friday and lawyers for states and thousands of local governments said there was no agreement.

FDA approves Alexion’s Ultomiris for another rare blood disease

(Reuters) – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Friday approved Alexion Pharmaceuticals Inc’s treatment for a second rare blood disorder, the company said.

The treatment, Ultomiris, has already been approved in the United States, Japan and the European Union to treat adults with blood disorder called paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria.

Friday’s approval allows its use in treating atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome (aHUS), a condition that causes abnormal blood clots to form in small blood vessels in the kidneys, which could result in kidney failure.

Your Personality as a Teen May Predict Your Risk of Dementia: Study

News Picture: Your Personality as a Teen May Predict Your Risk of Dementia: StudyBy Alan Mozes
HealthDay Reporter

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THURSDAY, Oct. 17, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Could your personality as a teen forecast your risk for dementia a half-century later?

Very possibly, say researchers, who found that dementia risk is lower among seniors who were calm, mature and energetic high schoolers.

“Being calm and mature as teen were each associated with roughly a 10% reduction in adult dementia risk,” said study co-author Kelly Peters, principal researcher at the American Institutes for Research in Washington, D.C. “And vigor was associated with a 7% reduction.”

Health Tip: Brain Games for Seniors

(HealthDay News) — Many doctors encourage seniors to use brain fitness games as a means to help deal with dementia, Alzheimer’s and other cognitive diseases, says SeniorLiving.org.

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While research remains inconclusive, there appears to be a correlation between brain games and brain health.

The website says brain games that may help seniors include:

  • Memory games, such as Match and Simon.
  • Word games, such as word searches and Scrabble.
  • Electronic games, such as Jeopardy, Wheel of Fortune and Family Feud.
  • Board games, such as Chess and Checkers.
  • Interactive Wii and X-Box games.

Opioids settlement could be near, lawyer for local governments says

CLEVELAND (Reuters) – Executives from several large healthcare companies and state attorneys general were progressing toward what is expected to be a multibillion-dollar deal to resolve the sprawling litigation over the U.S. opioid epidemic, a plaintiffs’ lawyer said on Friday.

A view of the statue standing in front of the U.S. District Courthouse in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S., October 18, 2019. REUTERS/Aaron Josefczyk

“I think we can get a long way,” said Peter Weinberger, a lawyer for local governments that have sued the companies, when asked by a reporter if a deal was possible on Friday.

Ebola concentrated in Congo mining area, still an emergency: WHO

GENEVA (Reuters) – Ebola is infecting and killing people in a gold mining area of eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, and the “complex and dangerous” outbreak still constitutes an international emergency, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday.

FILE PHOTO: A health worker injects a man with Ebola vaccine in Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo, August 5, 2019. REUTERS/Baz Ratner/File Photo

The virus has infected 3,227 people and killed 2,154 of them since the outbreak was declared in August 2018 and went on to became the world’s second worst outbreak, it said.

California To Provide Financial Boost To Help Buy Health Coverage

If you are among the Californians who buy your own health insurance, a surprise may await you as the enrollment period for 2020 coverage opens this week.

Starting Jan. 1, California will become the first state to offer subsidies to middle-income people who make too much money to qualify for the federal tax credits that help consumers buy health coverage through Covered California, the state’s Affordable Care Act insurance exchange.

Juul halts all U.S. sales of many flavored nicotine liquids

JUUL e-cigarette vaping pods are shown in this photo illustration taken September 14, 2018. REUTERS/Mike Blake/Illustration

(Reuters) – E-cigarette maker Juul Labs Inc said on Thursday it will completely halt U.S. sales of all flavors except tobacco, mint and menthol, as the company faces heightened scrutiny from regulators, lawmakers and state attorneys general over the appeal of its nicotine products to teenagers.

Thursday’s move, which ends online sales, means Juul’s mango, fruit, creme and cucumber nicotine pod flavors will no longer be available for sale anywhere in the United States. The company last year pulled those flavors from retail stores but continued to sell them on its website with what the company said were “strict age-verification controls.”

More than half of Wisconsin vaping samples tested by FDA contain marijuana ingredient

FILE PHOTO: A man uses a vape device in this illustration picture, September 19, 2019. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi/Illustration

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Vaping product samples from Wisconsin linked to a rash of serious lung injuries tested by U.S. health regulators showed that more than half contained THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, according to a summary of a preliminary report seen by Reuters.Of the THC-containing products, two-thirds also tested positive for Vitamin E acetate, a cutting agent believed to have been used to stretch the amount of THC oil, according to a summary of the report. The Vitamin E additive has been an early focus of investigators seeking to determine the cause of the nationwide outbreak.

What Helps Calm Agitated Dementia Patients?

News Picture: What Helps Calm Agitated Dementia Patients?By Serena Gordon
HealthDay Reporter

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TUESDAY, Oct. 15, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Dealing with the agitation, anxiety and aggression that often come with dementia is one of the most challenging aspects of caring for someone with this brain disorder. But new research suggests that massage and other non-drug treatments may be more effective than medications.

Even just taking people with dementia outdoors can help, said study author Dr. Jennifer Watt, a geriatrician and clinical scientist at the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute at St. Michael’s Hospital-Unity Health in Toronto.