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Health News: Liberia imposes night curfew due to Ebola outbreak: state radio; FDA approves Sanofi's Gaucher disease drug Cerdelga and more

Wednesday, 20 August 2014 - 4:21pm IST | Agency: Reuters

California may have paid millions for fraudulent drug treatment: audit

A California program that covers addiction treatments for the poor may have paid $93.7 million in fraudulent claims, a state audit showed. The report released Tuesday by the California State Auditor showed that the state's Drug Medi-Cal program may have paid more than $3 million in claims for patients who were actually dead, and found serious deficiencies in the agency's records for 30 drug treatment program providers.

Liberia imposes night curfew due to Ebola outbreak: state radio

Liberia's government imposed a curfew to run from 9 p.m. (2100 GMT) to 6 a.m. in an effort to prevent the spread of the  Ebola virus, state radio said on Tuesday. The epidemic of the hemorrhagic disease has killed nearly 1,300 people in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea and has also affected Nigeria. Between Aug. 14-16, Liberia recorded the most new deaths, 53, followed by Sierra Leone with 17, and Guinea with 14.

FDA approves Sanofi's Gaucher disease drug Cerdelga

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said on Tuesday it has approved Sanofi SA's drug Cerdelga to treat patients with type 1 Gaucher disease, a rare genetic disorder. The drug was developed by Sanofi's Genzyme unit, which also developed the Gaucher disease drug Cerezyme. Cerdelga, known also as eliglustat, is a pill, while Cerezyme must be infused.

Hospira sues U.S. FDA over approval of generic sedative

Drugmaker Hospira Inc has sued the Food and Drug Administration over its decision to open the doors for competitors to sell generic versions of its patented sedative, Precedex. The suit, filed Tuesday in federal court in Maryland, claimed the FDA's "arbitrary and capricious" decision on Monday
effectively changed the rules for generic drugs while sidestepping the normal rule-making process.

California lawmakers pass bill banning inmate sterilizations

California lawmakers sent a bill to ban sterilization surgeries on inmates in California prisons to Governor Jerry Brown on Tuesday, after media reports and a later audit showed officials failed to follow the state's rules for obtaining consent for the procedure known as tubal ligation from incarcerated women. The bill prohibits sterilization in correctional facilities for birth control reasons unless a patient's life is in danger or it is medically necessary and no less drastic procedure is possible.

UK cost agency backs Celgene bone marrow drug in change of tack

Celgene's drug Revlimid should be an option on Britain's state health service for patients with serious bone marrow disorders and a specific chromosomal abnormality, the country's cost agency said on Wednesday. The final draft guidance from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) represents a change of tack after the medicine was rejected last year for treating myelodysplastic syndromes, which can lead to life-threatening diseases including leukaemia.

Liberia fights Ebola in capital, West Africa toll tops 1,200

Liberia battled on Tuesday to halt the spread of the Ebola disease in its crowded, run-down oceanside capital Monrovia, recording the most new deaths as fatalities from the world's worst outbreak of the deadly virus rose above 1,200. The epidemic of the hemorrhagic disease, which can kill up to 90 % of those it infects, is ravaging the three small West African states of Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, and also has a toehold in Nigeria, Africa's biggest economy.

Walking, biking and taking public transit tied to lower weight

People who walk, bike or take public transportation to work tend to be thinner than those who ride in their own cars, according to a new study from the UK. The new findings - including that taking public transportation was just as beneficial as the other "active commuting" modes - point to significant health benefits across society if more people left their cars at home, researchers say.

More evidence adult daycare eases stress on dementia caregivers

The stress of caring for a family member with dementia may take a toll on health over time, but a new study suggests that even one day off can shift caregivers' stress levels back toward normal. Based on measurements of the stress hormone cortisol, researchers found that caregivers had healthier stress responses on days when the dementia patient went to adult daycare. Even anticipation of the day off had an effect on cortisol levels.

U.S. clears AstraZeneca over heart drug trial

The U.S. government has cleared AstraZeneca Plc over a major  clinical trial used to win marketing approval for its important new heart drug Brilinta, following an investigation which had cast a shadow over its prospects. The drugmaker said on Tuesday the Department of Justice (DoJ) was closing the probe into the 18,000-patient study and no further action was planned.




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