Here are some of the latest health and medical news
developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:
3 More Compounding Pharmacies Ordered Closed in
Three compounding pharmacies in Massachusetts have been ordered
to halt operations following unannounced inspections by state
regulators. The inspections came in the wake of a deadly meningitis
outbreak linked to another compounding pharmacy in the state, the
New England Compounding Center.
OncoMed Pharmaceutical Services stopped production at its
Waltham facility after an inspection revealed issues with the
storage of chemotherapy drugs. Pallimed Solutions was told to cease
production of sildenafil citrate (sold as Viagra) after inspectors
found that it had been prepared with improper components. The
Whittier Pharmacist was told to halt sterile compounding after
unspecified violations were identified,
CBS News/The Associated Pressreported.
As of Dec. 3, 363 cases of fungal meningitis and more than 150
spinal infections have been linked to contaminated steroid
injections made by the New England Compounding Center, according to
the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Thirty-six
people have died.
The outbreak has raised questions about the regulation of
compounding pharmacies, which mix medications. Food and Drug
Administration Commissioner Margaret Hamburg has asked lawmakers to
give the FDA more authority and funding to oversee compounding
pharmacies, which are regulated by states,
Nurse in Kate Middleton Radio Prank Reportedly Commits
News reports suggest that the nurse at a London Hospital who was
tricked into providing two Australian radio hosts with information
about the Duchess of Cambridge's pregnancy condition has committed
At about 9:35 a.m. Friday, officers responded to reports of a
woman found unconscious at an address in central London, Scotland
Yard said. She was pronounced dead at the scene, and the death is
being treated as unexplained but not suspicious,
King Edward VII hospital confirmed the nurse's death.
Earlier this week, the two radio hosts called the hospital and
pretended to be Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles asking about
the Duchess of Cambridge, the former Kate Middleton, who was being
treated for severe morning sickness.
New Rules Would Ease Veterans' Access to Brain Injury
Proposed new rules that will make it easier for thousands of
American veterans to receive health care and compensation for
certain conditions linked to traumatic brain injury were announced
by the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Under the revised regulations, veterans with Parkinsonism,
unprovoked seizures, certain dementias, depression and hormone
deficiency diseases linked to the hypothalamus, pituitary or
adrenal glands would be eligible for the expanded benefits,
The New York Timesreported.
The changes could lead to tens of thousands of veterans filing
claims with the Veterans Benefits Administration.
The regulations will be published Monday in the Federal Register
and there will be a 60-day public comment period, the
Drug Makers Fight Calif. Drug Take-Back Law
U.S. drug companies are fighting a local law in California that
makes them responsible for funding and running a program where
consumers can bring in unused medicines for proper disposal.
The law in Alameda County, Calif. -- which includes Oakland and
Berkeley -- was enacted in July and is the first such law in the
country. Drug companies have until July 1, 2013 to submit their
plans for complying with the law,
The New York Timesreported.
The drug industry planned to file a lawsuit in United States
District Court in Oakland on Friday in an effort to have the law
overturned. The lawsuit is being filed by the Pharmaceutical
Research and Manufacturers of America, which represents brand-name
and generic drug makers, and biotechnology companies.
The law was enacted due growing concerns that unused medicines
are a potential threat to public health and the environment. Most
drug take-back programs are run by local or other government
agencies. But there are increasing calls to make drug makers pay
for such programs, the