Congolese professor who discovered virus says Ebola is defeated

Ebola has been defeated. Vaccines and medical treatments have brought the deadly and terrifying disease under control, says Jean-Jacques Muyembe, the Congolese professor who first discovered the virus more than 40 years ago. The 79-year-old virologist was speaking at a ceremony in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s capital Kinshasa marking the arrival on the market of the “Ebanga” treatment, which was approved last December by the US Food and Drug Administration. Together with more effective clinical treatments, the availability of vaccines means the highly infectious haemorrhagic fever that once proved almost always fatal can now be contained. “For 40 years … Continue reading Congolese professor who discovered virus says Ebola is defeated

Great: Twins conjoined at head separated after rare surgery in Israel

One-year-old twin girls who were born conjoined at the back of their heads have seen each other for the first time after undergoing rare separation surgery in Israel. The 12-hour operation at the Soroka Medical Centre in the city of Beersheba last week took months of preparation, and included the scalp grafts for both. Dozens of experts from Israel and abroad were involved. The girls, who have not been named, are said to be recovering well. “They are breathing and eating on their own,” Eldad Silberstein, the head of Soroka’s plastic surgery department, told Israel’s Channel 12 news. It is … Continue reading Great: Twins conjoined at head separated after rare surgery in Israel

Purdue Pharma agrees to $4.5billion payout over opioid litigation

A US judge has approved a bankruptcy plan for the maker of OxyContin painkillers, shielding its wealthy owners the Sacklers from further legal action over their roles in America’s opioid epidemic. Under the deal, Purdue Pharma will pay $4.5bn (£3.3bn) to settle lawsuits related to the crisis. The Sackler family will also give up control of the drugmaker. But they also have immunity from future lawsuits, despite strong opposition. Nearly all US states, hospitals, native American tribes and other creditors approved the settlement, although some states said they would appeal. Judge Robert Drain noted that the Sackler family members who … Continue reading Purdue Pharma agrees to $4.5billion payout over opioid litigation

Alcohol use linked to nearly 750,000 cancer cases in 2020

Doctors are sounding the alarm over research showing a link between drinking alcohol and cancer. More than 700,000 new cancer cases were linked to alcohol consumption in 2020, a time when many Americans reported drinking more.  The research, published in the July 13 edition of Lancet Oncology, found that over 4% of all new cancer cases in 2020 were caused by alcohol consumption. While most cancers linked to alcohol use were in people who have more than two drinks a day, more than 100,000 cases worldwide were in people who averaged less than that, the study said.  “Alcohol is an irritant. … Continue reading Alcohol use linked to nearly 750,000 cancer cases in 2020

Greed Calling: Pharma firm Advanz fined after thyroid tablets price inflation of 6,000%

The UK’s competition watchdog has imposed fines of more than £100m on pharmaceutical company Advanz and its former private equity owners, after it was found to have inflated the price of thyroid tablets by up to 6000%. An investigation by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) found that the private-equity backed pharmaceutical company charged “excessive and unfair prices” for liothyronine tablets, which are used to treat thyroid hormone deficiency. From 2007 Advanz took advantage of limited competition in the market to bring in sustained price hikes for liothyronine tablets, often used by patients suffering with depression and fatigue, of more than … Continue reading Greed Calling: Pharma firm Advanz fined after thyroid tablets price inflation of 6,000%

Major drug companies reach landmark $26bn US opioid settlement

A group of state attorneys general in the United States has unveiled a landmark $26bn settlement with major US drug companies accused of fuelling a deadly nationwide opioid epidemic, but some states were cool on the agreement. Under the settlement proposal released on Wednesday, the three largest US drug distributors – McKesson, Cardinal Health and AmerisourceBergen – are expected to pay a combined $21bn, while drug- maker Johnson & Johnson would pay $5bn. “There’s not enough money in the world frankly to address the pain and suffering,” said Connecticut Attorney General William Tong, who added however that the money will “help where help is needed”. … Continue reading Major drug companies reach landmark $26bn US opioid settlement

OMG: Wrong patient gets new kidney in transplant mix-up at Ohio hospital

An Ohio hospital apologized Monday after one of its patients received a kidney that was meant for someone else. Two employees involved in the shocking mix-up have been placed on administrative leave while officials at Cleveland’s University Hospitals investigate the incident. The person who was given the wrong kidney is expected to recover since the organ happened to be compatible, the healthcare system said. The other patient’s surgery, however, has been delayed because of the error. “We have offered our sincerest apologies to these patients and their families,” hospital spokesman George Stamatis said in a statement.University Hospital of Cleveland “We … Continue reading OMG: Wrong patient gets new kidney in transplant mix-up at Ohio hospital

Sacha Baron Cohen sues cannabis company over billboard

Sacha Baron Cohen has sued a Massachusetts cannabis company for $9 million, claiming it exploited his likeness and fame on a highway billboard by using an image of his movie character, Borat, and a Borat-coined phrase.Sacha Baron Cohen billboard In a lawsuit photo of the billboard, featured at the top of this story, the familiar Borat movie line, “It’s nice,” appears atop the logo-branded name of the company and the words “Happy 4/20,” a reference to the so-called marijuana holiday. “This is an action for willful copyright infringement, false advertising, and violation of the Massachusetts statute against misappropriation of rights … Continue reading Sacha Baron Cohen sues cannabis company over billboard

Spanish ministers clash over campaign to eat less meat

A Spanish minister has been roasted by members of his own coalition government over his efforts to reduce meat consumption in the country. This week consumer affairs minister, Alberto Garzón, launched a campaign to encourage Spaniards to eat less meat. “Eating too much meat is bad for our health and for the planet,” Mr Garzon said in a video on Twitter. But for some cabinet ministers, his plea for moderation was difficult to swallow. “It seems to me the campaign is unfortunate,” agriculture minister Luis Planas said in an interview with a local radio station. Mr Planas said the “Less meat, … Continue reading Spanish ministers clash over campaign to eat less meat

China certified malaria-free after 70-year fight

China was certified as malaria-free on Wednesday by the World Health Organization, following a 70-year effort to eradicate the mosquito-borne disease. The country reported 30 million cases of the infectious disease annually in the 1940s but has now gone four consecutive years without an indigenous case. “We congratulate the people of China on ridding the country of malaria,” said WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. “Their success was hard-earned and came only after decades of targeted and sustained action. With this announcement, China joins the growing number of countries that are showing the world that a malaria-free future is a viable … Continue reading China certified malaria-free after 70-year fight

China reports first human case of H10N3 bird flu

A 41-year-old man in China’s eastern province of Jiangsu has been confirmed as the first human case of infection with a rare strain of bird flu known as H10N3, Beijing’s National Health Commission (NHC) has said. Many different strains of bird flu are present in China and some occasionally infect people, usually those working with poultry. There is no indication that H10N3 can spread easily in humans. The man, a resident of the city of Zhenjiang, was admitted to hospital on April 28 and diagnosed with H10N3 on May 28, the health commission said on Tuesday. It did not give … Continue reading China reports first human case of H10N3 bird flu

Cholera kills 20 in northern Nigeria

A cholera outbreak in northern Nigeria has killed at least 20 people in the past two weeks with more than 300 hospitalised from the disease, a health official said Tuesday. Nigeria, Africa’s largest oil producer, suffers from a high rate of water-borne diseases as a result of dilapidated infrastructure and under-investment. The latest outbreak in Bauchi state was reported in nine districts, with the state capital Bauchi worst hit, Mohammed Maigoro, state health commissioner told reporters. “So far we have recorded 20 deaths and 322 cases from the cholera outbreak in nine local government areas in the past two weeks,” … Continue reading Cholera kills 20 in northern Nigeria