Are breast implants safe enough? The FDA reviews the popular procedure this week

Many women have breast implants with no serious complications, but there have been cases where women suffer pain and fatigue, among other health problems. Now, the US Food and Drug Administration is holding a meeting to take a closer look at such cases and put breast implant safety under a microscope. The meeting involves hearing from from patients, physicians and industry representatives. The FDA Medical Devices Advisory Committee’s General and Plastic Surgery Devices Panel convenes Monday and Tuesday to discuss and make recommendations relating to the risks and benefits of…

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Avocados recalled over listeria concerns

California-grown avocados sold in bulk to retail stores in six states by the Henry Avocado Corporation are being recalled due to potential contamination with the bacterium listeria monocytogenes, the company announced on Saturday. “Henry Avocado is issuing this voluntary recall out of an abundance of caution due to positive test results on environmental samples taken during a routine government inspection at its California packing facility,” reads the company’s statement. There have been no reported illnesses associated with the recall at this time. The recalled products included California-grown conventional and organic…

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Hundreds of cities, counties and tribes sue owners of Purdue Pharma

More than 600 cities, counties and Native American tribes from 28 states have filed a federal lawsuit against eight members of the Sackler family — owners of the pharmaceutical giant Purdue Pharma LP — accusing them of creating the opioid addiction crisis through ownership of the company that manufactures the painkiller OxyContin. Like other suits that have been filed, this one alleges the Sackler family made a fortune by using deceptive marketing to sell addictive and potentially deadly painkillers. “Eight people in a single family made the choices that caused…

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Contaminated ground beef that made over 400 people ill could still be in your freezer, CDC warns

An outbreak of salmonella infections that led to the recall of more than 5 million pounds of ground beef in December is over, the Centers for Disease Control announced Friday, but warns that many consumers could still have contaminated beef in their freezers. More than 100 stores and chain retail establishments nationwide sold the beef, manufactured by JBS Tolleson, Inc., of Tolleson, Arizona, and sold as Kroger, Laura’s Lean and JBS generic. Consumers checking their frozen beef should look for the establishment number EST. 267 within the USDA mark of…

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Governor Northam signs law to remove autism health coverage age cap

RICHMOND, Va. – Governor Ralph Northam has signed a bill that will remove the age cap for autism coverage and increase access to health coverage. Senate Bill 1693, sponsored by Senator Jill Vogel, and House Bill 2577, sponsored by Delegate Robert “Bob” Thomas, will ensure anyone with autism will have access to health insurance. Current law only requires coverage be provided to individuals between ages two and ten. The legislation expands healthcare access for nearly 10,000 Virginians of all ages living with autism. “One of my primary motivations for entering…

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Another promising Alzheimer’s drug trial ends in failure: ‘This one hurts’

It’s another devastating blow in the search for a treatment for patients living with Alzheimer’s disease. Pharmaceutical giant Biogen and its Japanese partner Eisai announced Thursday they were halting two phase three clinical trials of a drug that targets the buildup in the brain of beta-amyloid, one of two proteins that researchers believe contribute to the development of Alzheimer’s. The drug, called aducanumab, was the most promising candidate in a field that has been littered with failures. It was so promising that the company was running two phase three trials…

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Fentanyl deaths skyrocketed more than 1,000% over five years in the US, says report

Deaths from the synthetic opioid fentanyl skyrocketed more than 1,000% from 2011 to 2016, according to a report released Thursday. Deaths from the synthetic opioid fentanyl skyrocketed more than 1,000% from 2011 to 2016, according to a report released Thursday. The number of fatalities related to the drug held fairly steady between 2011 and 2012, hovering around 1,600 deaths in both those years. In 2013, the number increased to just over 1,900 fatalities. Beginning in 2014, though, fentanyl-related deaths began to double each year. In 2014, fentanyl was involved in 4,223 deaths.…

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Young people on amphetamines for ADHD have twice the psychosis risk compared to other stimulants, study says

Teens and young adults with attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder, ADHD, who receive amphetamines such as Adderall for treatment have a higher risk of developing psychosis, compared to those who receive methyphenidates stimulants, such as Ritalin, according to a large new study. Using two national insurance claim databases, the authors followed 221,486 teens and young adults ages 13 to 25 with ADHD who were prescribed a stimulant for the first time between the years 2004 and 2015. Half received amphetamines such as Adderall and half received methylphenidates such as Ritalin. A total…

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Governor Northam signs law slashing sales tax on tampons, diapers

RICHMOND, Va. — The sales tax on tampons, diapers and other personal hygiene products will be reduced by more than half beginning Jan. 1, 2020. Gov. Ralph Northam announced Wednesday that he has signed SB 1715, sponsored by Sen. Jennifer Boysko, D-Fairfax, and HB 2540, proposed by Del. Kathy Byron, R-Lynchburg. The bills will lower the retail sales and use tax rate on essential personal hygiene products to 2.5 percent. The new law will apply to feminine hygiene products and nondurable incontinence products including diapers and other materials. “We know…

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