Tuesday, Oct 06th

Last update11:53:48 PM GMT

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FDA approves new treatment for advanced lung cancer

new lung cancer drugThe Food and Drug Administration approved a new drug for patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer whose tumors have a specific genetic mutation.

The drug, Keytruda, was given breakthrough therapy designation and a sped-up approval because it was deemed to be a significant improvement over available treatments based on the results of clinical trials.


California governor signs assisted suicide bill

California assisted suicide bill signedCalifornia will become the fifth state to allow terminally ill patients to legally end their lives using doctor-prescribed drugs after Gov. Jerry Brown announced Monday he signed one of the most emotionally charged bills of the year.

The law, based on a similar measure in Oregon, allows doctors to prescribe medication to end a patient's life if two doctors agree the person has only six months to live and is mentally competent.


Scientists share Nobel Prize for medicine for anti-parasite drugs

Nobel in medicineThree scientists from Japan, China and Ireland whose discoveries led to the development of potent new drugs against parasitic diseases such as malaria and elephantiasis won the Nobel Prize for Medicine on Monday.

Irish-born William Campbell and Japan's Satoshi Omura won half of the prize for discovering avermectin, a derivative of which has been used to treat hundreds of millions of people with river blindness and lymphatic filariasis, or elephantiasis.


Doctors Without Borders leaves Kunduz after 'inexcusable' air strike

DWBInternational medical charity Doctors Without Borders (MSF) said Sunday it has withdrawn staff from the embattled Afghan city of Kunduz, a day after an apparent United States bombing raid on its hospital that the United Nations said could amount to a war crime.

MSF said 19 people were killed, adding that some victims burned to death in their beds as the bombardment continued for more than an hour, even after U.S. and Afghan authorities were informed the hospital had been hit.


England, Wales ban smoking in cars with children inside

Smoking in car with childrenSmokers who light up in vehicles with children inside will face fines in England and Wales as anti-smoking measures are expanded to protect young people from the dangers of second-hand smoke.

The ban went into effect Thursday but police are not expected to issue a rash of fines as the public becomes accustomed to the regulation.

The National Police Chiefs' Council said in a statement that police would take an "educational, advisory and non-confrontational approach" for at least the first three months of the ban.


Federal health program for Sept. 11 responders set to expire

First responders health coverageA law that provides medical monitoring and treatment for Sept. 11 first responders expires at midnight Wednesday due to the failure of Congress to act.

For now, first responders who rushed to the World Trade Center after the 2001 terrorist attacks, worked for weeks and now suffer from illnesses like pulmonary disease and cancers will still be able to get their health care. But federal officials who administer the program say it will face challenges by February and will have to start shutting down by next summer.


Medicare defrauded of $54M through ambulance transport services

Medicare ambulance fraudMedicare paid about $54 million in possibly fraudulent ambulance transport services in the first half of 2012, according to a study by the Office of the Inspector General.

Medicare Part B, which covers medically necessary services and preventive services, paid about $5.8 billion for ambulance transports in 2012, nearly double the amount paid in 2003.


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