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Monday, Jan 21st

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FDA: Another blood pressure drug, irbesartan, recalled over cancer-causing impurity

FDA recalls another blood pressure medicationFDA inspections of factories in China and India that made carcinogen-tainted ingredients that forced dozens of recalls of blood pressure drugs in recent months show a history of problems.

Drug companies recalled dozens of lots of the front-line blood pressure and heart medications valsartan, losartan and irbesartan – alone or in combination with other drugs – after testing revealed the drugs had cancer-causing impurities in trace amounts.

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Sackler Family Led Effort to Mislead Public About OxyContin, Opioids, Emails Show

sackler family led effort to mislead public about opioid dangersMembers of the Sackler family—owners of the OxyContin manufacturer Purdue Pharma—directed years of efforts to mislead the public about the opioid, according to previously undisclosed documents.

An email from 2001 shows that, when evidence of growing abuse of the painkiller became clear, former company President Richard Sackler instructed executives to try to push blame onto people who had become addicted. “We have to hammer on abusers in every way possible... They are the culprits and the problem. They are reckless criminals,” he wrote. Another shows him responding to poor sales, saying: “I had hoped for better results... What else more can we do to energize the sales and grow at a faster rate?”

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Judge extends block on Trump birth control rules across US

Judge extends block on Trump's birth control ban

A US federal judge has blocked new Trump administration regulations on birth control from applying across the entire country.

The rules allow employers and insurers to decline to provide birth control if doing so violates their "religious beliefs" or "moral convictions".

The rules were to come into effect nationwide from Monday.

But the judge in Philadelphia granted an injunction requested by attorneys general in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

Judge Wendy Beetlestone ruled that the new rules would make it more difficult for many women to obtain free contraception and would be an undue burden on US states.

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Blow to low carb diet as landmark study finds high fibre cuts heart disease risk

blow to low carb diets in WHO study

Eating more fibre, found in wholegrain cereals, pasta and bread as well as nuts and pulses, will cut people’s chances of heart disease and early death, according to a landmark review commissioned by the World Health Organization.

The authors of the review, which will inform forthcoming WHO guidelines, say their findings are good news – but incompatible with fashionable low-carb diets.

The research is led by Prof Jim Mann’s team at the University of Otago in New Zealand, who also carried out the major review that informed WHO guidance on curbing sugar in the diet, leading to sugar taxes around the world.

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Half the 600,000 residents aided by NYC Care are undocumented immigrants

NYC Care: Helps 600,000 undocumented residents

The comprehensive health care plan unveiled by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio this week drew applause from the Democrat's supporters but also skepticism from those in the city who question the value and cost of the effort.

De Blasio said NYC Care will provide primary and specialty care from pediatric to geriatric to 600,000 uninsured New Yorkers. De Blasio estimated the annual cost at $100 million.

"This is the city paying for direct comprehensive care (not just ERs) for people who can’t afford it, or can’t get comprehensive Medicaid - including 300,000 undocumented New Yorkers," Eric Phillips, spokesman for de Blasio, boasted on Twitter.

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Mayor Bill de Blasio Unveils Health Care Program for All New Yorkers

DeBlasio unveils health care program for all New YorkersNew York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Tuesday that he plans to spend $100 million on health care for New Yorkers who do not have health insurance, including undocumented immigrants.

The move inserts city policy into two contentious national debates, once again placing the mayor as a bulwark against the policies of President Trump. The announcement comes on the same day that Trump has scheduled a nationally televised Oval Office address on the partial government shutdown and border wall debate.

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More blood pressure medication recalled: Company recalls 80 lots of valsartan over cancer concerns

More blood pressure pills recalled

Another company is recalling its blood pressure medication valsartan over concerns that tablets might contain trace amounts of a cancer-causing ingredient.

Aurobindo Pharma USA, Inc. is voluntarily recalling 80 lots of its valsartan tablets that might include N-nitrosodiethylamine (NDEA), which is classified as a possible human carcinogen. The announcement, which came on New Year's Eve, says the company has not received any reports of adverse effects related to the drugs at this time.

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