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Thursday, Jul 27th

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F.D.A. Admits Error in Approving Knee Device

The Food and Drug Administration admitted Thursday that it mistakenly approved a patch for injured knees last year after being pressured by members of Congress and the manufacturer.

Internal documents demonstrate that agency’s scientific reviewers repeatedly determined that the device, known as Menaflex and manufactured by ReGen Biologics Inc., was unsafe because the device often failed, forcing patients to get another operation.

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New research kindles hopes of an AIDS vaccine

The world moved a step closer to developing an enduring defence against AIDS after researchers in Thailand unveiled the results of a vaccine trial on Thursday that cut the risk of becoming infected with the HIV virus by nearly one-third and will not lead to secondary complications.

“These results have instilled new hope in the HIV vaccine research field and promise that a safe and highly effective HIV vaccine may become available for populations throughout the world who are most in need of such a vaccine,” said the statement issued by WHO and UNAIDS.

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Seasonal flu shot may increase H1N1 risk

Four Canadian studies involved about 2,000 people, health officials told CBC News. Researchers found people who had received the seasonal flu vaccine in the past were more likely to get sick with the H1N1 virus.

 

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FDA bans flavored cigarettes

The Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday officially banned cigarettes with candy, fruit or clove flavors, its first action since taking over responsibility for regulating the tobacco industry.

The FDA said the ban is aimed at reducing the appeal for smoking for children and cutting smoking rates in the country.

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Exposure to sun 'may help people with cancer survive'

Sunbathing is known to cause skin cancer – but it may also help people survive when they get it, scientists are reporting.

Two studies published yesterday showed that vitamin D produced by the action of the sun on the skin may help improve survival for patients with skin and bowel cancer. The bizarre finding suggests that health warnings to avoid the sun have been too simplistic

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American Airlines cancels retired non-union employees' health care

American Airlines has sent letters to its retirees, saying it will be ending its Retiree Standard Medical Plan option for non-union employees.

The health insurance plan will be canceled as of Dec. 31, 2009. Instead, retirees will be able to purchase a supplemental Medicare coverage plan. But under the new programs, retirees will have to pay monthly premiums.

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Smoking ban heart gains 'massive'

Bans on smoking in public places have had a bigger impact on preventing heart attacks than ever expected, data shows.

Smoking bans cut the number of heart attacks in Europe and North America by up to a third, two studies report. This "heart gain" is far greater than both originally anticipated and the 10% figure recently quoted by England's Department of Health.

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