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France to open first safe-injection room for drug addicts

safe heroin injection room opened in FranceFrance will open its first safe-injection room for drug addicts despite years of efforts by conservatives to block the plan.

The room, located in northern Paris, is opening for a six-year test period as allowed by a health law passed last year by the Socialist government.

Intravenous drug users will be given free access to clean needles under medical supervision and in the presence of drug counselors in an effort to prevent viral infections and overdoses.

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EpiPen maker Mylan to pay $465M to settle claims it overbilled Medicaid

Mylan to pay for Medicaid fraudEmbattled pharmaceutical company Mylan agreed Friday to pay nearly a half-billion dollars to settle claims that it has overbilled Medicaid for its life-saving EpiPen product.

Mylan will pay $465 million to the government over the claims, the company said in a news release.

Federal lawmakers and health officials said Mylan wrongly classified the EpiPen as a generic product instead of a brand product -- allowing the Pennsylvania-based company to avoid paying steeper rebates to the Medicaid program.

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Poland Abortion Law U-Turn: Lawmakers Back Down After Mass Protests

Poland parliament rescinds abortion banPolish lawmakers on Thursday rejected plans for a near-total ban on abortion, in a hastily arranged vote that marks the first major domestic setback for the ruling conservatives and follows street protests by tens of thousands of women.

The ruling Law and Justice party (PIS) unexpectedly withdrew its support for draft proposals drawn up by an independent anti-abortion campaign group, in an unscheduled parliamentary committee meeting late on Wednesday.

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Oklahoma Abortion Law Ruled Unconstitutional

Oklahoma abortion law unconstitutionalThe Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday that a state bill that would put new restrictions on abortion providers is unconstitutional.

In a unanimous opinion, all nine justices rejected the law on the grounds that it violated the state's requirement that bills have only one subject. One provision would have allowed unannounced, warrantless searches of abortion providers. Another would have required clinics to send fetal tissue samples to the Oklahoma Bureau of Investigation during procedures where the patient is younger than 14.

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Heroin is now legal in Canada — if you have a prescription

Canada legal in canadaHeroin addicts in Canada don’t have to find their next hit on the street. They can go to their doctor instead.

It is now legal for the country’s physicians to prescribe the drug to addicts who are looking to kick their habit. Doctors must apply for a permit from Canada’s Special Access Program to prescribe dicetylmorphine, which is a pharmaceutical grade heroin.

In order to be eligible for the state-sanctioned drug, a doctor must certify that “traditional options have been tried and proven ineffective” at breaking the habit. These options can include rehabilitation treatment or prescription methadone, an opioid used in detoxification therapy.

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Researchers develop material for 3D-printing bone

3-d bone printingA team of researchers from Northwestern University have developed a 3D-printable ink that produces synthetic bone material, which they hope will ease the lives of children needing implantation surgery in the future.

The study, published in Science Translational Medicine, produced a hyperelastic bone-like material that can be easily customized to fit the needs of its host. Currently, bone implantation surgery typically involves harvesting needed bone from elsewhere in the body, which can cause additional complications and pain. Lead researcher Ramille Shah says this places a particular strain on growing children who need repeated surgeries as they age.

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Drug for spinal muscular atrophy appears effective in mice

Drug for spinal MS works in miceA drug designed for patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy was shown in a study with mice to help spinal muscular atrophy, according to new research.

The drug Pip6a-PMO significantly extended survival for mice with SMA, suggesting it could be effective at doing the same for humans in a clinical trial planned for next year, researchers report in a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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