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Thursday, Sep 29th

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Supreme Court upholds $25 million punitive damages against Philip Morris USA

Philip Morris punitive damages upheldThe Supreme Court has rejected Philip Morris USA's appeal of a $25 million punitive damages award to the family of a dead smoker in Oregon.

The justices on Monday are leaving in place a state appeals court ruling that likened the cigarette maker's role in smoker Michelle Schwarz's death to manslaughter under Oregon law, had the case been pursued in criminal court.

TVNL Comment:  Reminder: this is the only product that - if used as directed - will kill you.  The product has no purpose other than to addict the user.  And yet, it is freely available to all the youngsters who are the primary target to replace the nearly half million Americans who die of smoking-related illnesses every year.

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Report: hundreds of US hospitals follow Catholic rules on reproductive care

US hospitals follow Catholic rulesWhen she was 22 weeks pregnant, Mindy Swank began to bleed. She had known for nearly two weeks that she was miscarrying – and in such a way that she was at risk for infection.

But the Catholic hospital near her home had refused to induce labor, apparently believing that doing so would violate its ban on abortion. And on this morning, the bleeding made no difference. The hospital sent her home – and then again and again, for five more weeks until she began severely hemorrhaging at week 27. Then, they induced her labor.

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Cost for new oral cancer drugs skyrocketed in last decade

Cost of oral cancer drug sky rocketedA new drug for cancer introduced in 2014 costs about six times the price of a new drug in 2000, with the cost of many other drugs to treat the disease increasing in price significantly during that time, according to a new study.

Researchers at the University of North Carolina found the skyrocketing prices line up with changes in health insurance making patients responsible for more of the cost and potentially put people in the position of not being able to afford treatment.

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What’s for Breakfast? How About Some Monsanto Weed Killer?

Mpnsanto breakfastJust how much of Monsanto’s most popular weed killer are you eating every morning for breakfast?

In an unsettling report released Tuesday by the Alliance for Natural Health, the nonprofit advocacy group details the results of a study that shows a host of breakfast foods—from cereal to eggs to coffee creamer—contain residues of glyphosate, the chemical herbicide more commonly known by Monsanto’s trade name for it, Roundup.

The report comes one year after the cancer-research arm of the World Health Organization made headlines by classifying glyphosate, which has long been regarded by U.S. regulators as posing little risk to public health, as a probable human carcinogen.

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A subtype of thyroid tumor isn’t cancer after all

Thyroid tumor not cancer after allPeople diagnosed with a particular type of thyroid cancer and aggressively treated for it actually didn’t have cancer after all.

That’s the conclusion of 24 endocrinology pathologists from seven countries empaneled by the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine to reconsider the diagnosis and treatment of Encapsulated Follicular Variant of Papillary Thyroid Carcinoma.

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Ex-NFL Players Rally Behind Medical Marijuana

NFL players back medical marijuanaThirty ex-NFL players have teamed up with a cannabis company in California to test medical marijuana as a treatment for chronic pain and depression. The move comes in the wake of increasing reports on the physical and mental anguish retired football players face, including a potentially debilitating brain disease called chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). Is this the answer they’ve been looking for?

Leading the player side of the trial is Gridiron Cannabis Coalition, an organization founded by a former NFL star to spread awareness about the effectiveness of the drug. Longstanding marijuana extract maker Constance Therapeutics will provide the extracts and oils that players will use to treat their pain.

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Obamacare to launch new payment initiative

Obamacare planSix years after President Obama’s health reforms became law, officials in his administration told POLITICO they are launching the largest-ever initiative to transform primary care in America, an effort to give doctors more flexibility and reward them for producing better results for their patients.

The experiment the administration will announce today, a program called Comprehensive Primary Care Plus, is intended to shake up the way 20,000 doctors and clinicians treat more than 25 million patients when it goes into effect in January 2017.

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