Reuters Health News Summary
Following is a summary of current health news briefs.
California judge tosses $417 million talc cancer verdict against Johnson & Johnson
A California judge on Friday threw out a $417 million verdict against Johnson & Johnson in a lawsuit by a woman who claimed she developed ovarian cancer after using its talc-based products like Johnson’s Baby Powder for feminine hygiene. The ruling by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Maren Nelson marked the latest setback facing women and family members who accuse J&J of not adequately warning consumers about the cancer risks of its talc-based products.
Short on staff: Nursing crisis strains U.S. hospitals
A shortage of nurses at U.S. hospitals hit West Virginia’s Charleston Area Medical Center at the worst possible time. The non-profit healthcare system is one of the state’s largest employers and sits in the heart of economically depressed coal country. It faces a $40 million deficit this year as it struggles with fewer privately insured patients, cuts in government reimbursement and higher labor costs to attract a shrinking pool of nurses.
Mugabe removed as WHO goodwill envoy after outrage
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has been removed as a goodwill ambassador, the World Health Organization said on Sunday, following outrage among Western donors and rights groups at his appointment. WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus named Mugabe to the largely ceremonial post at a meeting on Wednesday in Uruguay on chronic diseases attended by both men.
McConnell on healthcare bills: What does Trump want?
U.S. Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said on Sunday he was willing to bring healthcare legislation up for a vote but was waiting for the go-ahead from President Donald Trump, who sent mixed signals last week about a bipartisan bill that would shore up insurance markets. The Republican president said on Oct. 12 that his administration would stop paying billions of dollars in subsidies that help insurers give discounts to low-income households under the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare. Last week, he praised and then dismissed a bipartisan bill to reinstate the subsidies for two years, until a broader replacement to Obamacare can be negotiated.
Listeria risk prompts Meijer to recall produce in six U.S. states
Retailer Meijer Inc said it was recalling packaged vegetables in six U.S. states because of possible contamination from Listeria monocytogenes bacteria, which can cause fatal food poisoning in young children, pregnant women and elderly or frail people. Meijer, based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, said there were no illnesses reported as of Sunday.
Britain backs GSK’s gene therapy for ‘bubble boy’ syndrome
GlaxoSmithKline’s gene therapy for the so-called “bubble boy” disease was approved by Britain’s healthcare cost watchdog NICE, despite a price tag of almost 600,000 euros ($700,000). Gene therapy is designed to deliver a one-off cure for the patient and drugmakers are typically asking a hefty price that is comparable to the combined costs of alternative life-long treatment.