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FDA warning: men's testosterone drugs overused

FILE - This Sept. 11 2009 file photo shows a packet of AndroGel testosterone in Hygiene, Colo. The Food and Drug Administration is warning doctors against the overuse of testosterone-boosting drugs for men, saying the popular treatments have never been established as safe or effective for treating common signs of aging like low libido and fatigue. (AP Photo/The Daily Times Call, Richard M. Hackett, File) NO SALESWASHINGTON (AP) — The Food and Drug Administration is warning doctors against over-prescribing testosterone-boosting drugs for men, saying the popular treatments have not been established as safe or effective for common age-related issues like low libido and fatigue.

Budget cuts could delay high-tech arms programs: U.S. defense chief
 U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter testified on Tuesday that deep budget cuts could force the Pentagon to put on hold several key weapons development programs, including efforts to build a next-generation fighter and a more efficient aircraft engine. Carter, in written testimony for the Senate Armed Services Committee, said if Congress forced the Pentagon to live within current spending caps, the department would have to put on hold programs like the Aerospace Innovation Initiative, which is working on the next generation of fighter aircraft.

'Over the counter' birth control pills might save public money
 By Kathryn Doyle (Reuters Health) - Providing no- or low-cost birth control pills over the counter may reduce costs and prevent up to a quarter of unplanned pregnancies, researchers say. Many women would likely start using oral contraceptives if they were available with little or no up-front cost over the counter instead of with a prescription, they suggest in the journal Contraception. “Making pills available without a prescription would remove the need for unnecessary, time-consuming and sometimes expensive visits to doctors’ offices and clinics,” wrote Diana Foster, the study’s lead author from the University of California, San Francisco, in an email to Reuters Health. The researchers used computer models to analyze several studies and databases to predict how unintended pregnancy rates might change if birth control pills were available without a prescription and with little or no cost.

Virus Delays Homecoming for Toddler Who Received Liver From Dad
 Toddler who received liver from dad is now fighting a virus.

Georgia postpones executions over lethal injection drug
 By David Beasley ATLANTA (Reuters) - Two executions in Georgia were indefinitely postponed on Tuesday to give the state time to analyze its lethal injection drug after corrections officials said a batch "appeared cloudy" hours before one of the death sentences was due to be carried out. The state's Department of Corrections said in a statement it was delaying the executions of inmates Kelly Renee Gissendaner and Brian Keith Terrell "out of an abundance of caution" while an analysis of the drug supply is conducted.

Former boxing champ Taylor transferred to Arkansas drug center

Middleweight boxer Jermain Taylor of the US signs autographs after he was presented at a news conference in CopenhagenTaylor was scheduled to defend his title in April. Citing his legal and medical difficulties, the International Boxing Federation last month declared the middleweight championship vacant. Taylor, 36, had regained the title in 2014 while free on bond and awaiting trial for allegedly shooting a cousin.  The boxer won a bronze medal in the 2000 Olympics and seized the world middleweight belt in 2005 against Bernard Hopkins. Taylor abandoned competition in 2009 following a brain injury sustained in the ring, but launched a comeback in 2011.

Weatherford, Rice to donate brains for medical research

New York Giants punter Steve Weatherford speaks at a news conference in New YorkBy Larry Fine NEW YORK (Reuters) - New York Giants punter Steve Weatherford and former National Football League receiver Sidney Rice announced on Tuesday that they will donate their brains to medical research after their death. Rice, who retired from the NFL last July at the age of 27 over worries about the long-term effects of absorbing so many blows to the head, and Weatherford hoped their commitment might mobilize others to aid brain disease research. "It's helpful to get a professional athlete behind something," said Weatherford.

New drugs pose serious health risks says UN body

The INCB criticised the legalisation of cannabis in certain US states and in Uruguay, saying it went against international drug lawsThe proliferation of new narcotics developed to circumvent existing drug laws poses a serious health problem, the United Nations drugs control body said on Tuesday. The International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) tasked by the United Nations to oversee the existing legal vacuum with regards to the new drugs makes it easy to market these substances, often over the Internet. The problem is particularly serious in the United States where the phenomenon started around 10 years ago, and is quickly spreading to the rest of the world. China is "one of the main sources of supply of new psychoactive substances", said the report.

New pot users in Spain outnumber new tobacco users

The number of Spaniards who said they started using cannabis in 2013 outnumbered those who said they took up smoking cigarettes, according to a government studyThe number of Spaniards who said they started using cannabis in 2013 outnumbered those who said they took up smoking cigarettes, according to a government study released Tuesday. A total of 169,000 Spaniards began using cannabis in 2013 compared to 142,000 who started to smoke tobacco, according to the latest annual health ministry study of drug use in Spain. "The figures confirm the extension of the problematic pattern of consumption of this substance," the head of the government's National Drugs Plan, Francisco Babin, said in a statement. Of Spaniards aged 15 and 64, 9.2 percent said they had smoked cannabis within the last year, down from 9.6 percent in the previous study carried out in 2012.

Mom Turns Terminal Cancer Diagnosis Into Uplifting Blog
 Whitney Cox, 27, wants to inspire others with her blog after being diagnosed with stage IV cancer.

Ubisoft game aims to be what the doctor ordered

Ubisoft senior producer Mathieu Ferland shows off a "Dig Rush" video game seeking approval from US regulators to be used as a prescribed medical treatment for an eye condition effecting millions of people on March 2, 2015 in San Francisco, CaliforniaUbisoft on Tuesday unveiled a tablet video game crafted as a prescription for a medical condition known as "lazy eye," blending the worlds of play and health care. The France-based video game titan created "Dig Rush" in collaboration with US health technology startup Amblyotech, using treatment technology patented by innovators at McGill University in Canada. "This is a good demonstration of the positive impact that video game technology can have on our society," said Ubisoft senior producer Mathieu Ferland.

At least 15 Washington students exposed to pepper spray
 At least 15 students were exposed to pepper spray at a Washington school on Tuesday and treated for minor injuries, city officials said. The incident occurred at about 1:40 p.m. after someone sprayed pepper spray into a classroom, the Washington Post reported. The students at Cesar Chavez Public Charter School, which teaches sixth through eighth graders, were transported in an ambulance bus to Children's National Medical Center, fire department and police said. A spokeswoman for Mayor Muriel Bowser put the number of students at 16.

Mom With Terminal Cancer Blogs Fight for Her Life
 New mom Whitney Cox's doctors may have put an expiration date on her life, but she's determined to beat expectations and inspire others with her new, and popular, blog.

Three accidental shootings of Texas children prompt gun safety calls
 By Jon Herskovitz AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) - The shooting deaths of three youngsters after unattended guns ended up in the hands of children in the Houston area in the past five days have prompted calls by some in Texas to re-examine gun safety in homes. The incidents included a 3-year-old who fatally shot himself after finding a gun in his home last Friday, a 4-year-old who died under similar circumstances on Sunday and a 6-year-old who was shot on Monday by his brother while playing, police said. "A lot of families think that those kids don’t know where their guns are hidden, but they do. Kids find things and they are curious," said Angela Turner, a spokeswoman for Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.

SEC warns pharma companies to be honest about FDA correspondence
 By Sarah N. Lynch WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's top enforcement chief warned on Tuesday that too many pharmaceutical companies are failing to accurately portray their dealings with federal drug regulators - a problem that could get them in trouble. Andrew Ceresney, the SEC's enforcement director, said the agency has seen a lot of problems with disclosures by pharmaceutical companies, including on 8-Ks - a form companies file when they need to disclose an event that is "material" to their business. "One significant type of key event that we see causing problems with disclosure in your industry is disclosures on your dealings with the (Food and Drug Administration)," Ceresney said in prepared remarks at a conference held by the Annual Pharmaceutical Compliance Congress. "Accuracy of reporting in your dealings with the FDA is critical to getting investors the information they need. FDA dealings and approvals are the lifeblood of your business and are so important to investment decisions," he added.

FDA limits use of testosterone drugs, warns of possible heart risk
 (Reuters) - The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has asked makers of prescription testosterone therapies to change their labeling to clarify that their products are approved only for men with specific medical conditions and could increase the risk of heart attacks and strokes. Prescriptions for low testosterone, or "Low T" have soared over the past decade, driven by a surge in use by men facing falling testosterone levels as they age. The number of men being prescribed testosterone jumped more than 75 percent, to 2.3 million, between 2009 and 2013. About 70 percent of these patients were between the ages of 40 and 64, the FDA said.

Man tried to bribe deputies after fatal Arizona crash: police
 (Reuters) - A 21-year-old man tried to bribe sheriff's deputies in Arizona with a wad of cash after crashing his car in a fiery, rollover collision that killed a 27-year-old woman in the passenger seat, authorities said. Joseph Wilson, 21, first gave a fake name to an officer who responded to the scene of the accident southeast of Phoenix, and then he tried to give him the banknotes, the Pinal County Sheriff's Office said in a statement.

Texas defense lawyers seek appeal for 'American Sniper' conviction

File photo of former Marine Eddie Ray Routh entering the court after a break during his capital murder trial in Stephenville TexasBy Jon Herskovitz AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) - Lawyers for the man convicted of murdering Chris Kyle, the former U.S. Navy SEAL whose best-selling autobiography was turned into the movie "American Sniper," have filed a notice of appeal with a Texas court, court officials said on Tuesday. Eddie Ray Routh, 27, a former U.S. Marine, was found guilty on Feb. 24 of fatally shooting Kyle and Kyle's friend Chad Littlefield multiple times at a gun range about 70 miles (110 km) southwest of Fort Worth in February 2013. Defense lawyers, who tried unsuccessfully to have Routh declared innocent by reason of insanity, had sought to have the venue changed from Stephenville, a rural Texas city near where Kyle was raised and where many regard him as a hero. Defense lawyers said Routh had been to hospitals at least four times because of his mental illness and was diagnosed as psychotic.

Cancer risk above 50 percent for Brits born in 1960
 By Kathryn Doyle (Reuters Health) - More than half of people born after 1960 in the U.K. may be diagnosed with some form of cancer in their lifetimes, a new estimate suggests. “Everyone has to die of something and the longer people live the more likely that they will have previously been treated for a serious illness,” wrote Peter Sasieni, the study’s senior researcher from Queen Mary University of London, in an email to Reuters Health. As reported in the British Journal of Cancer, he and his coauthors estimated the lifetime risk of cancer, excluding non-melanoma skin cancer, in Britain for men and women born from 1930 to 1960. They used data on all causes of death in the UK from 1951 through 2012 and projected causes of death from 2013 to 2060, as well as data on the number of cancer diagnoses and cancer deaths from 1971 to 2009.

Special issue of journal looks at fracking's effects on people, animals
 The Journal of Environmental Science and Health has devoted its current issue to the potentially harmful side of the drilling boom.

Health officials perplexed by vaccination skeptics

FILE - In this Wednesday, June 4, 2008 file photo, a woman holds up a syringe with symbolic green fluid during a rally on Capitol Hill in Washington calling for the elimination of what demonstrators say are toxins in children's vaccines. Parents have been nervous about vaccines for as long as vaccines have been around. Opposition seemed to plummet for several decades, as vaccines got better and succeeded in beating back diseases, but parental concern has seemed to be on an upswing in the last 20 years. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)NEW YORK (AP) — Certain that they are right, struggling to find ways to get their message across, public health officials are exasperated by their inability to persuade more U.S. parents to vaccinate their children.

NFL-Rice details bruising career before declaring brain donation
 By Larry Fine NEW YORK, March 3 (Reuters) - It was a long road to a shortened National Football League career for Sidney Rice, an All-Pro receiver who retired last July at age 27 due to fears about his long-term health after numerous concussions. "The first time I actually experienced a head trauma was when I was eight years old," Rice told Reuters after announcing on Tuesday he was donating his brain to medical research after his death.

Winter's long grip on U.S. northeast takes a toll on ferries

The Warren Jr. cuts a path through the ice as it works as an ice breaker for the commuter ferry in the waters off HinghamBy Ross Kerber HINGHAM, Mass. (Reuters) - With its black hull rumbling against a field of broken ice, the Warren Jr. slowly eased away from a dock in the Boston suburb of Hingham on Tuesday, aiming to clear a path for some of the four ferries that carry commuters from here into the city each day. "We're just not getting any break from the weather," said Captain Leon "Tiger" Macdonald, standing on the Warren Jr.'s bridge a few decks above the waterline. He has overseen crews for a month in a mostly losing battle against the ice to keep running the boats that usually deliver 1,750 commuters a day to Boston's downtown financial district. The idled boats are one piece of the unprecedented collapse the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority suffered during a harsh winter that so far has brought 104.1 inches (2.64 meters) of snowfall.

Rice details bruising career before declaring brain donation

Former Seattle Seahawks receiver Rice is helped by New York Giants punter Weatherford to sign over his brain post-mortem for medical research, at a news conference in New YorkBy Larry Fine NEW YORK (Reuters) - It was a long road to a shortened National Football League career for Sidney Rice, an All-Pro receiver who retired last July at age 27 due to fears about his long-term health after numerous concussions. "The first time I actually experienced a head trauma was when I was eight years old," Rice told Reuters after announcing on Tuesday he was donating his brain to medical research after his death.

Large breakfast, small dinner tied to better diabetes blood sugar
 By Shereen Lehman (Reuters Health) - Big breakfasts and small dinners might be a healthier way to eat for people with type 2 diabetes, according to a small new study. Diabetics in the study who ate big breakfasts and small dinners had fewer episodes of high blood sugar than those who ate small breakfasts and large dinners, researchers found. Blood sugar – also known as blood glucose – is controlled by the body’s internal clock, with larger blood sugar peaks after evening meals, Dr. Daniela Jakubowicz told Reuters Health in an email. People with type 2 diabetes often time their meals in opposition to their internal clock, said Jakubowicz, a researcher at Tel Aviv University’s Wolfson Medical Center in Israel.

Marijuana, guns and conservation on agenda for 2015 Florida legislature
 By Bill Cotterell TALLAHASSEE (Reuters) - Florida's legislature convened on Tuesday with lawmakers expected to grapple during the 60-day annual session with measures including allowing concealed guns on college campuses and permitting doctors to prescribe medical marijuana. Discussion of casino gambling, a now-perennial clash between out-of-state gambling interests and entrenched family resort companies like Walt Disney Co, will also stir controversy in the next two months. The spending, mandated by a constitutional amendment approved by voters, could go to such projects as Everglades cleanup and beach restoration.

Officials urge testing as Portland, Oregon sees rise in syphilis cases
 By Courtney Sherwood PORTLAND, Ore. (Reuters) - A spike in syphilis cases in Portland in the past three years has prompted concerned public health officials to urge more sexually active adults to get tested regularly for the treatable bacterial infection. The Portland metro area has seen about 240 new cases of the disease on average each year since 2012, many times more than the 10 to 30 cases that were detected annually before that. Across the country, incidences of syphilis are on the rise. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said last year the number of infections in the United States climbed by more than 10 percent in 2013 to 17,535 cases, compared with the previous year.

Family of California girl left brain dead after tonsillectomy sues hospital
 By Dan Whitcomb LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The family of a Northern California girl who made national headlines when she was declared brain dead after a tonsillectomy to correct sleep apnea sued the surgeon and hospital on Tuesday, alleging medical malpractice. Jahi McMath, who was 13 when she suffered cardiac arrest in December 2013 following the surgery, remains on a ventilator in New Jersey at her family's insistence despite a death certificate issued by the coroner in Alameda County, California. The lawsuit, filed in Alameda County Superior Court by McMath's mother, stepfather and other family members, alleged that surgeon Frederick Rosen performed a "complex and risky" operation on the teen despite finding an anatomical abnormality that increased the chances of her hemorrhaging. McMath's family disputes the finding that she is brain dead and petitioned a judge last year to revoke her death certificate and restore her status as a living person.

Homeless man shot dead by LAPD had served time for bank robbery

A memorial is seen on the sidewalk where a homeless man was killed by police in Los AngelesBy Steve Gorman and Daina Beth Solomon LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A homeless man whose fatal shooting by Los Angeles police outraged civil rights activists and fellow skid row residents was a convicted bank robber who was released from federal prison last year, according to a law-enforcement source and records. A law-enforcement source confirmed as correct to Reuters the details of a Los Angeles Times report saying police had identified him as Charley Saturmin Robinet, a 39-year-old French national who had served time for a bank robbery conviction. The Times said the man, who was accused of pistol-whipping a teller during a 2000 bank holdup north of Los Angeles, told investigators at the time that he robbed the bank to cover the cost of acting classes at the Beverly Hills Playhouse.

China February HSBC services PMI edges up

File photo of a porter carrying luggage past a group of reception staff that are reflected in the floor as they stand in the foyer of the five-star rated Sofitel Hotel in BeijingActivity in China's services sector grew modestly in February as new orders rose at their quickest pace in three months, a private survey showed just a few days after the central bank cut interest rates to stimulate the world's second-largest economy. The PBOC had already cut interest rates in November and reduced the reserve requirement (RRR) - the ratio of cash that banks must set aside as reserves - earlier in February, the first such reduction in over two years.

U.S. firms in China expect less rosy times as economy slows: survey

A man walking on a pedestrian bridge is silhouetted against skyscrapers in BeijingU.S. companies in China have a less rosy outlook for business conditions over the next five years due to a slowing economy, an "opaque" regulatory environment and rising domestic competition, a U.S. business lobby survey showed on Wednesday. The annual report by the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai - the self-dubbed voice of American business in China - said 43 percent of respondents in a survey of its members were "optimistic" about prospects. AmCham's survey, conducted from late October to early December, made no mention of China's plans to introduce a counter-terrorism law that would require technology firms to hand over encryption keys and install security "backdoors". In an interview with Reuters on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama sharply criticized the new law, urging China to change the policy if it wants to do business with the United States.

Nepal tells Mount Everest litterbugs to take out the trash

A trekker stands in front of Mount Everest at Kala Patthar in Solukhumbu DistrictBy Gopal Sharma KATHMANDU (Reuters) - Six decades after the first conquest of the world's highest peak, tons of rubbish and human waste abandoned by hundreds of Mount Everest climbers is starting to raise a stink. Nepal is cracking down on the mountaineers who seek to emulate the 1953 feat of Sir Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay, in the process giving the 8,850-metre (29,035-foot) peak the dubious honor of being the world's highest garbage dump. Now Nepal has threatened stricter enforcement of penalties to persuade climbers to clean up after themselves and carry litter back to base camp. A 2014 rule for a garbage deposit of $4,000 to be forfeited by any expedition from which a climber fails to bring back 8 kg (17.6 lbs) of trash and human waste, will be strictly enforced this year, a tourism official said.

Las Vegas hospital accidentally sends miscarried fetuses to laundry
 (Reuters) - A Las Vegas hospital accidentally sent twin miscarried fetuses wrapped in linen to a commercial laundry facility on Tuesday, officials said. Henderson Police Department spokeswoman Kathleen Richards said that officers were called at around 10 a.m. local time by laundry company Angelica after workers discovered the fetuses. Richards said the remains were delivered accidentally by Spring Valley Hospital Medical Center. The incident was not considered suspicious, Richards said, but added that the Clark County Coroner's Office would investigate.

Spider venom may hold chemical keys to new painkillers
 By Kate Kelland LONDON (Reuters) - Scientists who analyzed countless chemicals in spider venom say they have identified seven compounds that block a key step in the body's ability to pass pain signals to the brain. Experts estimate that as many as one in five people worldwide suffer from chronic pain and existing pain treatments often fail to give sufficient or long-term relief. Pain's economic burden is also huge, with chronic pain estimated to cost $600 billion a year in the United States alone. People sense pain in a part of their body when nerves from the affected area send signals to the brain through what is called the pain pathway, and it is this pathway scientists seek to disrupt when searching for potential new pain medicines.

Supreme Court weighs new conservative attack on Obamacare

A police officer walks up the steps of the Supreme Court in WashingtonBy Lawrence Hurley WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court will consider on Wednesday a second major legal attack on President Barack Obama's healthcare law, with conservative challengers taking aim at a pivotal part of the statute that authorizes tax subsidies to help people afford insurance. If the court rules against the Obama administration, up to 7.5 million people in at least 34 states would lose the subsidies that help low- and moderate-income people buy private health insurance, according to the consulting firm Avalere Health. The Democratic-backed Affordable Care Act, narrowly passed by Congress in 2010 over unified Republican opposition, aimed to help millions of Americans who lacked any health insurance afford coverage. The case does not affect people who obtain health insurance through their employer.

Lawmakers gear up for Supreme Court Obamacare fray

Park of Cambridge wears cast for her broken wrist with "I Love Obamacare" written upon it prior to U.S. President Barack Obama's arrival to speak about health insurance at Faneuil Hall in BostonBy Richard Cowan WASHINGTON(Reuters) - War rooms of lawmakers and their aides in the U.S. Congress are working furiously to try to influence the Supreme Court's nine justices who will hear arguments on Wednesday on the future of President Barack Obama's landmark healthcare law. These informal working groups, staffed by Republican and Democratic members of Congress, have gone into high gear in recent days. They plan to use an array of tools - from social media and radio interviews to newspaper opinion pieces, news conferences and Senate and House of Representatives floor speeches - to bolster the opposing legal arguments being laid out before the high court and to rally public opinion. On Twitter, for example, at #acaworks, Senate Democrats brim with upbeat assessments of how Obamacare has slashed the numbers of uninsured while also saving on seniors' drug costs.

Australian court backs finding radio royal prank call broke law
 Australia's High Court on Wednesday backed the broadcasting watchdog's finding that an Australian radio station broke the law with a prank call to a British hospital taking care of the pregnant Duchess of Cambridge, paving the way for penalties. Two presenters at Sydney's 2Day FM called the London hospital in December 2012, pretending to be Queen Elizabeth and Prince Charles. On Wednesday, the High Court in Canberra ruled in favor of the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), overturning a ruling by the lower Federal Court. The High Court said ACMA did have the power to determine the station had committed a criminal offence, as a preliminary to taking enforcement action under the Broadcasting Services Act.

Doctors, patients scramble ahead of high court Obamacare decision

A man looks over the Affordable Care Act signup page on the website in New York in this photo illustrationBy Sharon Begley NEW YORK (Reuters) - As the U.S. Supreme Court takes on a make-or-break Obamacare case this week, a growing number of U.S. patients and their doctors are already devising a Plan B in case they lose medical coverage. The Court's ruling, expected by late June, will determine whether millions of Americans will keep receiving federal subsidies to help them pay for private health insurance under President Barack Obama's healthcare law. The White House, which said it is confident the justices will rule in favor of the subsidies that are a key element of Obamacare, said it has no immediate fix if the decision goes the other way. Worried about newly-insured patients such as those who have just begun treatment for cancer or other serious illnesses, they are dusting off playbooks they retired when Obamacare slashed the number of uninsured people.

High court takes up major fight over health law subsidies

FILE - This Jan. 25, 2012, file photo, shows the U.S. Supreme Court Building in Washington. The Supreme Court is hearing arguments on March 4, 2015, in a major test of President Barack Obama’s health overhaul that threatens insurance coverage for millions of people. The justices are meeting Wednesday to try to determine whether the law makes people in all 50 states eligible for federal tax subsidies to cut the cost of insurance premiums.(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court is hearing arguments in a major test of President Barack Obama's health overhaul that threatens insurance coverage for millions of people.

Tougher laws a likely legacy of the Disneyland measles outbreak

Measles vaccine is seen at Venice Family Clinic in Los AngelesBy Yasmeen Abutaleb NEW YORK (Reuters) - Chris Barr had no problem getting his eight children exempted from vaccinations when they went to school. First in California, and later when the family moved to Arkansas, the natural healing practitioner simply signed a piece of paper stating that his personal beliefs didn’t allow the immunizations. This year’s highly publicized measles outbreaks, which have infected more than 150 people in 17 states, are no longer front page news. The proposed laws have been introduced in statehouses by both Democrats and Republicans and include a range of approaches, from requiring schools to post immunization rates to entirely eliminating religious and philosophical exemptions.

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