Reuters Health News Summary

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Following is a summary of current health news briefs.

Retrophin scraps nervous system disorder study, shares dive

Retrophin Inc said on Thursday it was discontinuing the late-stage study for its rare neurological disorder treatment after it failed to improve patients' ability to conduct daily activities such as eating and walking, sending shares down 30%. The treatment, fosmetpantotenate, was being tested against placebo in 84 patients with pantothenate kinase-associated neurodegeneration (PKAN), a rare, genetic and life-threatening disorder.

GSK's long acting HIV injection gets boost from study

GlaxoSmithKline's experimental HIV injection is as effective when given every other month as monthly, according to a study, a convenience that could help the British drugmaker in its battle against a rival drug from Gilead Sciences .GSK's two-drug injection was as effective as a monthly dose of the same regimen in maintaining viral suppression at 48 weeks in a late-stage study, said ViiV Healthcare, GSK's HIV unit. Detailed results will be presented at an unspecified medical conference, the company added.

Fewer U.S. teens participating in substance abuse prevention programs

Fewer U.S. adolescents are participating in programs designed to prevent substance abuse, a study suggests. Participation in these programs has dropped significantly since the early 2000s, researchers found.

Fitbit targets 1 million new users with Singapore government tie-up

Fitbit Inc said on Wednesday it signed a contract with the Singapore government to provide fitness trackers and services in a health program it said could reach up to one million users. Fitbit will supply its trackers free of charge on the condition users spend S$10 ($7.22) each month, for a year, on the company's premium subscription.

FDA classifies Edwards Lifesciences Sapien delivery system recall as severest

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said on Thursday the recall of Edwards Lifesciences Corp's Sapien 3 Ultra delivery system was classified as the agency's severest, sending shares of the medical device maker down 3%. The system is used to deliver and deploy a transcatheter heart valve to replace a diseased aortic valve without open-heart surgery.

Migrants traveling through Mexico to the U.S. face high violence risk

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(Reuters Health) - Nearly one third of migrants traveling through Mexico to the U.S. experience physical, psychological and/or sexual violence during their journey, a new study finds. Especially at risk are women and those who are transgender, transvestite and transsexual, according to the report published in the journal PLoS ONE.

Hospitals treat patients without admitting them, to avoid penalties

(Reuters Health) - Hospitals appear to be treating Medicare patients in emergency departments (EDs) and observation areas to avoid readmissions and the financial penalties associated with them, according to a new U.S. study. "We have noticed that patients who come back to the hospital shortly after discharge are increasingly being treated in the ER or as observation stays - many of our colleagues across the country have also conveyed that they are being nudged to provide care in these settings, to make hospitals' readmission rates look lower," said Dr. Rishi K. Wadhera from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School in Boston, who led the study.

Exclusive: India proposes ban on e-cigarettes, with jail terms for offenders - government documents

India's health ministry has proposed a ban on the production and import of electronic cigarettes, documents seen by Reuters showed, potentially jeopardizing the expansion plans of big firms like Juul Labs and Philip Morris International. The ministry has proposed that the government issue an executive order banning the devices in the public interest, saying it was needed to ensure e-cigarettes don't become an "epidemic" among children and young adults.

Gender minority college students at increased mental health risk

Gender minority students in U.S. colleges and universities are four times as likely as other students to experience mental health problems, researchers say. Students who identify as transgender, gender nonconforming, genderqueer and nonbinary need gender-affirming services on campus, as well as screening for mental health concerns, the authors of a new study conclude in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Explainer: What are the obstacles to Bayer settling Roundup lawsuits?

Bayer AG is in mediation to potentially settle thousands of U.S. lawsuits claiming that the company's Roundup weed killer causes cancer, but some legal experts said the cases raises novel questions that may prevent an easy settlement. More than 18,400 plaintiffs claim Roundup causes a type of cancer called non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

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