Reuters Health News Summary

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Following is a summary of current health news briefs.

GSK builds oncology pipeline as drug shown to help myeloma patients

GlaxoSmithKline said an experimental multiple myeloma treatment has shown a meaningful response in patients that have run out of three previous treatment options, in a boost for the British drugmaker's cancer drug business. Two doses of belantamab mafodotin helped subdue the disease in adults who had received three prior treatments for multiple myeloma, a cancer of the white blood cells, GSK said on Friday. The company intends to seek market approval and submit data from the trial to regulatory bodies this year.

Ebola appears contained in Goma, but flares in other parts of Congo: WHO

Ebola appears to be under control in the city of Goma in Congo but it has flared in other parts of the country, where aid workers are combating insecurity and disinformation on social media, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday. The latest infections include the mysterious case of a woman in her 70s with no known history of travel or visitors, said Dr. Michael Ryan, head of WHO's health emergencies department.

Companies file suit in Canada challenging new rules to lower drug prices

Five pharmaceutical companies said on Friday they have filed a complaint in a Canadian court challenging the constitutionality of new Canadian regulations meant to lower patented drug prices, setting up a fight with the federal government ahead of an Oct. 21 election. The complaint was filed in Quebec's Superior Court by the Canadian arms of U.S.-based Merck & Co and Johnson & Johnson's Janssen Inc, Germany's Bayer AG and Boehringer Ingelheim, and France's Servier Inc.

Dementia caregiving takes toll on sleep

(Reuters Health) - Family caregivers for dementia patients don't sleep as long or as well as other adults of the same age, a new study suggests. In an analysis of the combined data from 35 earlier studies, researchers found that dementia caregivers slept about 3 hours less per week than age-matched adults, according to the report published in JAMA Network Open.

Menopause with diabetes tied to more severe sleep problems

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(Reuters Health) - Women with type 2 diabetes may face more sleep issues and more severe sleep troubles during menopause than peers without diabetes, a small study suggests. Among 164 middle-aged women who completed a survey, those with diabetes averaged 10 sleep-related symptoms while those without diabetes averaged about 7 - and symptoms were rated as more severe by women with diabetes, the study team reports in the journal Menopause.

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Parents can do better to keep their pot away from children

As legal cannabis use becomes increasingly common in the U.S., most parents say they keep their pot out of children's reach, but fewer keep it locked away, a study in Colorado suggests. In annual surveys across the state, the proportion of households where parents and caregivers said they store cannabis at home rose to 11.2% in 2017, from 6.9% in 2014, when the state legalized marijuana, researchers found.

WHO says eradicating malaria 'can be done', but first aim is to control it

Eradicating malaria is biologically feasible and a lofty aim, the World Health Organization said on Friday, but the focus for now should be getting the funds, tools and political will to control it. Launching the findings of a three-year long analysis of the global fight against malaria, WHO experts said that while ending the mosquito-borne disease "can be done", it's not yet possible to put a price tag or target date on achieving eradication.

South Africa to roll out sweeping health reform in stages

A proposed move to universal health coverage in South Africa will be rolled out in stages as the budget improves, a senior presidential aide told Reuters, forecasting the landmark reform would cost $2.2 billion per year by 2025/26. The National Health Insurance (NHI) program, to be debated in parliament soon, is a flagship policy of the governing African National Congress, which has wanted to overhaul the crisis-ridden health system since it swept to power under Nelson Mandela in 1994.

VA facilities offering cochlear implants to vets are few and far between

(Reuters Health) - Even though American veterans are at high risk for the type of hearing loss that may be improved with cochlear implants, many of them live hours from a VA facility that provides cochlear implant services, a U.S. study suggests. Cochlear implants are the best treatment available for moderate to severe sensorineural hearing loss - the type of permanent hearing loss that can be caused by aging and by exposure to loud noises that many veterans may experience in combat. When people have sensorineural hearing loss, high pitched noises can be muffled and they may struggle to decipher spoken words when there is a lot of noise in the background.

CDC flags one death and nearly 200 cases of lung illnesses in U.S, possibly tied to vaping

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Friday it had identified 193 potential cases of severe lung illness tied to vaping in 22 states as of Aug. 22, including one adult in Illinois who died after being hospitalized. The CDC has been investigating a "cluster" of lung illnesses that it believes may be linked to e-cigarette use, although it has not yet been able to establish whether they were in fact caused by vaping.

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