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P&G stops selling Vicks Action 500 Extra in India after ban

U.S. consumer health giant Procter & Gamble’s India unit said on Tuesday it had stopped manufacture and sale of its cough-and-cold medicine Vicks Action 500 Extra with immediate effect, after regulators banned it citing potential health risk. The product is a fixed dose combination of paracetamol, phenylephrine and caffeine, which was banned by India’s health ministry in a notice issued over the weekend, Procter & Gamble Hygiene and Health Care Ltd informed the stock exchange. The drug was one of 344 drug combinations including several antibiotics and analgesics that India ordered to be prohibited saying a government-appointed panel of experts had found the combinations lacked “therapeutic justification.” P&G said all its products, including Vicks Action 500 Extra, were backed by research to support their quality, safety and efficacy.

Type 1 diabetes tied to risk for a wide range of cancers

By Kathryn Doyle (Reuters Health) – People with type 1 diabetes are more likely than the general population to develop cancers of gastric organs and the kidneys, as well as endometrium and ovaries for women, according to a large new analysis. Diabetes has been tied generally to increased cancer risk in the past, but studies have relied mostly on data from people with type 2 diabetes, which develops slowly, usually in adults who are overweight or obese, and affects about 28 million Americans. Type 1 diabetes, typically diagnosed in children and young adults, affects about 1.25 million Americans, according to the American Diabetes Association.

Verily, Vanderbilt to test enrollment in U.S. Precision Medicine pilot

The pilot program, which aims to enroll 79,000 U.S. participants by the end of this year, is the first phase of an ambitious program to mine medical data, including genetics, environmental factors and lifestyle, to develop better ways to treat or even prevent a wide range of diseases. Vanderbilt and Verily are slated to test approaches for engaging and enrolling volunteers through a web portal. The NIH plans for the “cohort program” to recruit by 2019 one million or more U.S. volunteers – including a wide spectrum of diverse participants from all age, economic and racial groups.

U.S. panel reaffirms depression screening for adolescents

By Andrew M. Seaman (Reuters Health) – Adolescents between 12 and 18 years old in the U.S. should be screened for depression, according to guidelines reaffirmed by a government-backed panel of prevention experts. “From a parent’s perspective, I think it’s important for them to know that depression can be relatively common in adolescence and we have ways to treat it,” said Dr. Alex Krist, a member of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) and professor at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond.

Dallas County reports first U.S. case of Zika virus

The first U.S. case of the Zika virus has been contracted in Dallas County, local health officials said on Tuesday, adding there are no reports of the virus being locally transmitted by mosquitoes in the Texas county. Dallas County Health and Human Services said the case in Dallas was acquired through sexual transmission, adding that it received confirmation of the infection from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. There have been six confirmed travel-related cases of Zika virus disease, all among residents of Harris County, where Houston is located, the Texas Department of State Health Services said.

Pfizer hikes U.S. prices for over 100 drugs on January 1

Pfizer Inc , which plans a $160-billion merger with Ireland-based Allergan Plc to slash its U.S. tax bill, on Jan. 1 raised U.S. prices for more than 100 of its drugs, some by as much as 20 percent, according to statistics compiled by global information services company Wolters Kluwer. Company spokesman Steven Danehy could not immediately confirm the remaining price increases, which were compiled by a unit of Wolters Kluwer Health and published in a research note by UBS Securities.

Hong Kong on holiday health alert after China bird flu death

A woman in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen has died after being infected with the highly contagious H5N6 bird flu virus, days after she was admitted to hospital, Hong Kong’s Health Department said on Wednesday. All border check points between Shenzhen and Hong Kong, and the airport, had already introduced disease prevention measures with thermal imaging systems in place, a department spokesman said. Hong Kong culled thousands of chickens and suspended imports of live poultry from mainland China in December 2014 after a H7 bird flu strain was discovered in live chickens.

More patients may be able to safely shower after surgery

By Lisa Rapaport (Reuters Health) – Many patients may be able to shower just two days after their operations without increasing their risk of infections around the incision site, a recent study suggests. The findings, along with results from other recent research, should help convince more doctors to let patients shower after surgery, said Dr. Paul Dayton, a researcher at Des Moines University and UnityPoint Health in Iowa who wasn’t involved in the study. “Traditions are sometimes long to fade away due to lack of good evidence to support change – this paper will certainly help to drive change,” Dayton said by email.