Senate panel investigates drug price hikes

A Senate committee tasked with protecting seniors is launching an investigation into prescription drug pricing, responding to public anxiety about companies hiking prices for once-inexpensive medicines.

Nov 04, 2015
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Valeant cutting ties with Philidor

Valeant Pharmaceuticals, a company that has come under intense scrutiny for its drug prices, has cut ties with Philidor following accusations that it was a "phantom pharmacy" used solely to artificially boost sales.

Oct 30, 2015
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Molecular 'kiss of death' flags pathogens

Many bugs that make us sick—bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites—hide out in our cells in protective little bubbles called vacuoles. To clear an infection, the immune system must recognize and destroy these vacuoles ...

Sep 28, 2015
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Toxoplasmosis is a parasitic disease caused by the protozoan Toxoplasma gondii. The parasite infects most genera of warm-blooded animals, including humans, but the primary host is the felid (cat) family. Animals are infected by eating infected meat, by ingestion of feces of a cat that has itself recently been infected, or by transmission from mother to fetus. Cats are the primary source of infection to human hosts, although contact with raw meat, especially pork, is a more significant source of human infections in some countries. Fecal contamination of hands is a significant risk factor.

Over half of the world's human population is estimated to carry a Toxoplasma infection. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that overall seroprevalence in the United States as determined with specimens collected by the National Health and Nutritional Examination Survey (NHANES) between 1999 and 2004 was found to be 10.8%, with seroprevalence among women of childbearing age (15 to 44 years) 11%.

During the first few weeks post-exposure, the infection typically causes a mild flu-like illness or no illness. Thereafter, the parasite rarely causes any symptoms in otherwise healthy adults. However, those with a weakened immune system, such as AIDS patients or pregnant women, may become seriously ill, and it can occasionally be fatal. The parasite can cause encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) and neurologic diseases, and can affect the heart, liver, inner ears, and eyes (chorioretinitis). Recent research has also linked toxoplasmosis with brain cancer, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and Schizophrenia.

This text uses material from Wikipedia licensed under CC BY-SA

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