Lack of Vitamin C Linked to Respiratory Disorders
31/05/2004
Source: HealthWorld Online

A study has found that vitamin C may prevent symptoms associated with airway diseases such as cystic fibrosis, asthma, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The findings were published in the March 2, 2004, issue of the Proceedings of the [U.S.] National Academy of Sciences.

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Paxil Helpful for Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Fri May 28, 2004 03:40 PM ET
Source: Reuters.com

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - A popular antidepressant, Paxil, significantly improves the overall well-being of people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), researchers report.

Paxil is also known as Seroxat, and technically as paroxetine. In a statement, Dr. George Arnold of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine said that the findings highlight "the benefits of this drug as a potential new and improved treatment for IBS."

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Study Says Condoms Contain Cancer-Causing Substance
Fri May 28, 2004 12:09 PM ET
Source: Reuters.com

BERLIN (Reuters) - Most condoms contain a cancer-causing chemical and their manufacture should be subject to greater quality control, a German scientific research institute said Friday.

The Chemical and Veterinary Investigation Institute in Stuttgart, Germany, said it found the carcinogen N-Nitrosamine present in 29 of 32 types of condoms it tested in simulated conditions.

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Is this scandal limited to only Italian MD's ????

Over 4,000 doctors face charges in Italian drugs scandal

John Hooper in Rome and Heather Stewart
Thursday May 27, 2004
The Guardian

One of the biggest inquiries into marketing practices in the drugs industry ended yesterday with Italian police asking for almost 5,000 people to be put on trial, including more than 4,000 doctors and at least 273 employees of the British pharmaceuticals giant, GlaxoSmithKline. Some face up to five years in jail if tried and convicted.

Italy's revenue guard, the Guardia di Finanza, said in a statement that GlaxoSmith- Kline and its predecessor firm had spent €228m (£152m) on "sweeteners" for doctors, chemists and others over four years. The alleged bribes ranged from cameras, computers and holidays to outright cash payments.

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Food additives increase children's hyperactive behavior

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Food colorings and preservatives can increase hyperactive behavior in children, suggest the findings of a study that supports the removal of such additives from children's food, particularly among those with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

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Arthritis Drug Linked to Heart Failure
Vioxx, but Not Celebrex, Found to Increase Heart Failure

By Salynn Boyles
WebMD Medical News 
Reviewed By Michael  Smith, MD
Souce; WebMDHealth

May 27, 2004 -- A new report from Canadian researchers shows an increased risk for heart failure among elderly people using the drug Vioxx. This comes after several previous studies have linked the widely used arthritis drug to increased heart attack risk.

Researchers examined hospital records for 39,000 elderly residents of Ontario, Canada after they were prescribed the arthritis drugs Vioxx or Celebrex or older nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen and naproxen. They were compared with another 100,000 elderly people who did not take any of the drugs.

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Link Between Antidepressant Treatment and Increased Risk of Suicide
30 May 2004   
Source: Medical News Today

Depression is a serious illness that increases the risk of suicide. This March, the FDA issued a Public Health Advisory in response to a possible connection between the antidepressant paroxetine (Paxil) and thoughts of suicide or self-destructive behavior in some teens and children. The June issue of the Harvard Mental Health Letter discusses the FDA advisory and offers suggestions to people taking antidepressants.

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Antibiotics linked to huge rise in allergies
17:06 27 May 04
Source: NewScientist.com news service

 The increasing use of antibiotics to treat disease may be responsible for the rising rates of asthma and allergies. By upsetting the body's normal balance of gut microbes, antibiotics may prevent our immune system from distinguishing between harmless chemicals and real attacks.

"The microbial gut flora is an arm of the immune system," says Gary Huffnagle at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbour. His research group has provided the first experimental evidence in mice that upsetting the gut flora can provoke an allergic response.

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World pharmaceutical market to surpass $900 billion by 2008
30 May 2004   
Source: Medical News Today

Though the pharmaceutical industry remains one of the most profitable and stable industries, several macro-level variables are influencing fundamental changes in the industry structure.

The chief variables are: the increasing role of substitutes-generic pharmaceuticals threat; the threat of new entrants-emergence of bio-pharmaceuticals and genome revolution; increasing buyer power-power of third party payers, government buyers, and health maintenance organizations, and increased health awareness amongst patients and changing suppliers-enhanced outsourcing in manufacturing and R&D.

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Moderate exercise, supplements may prevent atherosclerosis
Source: HeartCenterOnline

May 27 (HeartCenterOnline) - A combination of moderate exercise and two common dietary supplements may significantly reduce the risk of developing atherosclerosis, according to results of a new UCLA study.

Led by Louis J. Ignarro, recipient of the 1998 Nobel Laureate in medicine, a team of UCLA researchers found that moderate activity and dietary supplements boosted the production of nitric oxide in mice that were genetically predisposed to developing heart disease.

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