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Drugmakers rush to produce a swine flu vaccine

LONDON (AP) — With swine flu now an official pandemic, the race is on among drugmakers to produce a vaccine.

GlaxoSmithKline said Thursday after the World Health Organization declared a global flu epidemic that it would be ready within weeks to begin large-scale vaccine production. Sanofi-Aventis also said it had started working on its own version. On Friday, Swiss pharma giant Novartis announced it had created an experimental vaccine that has been tested in people. Novartis' vaccine was made via a cell-based technology that may prove faster than the traditional way of making vaccines, which relies on chicken eggs.

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$2.5 billion spent, no alternative med cures found

BETHESDA, Md. (AP) — Ten years ago the government set out to test herbal and other alternative health remedies to find the ones that work. After spending $2.5 billion, the disappointing answer seems to be that almost none of them do.

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US pledges to put women, girls first in AIDS fight

WINDHOEK, Namibia (AP) ‚ U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton says the Obama administration will put women and girls first in the fight against AIDS.
Rodham Clinton addressed an international AIDS conference in Namibia by video hookup Wednesday.
She says her government will prioritize preventing mother-to-child transmission of the virus that causes AIDS, and work to ensure girls are not forced into prostitution or early marriages.
Africans have welcomed the election of Barack Obama, who has roots in Kenya and is America's first black president. But Africans also have applauded George W. Bush, Obama's predecessor, for an AIDS campaign launched in 2003 that expanded AIDS prevention, treatment and support programs in 15 hard-hit countries, 12 of them African.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.

FDA panel OKs schizophrenia drug for adolescents

ADELPHI, Md. (AP) ‚ Advisers to the Food and Drug Administration say a powerful psychiatric drug from AstraZeneca is safe and effective to treat schizophrenia in adolescents.
The FDA's panel of experts voted overwhelmingly that the pill Seroquel is a useful treatment for schizophrenia in patients ages 13 to 17.
A vote on the drug's use for pediatric bipolar disorder is slated for later Wednesday.
The group also is weighing expanded approval of drugs from Eli Lilly and Pfizer for schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
The FDA is not required to follow the group's advice, though it usually does.
A positive FDA decision would allow the companies to expand marketing of drugs that already make up the top-selling class of prescriptions in the U.S.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.

Government probes chelation-heart disease study

Heart attack survivors are again being enrolled in a controversial federal study of an alternative treatment while the government investigates whether they were told enough about possible health risks.
The $30 million study, with 1,500 participants so far, is one of the largest alternative medicine experiments ever launched. It tests high doses of vitamin and mineral supplements and chelation, a treatment used for lead poisoning that has not been proved safe or effective for heart disease.
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FOX News
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    Nearly 600 patients who received dental care at a Wisconsin Veterans Affairs medical center may have been exposed to HIV, hepatitis B and C and now face an anxious wait to find out if they were infected.
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    Evan finally bumped into the girl he'd been searching for over the entire school year. They had been leaving each other notes on a desk, neither knowing the identity of their mysterious pen pal. But the much-awaited encounter was cut short when a single gunman appeared behind them at the school's gym entrance.
  • Bullying is a 'serious public health problem,' experts say
    The tragic death of 18-year-old Brandy Vela is bringing the potential dangers of cyberbullying back into focus. It's another reminder of what experts say is a public health problem facing young people.

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