Taste Movie

Taste Movie 2015

Posts by hailong01

India's Delhi government tells Philip Morris to remove all ads

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – The state government in India’s capital told Philip Morris International Inc and other tobacco companies on Saturday to remove all advertisements from tobacco shops in the city, warning them of legal action if they do not comply.

The order, sent by Delhi state’s chief tobacco control officer S. K. Arora, comes days after Reuters reported that Philip Morris was promoting Marlboro cigarettes, the world’s best-selling brand, by advertising them at tobacco shops and distributing free cigarette samples. Government officials say such tactics flout the law.

The strategy was laid out in hundreds of pages of internal Philip Morris documents reviewed by Reuters that cover the period from 2009 to 2016. (reut.rs/2uuye5Y)

Indian officials have previously said tobacco advertising using brand names or promotional slogans is illegal under the country’s Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act and its accompanying rules. But Philip Morris and India’s leading cigarette maker ITC Ltd say they comply with regulations and that the law allows advertising inside a kiosk.

Arora said the federal health ministry had told him that all brand advertisements, irrespective of where they were placed, were not allowed in the country.

A roadside barber shaves a man next to a cigarette advertisement hung on a tree at a marketplace in New Delhi, India, May 3, 2017.Adnan Abidi

Philip Morris and ITC did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Saturday.

Tobacco companies have continued to advertise at sale points despite repeated warnings from the Delhi state government in recent years. Philip Morris has been paying a monthly fee to some tobacco vendors to display the company’s colorful advertisements, the Reuters investigation found.

Arora also told Reuters he “will investigate and conduct raids” to check on distribution of free cigarettes at social events. “If violations are found, action as per law will be taken,” Arora said.

India enacted its national tobacco control law in 2003 and has since added rules to strengthen it, but government officials say companies get away with violations because law enforcement is weak.

The federal health ministry on Friday said it planned to seek an explanation from Philip Morris and other tobacco companies about their marketing practices following the Reuters investigation that was published earlier this week. Philip Morris and ITC did not respond to requests for comment. (reut.rs/2tO8tt5)

Reporting by Aditya Kalra; Additional reporting by Duff Wilson in New York; Editing by Paritosh Bansal and Alex Richardson

HIV and cancer teams double up to seek out new disease killers

LONDON, (Reuters) – HIV experts at an international conference starting on Saturday are keenly courting colleagues in oncology to explore whether advances in harnessing the immune system against cancer can help the search for a cure for AIDS.

The two diseases, while very different in many ways, have some key crossover points when it comes to developing new treatments, specialists say – most notably the immune system, its crucial T-cells, and its ability to fight-off invaders.

“The parallels between HIV persistence and cancer are striking,” said Francoise Barré-Sinoussi, former president of the International AIDS Society (IAS), which is hosting a week-long conference in Paris.

“In both cases, the immune response is unable to target and clear HIV-infected cells and tumor cells.”

Scientists working in both diseases also face similar challenges in tracking the size, number and spread of infected cells, she said, which can hide out in reservoirs in hard-to-reach tissues.

HIV experts see this as one of the key links to cancer medicine, which in recent years has seen the development of a new generation of drugs that target and re-arm the immune system, rather that just poisoning tumor cells.

Among the drugs in this new class are medicines known as PDL-1 or PD1 inhibitors that engage and revitalize the patient’s own immune system to attack the cancer.

Sharon Lewin, an HIV expert at the University of Melbourne and co-chair of the IAS’s HIV Cure and Cancer forum, describes this progress in oncology as a “revolution” which has led to “some spectacular successes” that are now being eyed by AIDS researchers.

“These treatments basically reinvigorate an exhausted immune system, exhausted T-cells. They reverse the dampening down of the immune system that happens in cancer,” she told Reuters in a telephone interview.

“In HIV, exactly the same thing happens – the T-cells become exhausted and can no longer function as efficiently.”

While HIV researchers are keen to see whether new-generation cancer drugs could show promise in HIV, there has also been a caution about conducting what might be risky trials in people whose illness is well managed with safe, effective AIDS drugs.

Because of that, the first clinical data – some of it presented at the IAS on Saturday – is in patients with both cancer and HIV, Lewin explained.

“This is the first scientific meeting where we’re getting a chance to see what these drugs look like in HIV,” she said.

“It’s very early days, but basically what we are seeing is that they are just as safe (as when used in cancer), and in some cases they also seem to be disturbing the (HIV) virus (from its hiding places). The hope is they will also kick-start the immune system as well.”

Reporting by Kate Kelland; Editing by Andrew Bolton

U.S. abortion support groups put on more public face

LOUISVILLE, Kentucky (Reuters) – Patricia Canon drives poor rural Kentucky women to distant abortion clinics each week, part of a national army of volunteers who are growing bolder even as abortion foes ratchet up opposition to the activists they have branded as “accomplices to murder.”

    The Kentucky Health Justice Network, where she volunteers, is one of dozens of non-profit U.S. abortion funds providing money for procedures or covering travel costs to help women obtain abortions, particularly in states where Republican-backed laws have narrowed options.

    For years, such organizations kept a low profile to avoid being targeted by abortion opponents. But now, as abortion foes have succeeded in shrinking access, advocates are working harder to grow grassroots support and taking a more public stance.

    The anti-abortion movement won a victory with the election of President Donald Trump, who has promised to appoint U.S. Supreme Court justices who would overturn the Roe v. Wade decision protecting a woman’s right to abortion. Critics of the decision say states should decide.

    That worries pro-choice advocates, including support groups in states where Republicans control legislatures.

    “There is a volume and aggressiveness of anti-choice legislation and legislators who feel empowered by the administration,” said Yamani Hernandez, executive director of the National Network of Abortion Funds, which represents 70 funds in 38 states.

    Kentucky is a flashpoint in the national debate. The state had 17 abortion providers in 1978 but one today. It could become the first U.S. state without any clinics this fall, when a court will determine whether its anti-abortion Republican governor wins a licensing fight.

    Anti-abortion protesters will converge on Louisville starting Saturday ahead of a week of demonstrations. Some have vowed to broadcast footage of abortions on an 8-by-16-foot “Pro-Life JumboTron” screen.

    In response, a judge has ordered a temporary buffer zone around the state’s only abortion clinic.


    New Restrictions

Protesters and escorts who ensure women can reach the clinic face off outside the EMW WomenÕs Surgical Center in Louisville, Kentucky, U.S. January 27, 2017.Chris Kenning

    Kentucky is not alone in making access to abortion tougher. There are six other U.S. states with only one clinic each.

    The Guttmacher Institute, a reproductive health think tank that supports abortion rights, said U.S. state legislatures enacted 41 new abortion restrictions in the first half of 2017, even after a 2016 U.S. Supreme Court decision struck down restrictive abortion laws in Texas.

    Many more restrictions were proposed, ranging from waiting periods to 20-week abortion bans. The number of U.S. abortion providers dropped from 2,434 in 1991 to 1,671 in 2014, according to Guttmacher data. This year, Iowa blocked abortion providers from receiving public money for family planning services.

Patricia Canon, who volunteers escorting women past protestors, stands outside the EMW WomenÕs Surgical Center in Louisville, Kentucky, U.S. July 8, 2017.Chris Kenning

    Medicaid restrictions and a decline in the number of hospitals providing services have also curtailed access, the National Abortion Federation said.

    Advocates say poor and rural women are hurt most by such laws. The biggest impact is in the South and Midwest, where the number of abortion providers has dwindled. Nearly half of the 40 clinics in Texas closed after laws enacted in 2013. Only a few have reopened since last year’s court ruling.

    The National Network of Abortion Funds met last month in Arizona to map a strategy that in part aims to open 10 new support fund programs across the country, expand its network of more than 2,000 volunteers and leverage rising donations to fill more than 100,000 annual requests for financial or travel aid, Hernandez said.

    The groups spent roughly $ 3.5 million to aid abortion access in 2015, she said, the latest year for which data was available.

    Kentucky Health Justice leaders hope to double volunteers and funding. Fund Texas Choice, an abortion travel aid group formed in 2014, and Arkansas Abortion Support Network, opened a year ago, are also among those working to expand.

    The abortion support groups face fierce opposition, especially from religious groups. Joseph Spurgeon, an Indiana pastor and activist with the fundamentalist Christian group Operation Save America, called abortion access volunteers “accomplices to murder.”

    Such rhetoric has not stopped some support groups from taking a more public stance resisting pressures to curtail abortion access.

    “When we started two years ago, a lawyer told us to make sure your mission is kind of vague, don’t use the A-word,” said Maia Elkana, who started Missouri’s Gateway Women’s Access Fund several years ago. “We’re a lot more out there now.”

Reporting by Chris Kenning, Editing by Ben Klayman and David Gregorio

UK's Boots 'truly sorry' over morning-after pill campaign response

LONDON (Reuters) – British pharmacy chain Boots has apologized for its response to a campaign calling for it to cut the price of one of its morning-after pills and said it was looking for cheaper alternatives.

Boots, part of U.S.-listed Walgreens Boots Alliance, was criticized by health campaigners and lawmakers after refusing to cut the cost of the emergency contraception pill, saying it could be accused of “incentivising inappropriate use”.

The British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) campaigned for Boots to cut the price for the Levonelle morning-after pill, saying it was more expensive in Britain than other parts of Europe. Its campaign was backed by lawmakers from Britain’s opposition Labour Party.

“Pharmacy and care for customers are at the heart of everything we do and as such we are truly sorry that our poor choice of words in describing our position on Emergency Hormonal Contraception (EHC) has caused offence and misunderstanding and we sincerely apologize,” Boots said in a statement late on Friday.

Boots said pricing EHC was determined by the cost of the medicine and the cost of pharmacy consultation.

“We are committed to looking at the sourcing of less expensive EHC medicines, for example generics, to enable us to continue to make a privately funded EHC service even more accessible in the future,” it said.

Reporting by James Davey; Editing by Edmund Blair

Roche's Tecentriq receives positive opinion from EU medicines agency

ZURICH (Reuters) – A European Medicines Agency (EMA) panel said on Friday it has recommended Roche’s immunotherapy Tecentriq as a treatment for advanced bladder and lung cancer, setting the stage for European Commission approval this year.

Roche received a positive opinion for the treatment from the EMA’s Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP).

Tecentriq, which Roche has designed to help the immune system find and kill tumors that otherwise may avoid detection, won approval in the United States this year as an initial treatment for bladder cancer. It has also been approved as a treatment for lung cancer.

Reporting by Joshua Franklin and John Miller; Editing by Jason Neely

Senate rule deals setback to Republican healthcare bill

(Reuters) – Republicans in the U.S. Senate were dealt another blow in their effort to repeal Obamacare on Friday when the keeper of the Senate’s rules said certain provisions in their healthcare bill, such as defunding Planned Parenthood, could not be included.

The Senate parliamentarian determined some provisions in the Better Care Reconciliation Act violate the Byrd Rule that requires backers to be able to muster 60 votes, according to a memo posted on the Senate Committee on the Budget website.

Republicans, who control the Senate with a slim 52-seat majority, are unlikely to be able to round up that many votes for key provisions in the bill to repeal former President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act known as Obamacare.

Affected would be the provision to defund Planned Parenthood, two provisions to prevent certain tax credits from being used to purchase health insurance that covers abortion, and a provision stating that beginning in 2020 states no longer have to cover essential health benefits in their Medicaid alternative benefit plans.

Some provisions were not subject to the Byrd Rule, according to the parliamentarian, including a provision allowing states the option to impose work requirements on Medicaid enrollees who are not disabled, elderly or pregnant, and a proposal to repeal cost-sharing subsidies.

Other provisions were still under review, including a proposal to allow insurers to charge older Americans more than younger people, a provision to allow small businesses to establish “association health plans” that could be sold across state lines and the option for states to receive Medicaid “block grant” lump sums instead of per capita cap payments.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is seeking to use procedural rules that would allow Republicans to pass a healthcare bill with a simple majority in the.

Reporting by Toni Clarke in Washington; additional reporting by Amanda Becker; Editing by Cynthia Osterman

Heart attack patients missing out on smoking cessation drugs

(Reuters Health) – People may be inspired to quit smoking cigarettes soon after a heart attack, but new research suggests many don’t take advantage of drugs that help kick the habit.

Only 7 percent of smokers picked up a prescription for a smoking cessation drug during the 90 days following their heart attacks, researchers found.

“These medications are being underused,” said lead author Dr. Neha Pagidipati, of Duke University in Durham, North Carolina. “Now we need to understand why.”

About 735,000 people in the United States have heart attacks each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Smoking is a major cause of cardiovascular disease.

The CDC says one in three deaths from cardiovascular disease can be blamed on smoking.

Pagidipati and colleagues write in JAMA Cardiology that despite the increased risk, just over half of people stop smoking in the year after a heart attack.

Along with nicotine replacement therapies like gum and patches, people trying to quit cigarettes can use medications such as bupropion and varenicline.

“What we didn’t know is how often are these medication being used in patients who recently had a heart attack,” Pagidipati told Reuters Health.

For the new study, researchers analyzed data on 9,193 smokers who had a heart attack between 2007 and 2013. All were at least 65 years old.

Overall, 97 percent of patients were counseled during their hospital stay about smoking cessation, but only 7 percent ended up picking up medications to help achieve that goal within 90 days.

“It suggests somewhere in there is a break in the link,” said Pagidipati. “Now we need to go back and figure out where is the problem.”

Of those who did pick up a prescription, about 53 percent used varenicline and about 47 percent used bupropion. But only about 37 percent of those taking bupropion and only about 20 percent of those taking varenicline used them for the recommended 12 weeks.

About half of the patients using bupropion took the drug for less than 6.2 weeks. Similarly, about half of the patients on varenicline used it for less than 4.3 weeks.

Pagidipati said it’s not clear whether doctors are not prescribing the medications or patients aren’t filling their prescriptions due to fear of side effects or cost.

The drugs are powerful tools, she said. She urges people to ask their healthcare providers as soon as possible about how to stop smoking.

“There are a lot of things that can be done,” said Pagidipati. “It’s absolutely imperative that they speak to their providers.”

SOURCE: bit.ly/2uHm1Lm JAMA Cardiology, online July 19, 2017.

Lesser-known gene mutations may boost breast cancer risk in Jewish women

(Reuters Health) – Jewish women of European descent may be at risk for additional genetic mutations that increase their risk of breast cancer, according to a new study.

Researchers found that around 4 percent of Ashkenazi Jewish women without three well-known mutations in their BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes have other mutations that may increase their risk for breast cancer.

The well-known mutations are called “founders” since they’ve been inherited from the women’s ancestors in Europe. Lead author Mary-Claire King and colleagues write in JAMA Oncology that those mutations are responsible for about 10 percent of invasive breast cancers among Ashkenazi Jewish women.

According to the National Cancer Institute, between 1 in 400 and 1 in 800 people in the general U.S. population has one of these founders mutations – but that number increases to about 1 in 40 among Ashkenazi Jews.

In women who don’t carry one of those mutations, the risk of having another mutation that increases their risk of breast cancer is unknown, King’s team writes.

For the new study, the researchers analyzed blood samples collected between 1996 and 2000 from 1,007 Ashkenazi Jewish women who were diagnosed with invasive breast cancer and were being treated at one of 12 cancer centers near New York City.

Genetic testing showed 903 women did not have those founder mutations in their BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes.

But seven of these women – nearly 1 percent – had a different mutation in those genes and 31 women – nearly 3.5 percent – had mutations in other genes that might have increased their risk for breast cancer.

The researchers point out that about half of the women with these genetic mutations did not have a family history of breast cancer. So, making genetic counseling available only to women with a family history of breast cancer might miss about half of the women with mutations.

Ashkenazi Jewish women who have not been tested for genetic mutations tied to an increased risk of breast cancer should be offered testing for all mutations, they write.

“Given that complete sequencing of all breast cancer genes is now straightforward and inexpensive, its use as the primary testing tool offers a uniform approach for women of all ancestries and precludes the need to consider additional testing for Ashkenazi Jewish women with negative results for only BRCA1 and BRCA2 founder allies,” they add.

The hope is that such testing would allows healthcare providers to prevent cancer or find it early, said Leigha Senter, a licensed genetics counselor at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center in Columbus.

“That is a clear pathway to action,” said Senter, who wasn’t involved in the new study.

She said a positive finding could lead to women getting more screenings, for example.

“If we’re going to look for the founding mutations, it’s no more difficult to look for these other mutations,” said Senter.

She cautioned that some of these other mutations don’t increase the risk of breast cancer to the same extent as the founder mutations, however.

Senter said women should be proactive and tell their doctors about any history of breast cancer on either side of their family. Additionally, she said, it’s important to keep checking on the current screening recommendations.

“Those screening recommendations as we know them now, might be very different a couple of years from now as we learn more,” she said.

SOURCE: bit.ly/2uQTcwu JAMA Oncology, online July 20, 2017.

U.S. CDC says salmonella outbreak linked to papayas sickens 47

(Reuters) – An outbreak of salmonella food poisoning linked to a type of papaya has sickened 47 people from 12 states, including one person in New York City who died and 12 who were hospitalized, U.S. health officials said on Friday.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said interview data and laboratory evidence – from an illness cluster identified in Maryland – indicated that yellow Maradol papayas were the likely source of the outbreak.

The CDC said it was working to learn where in the supply chain the contamination, with a strain known as salmonella Kiambu, occurred.

It warned consumers not to eat, restaurants not to serve, and retailers not to sell any yellow Maradol papayas until more information became available. Papayas of uncertain type should be thrown out as a precaution, according to the CDC.

Yellow Maradol papayas are a large, oval fruit that weighs three or more pounds, with green skins that turn yellow when the fruit is ripe. The flesh inside the fruit is salmon colored.

Reporting by Deena Beasley; Editing by Tom Brown

U.S. jury sides with Amphastar over Momenta in drug patent trial

BOSTON (Reuters) – A federal jury handed Amphastar Pharmaceuticals Inc a big win on Friday after it was accused of infringing on a patent held by Momenta Pharmaceuticals Inc through its production of a generic version of the blood-thinner Lovenox.

The verdict by the jury in Boston came in a lawsuit by Cambridge, Massachusetts-based biotechnology company Momenta and its partner, Novartis AG’s Sandoz unit, that sought nearly $ 940 million in damages.

The jury found that while Rancho Cucamonga, California-based Amphastar had infringed Momenta’s patent, it was invalid and unenforceable.

“We’re extremely pleased with the jury verdict and that Amphastar is finally out from under this baseless lawsuit,” said Michael Sommer, a lawyer for Amphastar.

Momenta Chief Executive Craig Wheeler in a statement said the company was disappointed and was considering its options, including a potential appeal.

“We continue to believe in the importance of investing in innovative techniques for bringing products to market and protecting those innovations from unauthorized use,” he said.

Following the verdict, Amphastar’s stock price rose 2.29 percent to $ 18.33 while Momenta’s fell 2.32 percent to $ 16.85 on the NASDAQ stock exchange.

Sandoz did not respond to requests for comment.

Momenta and Sandoz filed the lawsuit in 2011 after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Amphastar’s generic version of Sanofi SA’s blockbuster Lovenox, an anticoagulant used to treat and prevent blood clots.

Momenta claimed Amphastar infringed its patent covering a method used to confirm the structural signature of Lovenox, known generically as enoxaparin.

Momenta, whose generic version Lovenox was the first to receive FDA approval in 2010, claimed Amphastar’s infringement and subsequent sales of its own generic caused it to suffer a significant loss of profits.

Momenta and Sandoz sought damages of $ 938 million. Sommer, Amphastar’s lawyer, told jurors on Thursday during closing arguments that such an award would “wipe out Amphastar altogether.”

Amphastar argued Momenta’s goal was to avoid further competition for generic versions of Lovenox, which earned Sanofi $ 2.9 billion in sales in 2009, the year before Momenta’s version was approved.

Before the trial, the case reached the U.S. Federal Circuit Court of Appeals twice, leading to reversals of an injunction against Amphastar in 2012 and a later ruling granting judgment in Amphastar’s favor in 2015.

When they obtained the injunction, Momenta and Sandoz were required to post a $ 100.1 million bond, which Amphastar has said that it plans to try to collect should it prevail in the case.

The case is Momenta Pharmaceuticals, Inc. et al v. Amphastar Pharmaceuticals, Inc. et al, U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts, No. 11-cv-11681.

Reporting by Nate Raymond in Boston; editing by Grant McCool and Tom Brown