Health Highlights: Oct. 28, 201110/28/11
Here are some of the latest health and medical news
developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:
Experts Ponder Testing Anthrax Vaccine in Children
The question of whether the anthrax vaccine should be tested in
children is being deliberated by a U.S. government advisory
Supplies of the vaccine have been stockpiled in case of a
terrorist attack involving the potentially deadly bacteria. The
vaccine has been widely tested in adults but never on youngsters,
Associated Press reported.
The National Biodefense Science Board has been asked to consider
whether testing on children should be done now in order to find out
if and how well children respond to the vaccine, or if it's better
to wait and use the vaccine experimentally in the event of an
anthrax terrorist attack.
The board provides advice to the Department of Health and Human
Services on preparations for nuclear, chemical and biological
Guilty Plea in First Proven U.S. Case of Organ Trafficking
A New York man involved in the first proven case of black market
organ trafficking in the United States admitted in federal court
Thursday that he brokered three illegal kidney transplants for New
Jersey patients in exchange for payments of $120,000 or more.
Levy Izhak Rosenbaum, 60, also pleaded guilty to one count of
conspiracy to broker an illegal kidney sale, the
Associated Press reported.
He was arrested in in July 2009 after he tried to set up a
kidney sale to a U.S. government informant and an undercover FBI
Rosenbaum's attorney's suggested he offered a life-saving
service to seriously ill people. But prosecutors said he was
operating an illicit and profitable operation by purchasing kidneys
from vulnerable people in Israel for $10,000 and selling them to
wealthy American patients, the
"A black market in human organs is not only a grave threat to public health, it reserves lifesaving treatment for those who can best afford it at the expense of those who cannot," said New Jersey's U.S. Attorney, Paul Fishman. "We will not tolerate such an affront to human dignity."
Many Prescriptions Aren't Filled: Study
As many as one in four new prescriptions aren't filled in the
United States and cost and convenience are major reasons why people
don't pick up their medications, according to a new study.
Researchers analyzed data from 280,000 patients who received new
prescriptions and found that they were more likely to fill their
prescription: if they lived in a high-income zip code rather than a
low-income zip code; if their medication was on their insurance
plan's list of approved drugs; and if their doctor had transmitted
the prescription directly to the pharmacy instead of handing it to
The researchers also found that patients were more likely to
fill prescriptions for antibiotics to treat an infection than for
medication to lower high blood pressure, which causes no
"It may be that you're more willing to pay for an antibiotic because you don't feel so good that day," said lead author Michael Fischer, a health services researcher and primary care doctor at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, msnbc.com reported.
The study appears in the November issue of
The American Journal of Medicine.
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