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Pharmaceutical company Mylan sued West Virginia in 2015 to keep its EpiPens on the state’s “preferred drug list,” which, if successful, would mean that the state’s Medicaid programs would have to automatically pay for the pricey epinephrine auto-injectors.

The bold and unusual move by Mylan—which ultimately failed—is yet another example of the aggressive marketing and legal tactics the company used to boost profits from EpiPens, which halt life-threatening allergic reactions. Since Mylan acquired rights to EpiPen in 2007, the company raised its price by more than 400 percent. Mylan also allegedly made illegal deals with schools to undercut competitors and allegedly scammed federal and state regulators out of millions in rebates by knowingly misclassifying the device.

Last year, EpiPen’s sales and expanded markets brought in more than $1 billion in revenue for Mylan. The company’s CEO, Heather Bresch, is one of the highest-paid CEOs in the industry, earning nearly $19 million annually. arstechnica.com
If you're partial to a can of Pepsi Max at lunch, or enjoy a splash of Coke Zero with your favorite rum — you might want to put that drink back on ice.

According to a new study, just one diet drink a day can triple the risk of a deadly stroke, with researchers also finding the beverages have a “worrying association” with dementia.

The team of researchers from Boston’s University School of Medicine, said people who consume a can of artificially-sweetened soft drink a day were at three times the risk of suffering the most common form of stroke compared to non-drinkers.

The US study also indicated that diet soft drink fans were 2.9 times more likely to develop Alzheimer’s. But after accounting for all lifestyle factors, the researchers found the link to dementia was statistically insignificant, however, the impact on stroke risk remained. fox32chicago.com
The world's first vaccine against malaria will be introduced in three countries - Ghana, Kenya and Malawi - starting in 2018.

The RTS,S vaccine trains the immune system to attack the malaria parasite, which is spread by mosquito bites.

The World Health Organization (WHO) said the jab had the potential to save tens of thousands of lives.

But it is not yet clear if it will be feasible to use in the poorest parts of the world.

The vaccine needs to be given four times - once a month for three months and then a fourth dose 18 months later.

This has been achieved in tightly controlled and well-funded clinical trials, but it is not yet clear if it can be done in the "real-world" where access to health care is limited.

It is why the WHO is running pilots in three countries to see if a full malaria vaccine programme could be started. It will also continue to assess the safety and effectiveness of the vaccination. bbc.com
On Tuesday, April 18, representatives of the Organic Consumers Association and our Regeneration International project gathered in The Hague, Netherlands, along with members of other civil society groups, scientists and journalists.

We assembled to hear the opinions of the five judges who presided over the International Monsanto Tribunal. After taking six months to review the testimony of 28 witnesses who testified during the two-day citizens’ tribunal held in The Hague last October, the judges were ready to report on their 53-page Advisory Opinion.

The upshot of the judges’ opinion? Monsanto has engaged in practices that have violated the basic human right to a healthy environment, the right to food, the right to health, and the right of scientists to freely conduct indispensable research.

The judges also called on international lawmakers to hold corporations like Monsanto accountable, to place human rights above the rights of corporations, and to “clearly assert the protection of the environment and establish the crime of ecocide.”

The completion of the Tribunal judges’ work coincides with heightened scrutiny of Monsanto, during a period when the company seeks to complete a merger with Germany-based Bayer. In addition to our organization’s recently filed lawsuit against Monsanto, the St. Louis-based chemical maker is facing more than 800 lawsuits by people who developed non-Hodgkin lymphoma after being exposed to Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide. As a result of recently-made-public court documents related to those lawsuits, pressure is mounting for Congress to investigate alleged collusion between former EPA officials and Monsanto to bury the truth about the health risks of Roundup. alternet.org
While moringa, native to parts of Africa and Asia, has been utilized as food and medicine for thousands of years, its true impact has barely scratched the surface. It's being considered a "superfood" for those who consume it and also for those that grow and sell it. And that has researchers excited. 

Moringa leaves are ridiculously amazing. They are tiny but pack a punch, containing more vitamin A than carrots, more protein than eggs, more calcium than milk, and more iron than spinach. Moringa has a bitter taste, similar to green tea, and it's a good source of energy.

While the benefits of the plant are still being studied, advocates say it has potential as an anti-inflammatory and that it can help diabetic patients lower their glucose levels. It can also help new moms with milk production, and its seeds are said to produce one of nature’s finest cosmetic oils for hair and skin care. The list of its benefits goes on.

The fast-growing and drought-resistant tree thrives in the exact locations that have high malnutrition and poverty rates in parts of western Africa, southern Asia, and South America. Encouraging more local consumption and sustainably spreading it globally, it might be the way out for many struggling families. upworthy.com
Eye masks can be tricky affairs. The challenge of maneuvering them into place to block out all traces of light can be enough to keep you awake at night, which, of course, rather defeats the whole idea. They can be uncomfortable, too, with your eyes feeling the pressure of the pads as you move around in search of a comfortable position.

The Manta Sleep Mask, described as the “world’s first modular eye mask for sleeping,” hopes to change all that.

And judging by the thousands of Kickstarter backers who together have so far offered more than 10 times the Manta’s funding target, there’s plenty of call for a decent mask that offers some serious shuteye or a meditative rest.

The key to the Manta’s design is its adjustability. Recognizing that traditional eye masks adopt a cumbersome one-size-fits-all approach, the Manta offers a personalized fit that allows you to move its cushioned eye contours into a position that feels comfortable for your eyes while completely blocking out all surrounding light.

For maximum comfort and a perfect fit, the Manta has been designed with soft, breathable cotton, and incorporates micro Velcro, anti-slip gel, and an elastic stretch band. The modular sections that cover your eyes have also been designed in a way that prevents pressure on your eyelids often experienced with conventional eye masks.

Seattle-based designer Mark Zhang said trials showed that the Manta works for “99 percent of all face shapes and gives you 100 percent blackout … Regardless of your ethnicity, age, gender, nose shape, or preferred sleeping position, Manta’s patent-pending adjustable modular eye contours create the perfect seal — because it’s specifically tailored to you.” digitaltrends.com
There are questions about a marijuana bust in southeast Kansas after a man is facing several felony charges related to his use of cannabis oil.

Larry Burgess says he knows it’s illegal to use marijuana or any of its byproducts in Kansas, but says it’s the only thing that keeps him from debilitating seizures.

Burgess, who lives in Fredonia in Wilson County, was preparing dinner for his family Tuesday evening when his home became surrounded by Wilson County Sheriff’s deputies with weapons drawn, he says.

“They seized my cannabis medication and other items I had here for the cannabis use,” said Burgess.

Burgess said he had one plant at his home. He extracted the oil from the plant and put it into capsules to treat his non-epileptic seizures. He said without it, his seizures quickly returned as they did when he was taken into custody. ksnt.com
When faced with an option between regular potato chips or organic veggie chips, the health-minded among us who are looking for a guilt-free snack will likely choose the latter. After all, organic vegetables are better than regular potatoes, right?

Wrong. Because at the end of the day, “a chip is a chip is a chip,” says Rhonda Bell, professor of human nutrition at the University of Alberta. But the reason the health nut opts for the organic veggie version has less to do with being mindful — and more to do with being duped.

It’s called the “health halo,” a phenomenon created by the food industry to convince consumers they’re making healthy food choices by labelling otherwise unhealthy options with guilt-appeasing terms like fat-free, organic or low-calorie.

“Food is advertised with included [or excluded] ingredients to give the impression that a product is healthy, regardless of what evidence there is to back that up,” Bell says. “It doesn’t matter if chips are made from sweet potato or rice or beets, it’s a low-nutrient snack food. There isn’t anything magical about any of these products.”

It doesn’t just apply to snack food, either. Bell points out that beverages are often the biggest culprit, labelling their bottles with claims of added vitamins and nutrients. But they’re often adding things we don’t even need. globalnews.ca
High concentrations of perfluorooctanesulfonic acid, or PFOS, and per-fluorooctanoic acid, or PFOA, have been detected in water running under Marine Corps Air Station Futenma, a year after the substance was found in streams and underground water wells adjacent to Kadena Air Base, according to a statement released by the Okinawa prefectural government's environmental protection department.

Drinking water on and off base is safe despite the acids' presence in groundwater, said a spokesman from Ginowan City's water bureau. The water on and off base is supplied by the Chatan Water Treatment Plant, which also serves Kadena and the surrounding area.

PFOS and PFOA -- both synthetic, fully fluorinated organic acids -- are found in firefighting foam, aircraft grease, water-repellant materials and fluorine chemicals. They have been known to cause tumors, increases in body and organ weight and death in animals, Okinawan officials said. Their manufacture and importation have been prohibited in Japan since 2010.

Local officials said it isn't clear whether the material leaked recently or is from past contamination. When it was discovered outside Kadena last year, local officials in that case called for an immediate investigation, the suspension of its use and proper disposal of any on-hand stock. military.com
The Violence Against Women Act in 2005 added provisions to ensure survivors of assault could not be charged for medical examinations, sometimes called rape kits, whether or not the assault is reported to the police. However, survivors often need treatment for related medical issues not covered by the legislation. The findings were published in the American Journal of Public Health.

American women who have been raped or sexually assaulted pay almost $1,000 (£780) in medical bills after reporting the crime to authorities, a new study has found. Insurance providers paid over $9m (£7m) for sexual assault related medical services in 2013. The average amount spent on treatment for each victim was $6,735 (£5,235).

Of this figure, survivors paid an average of $950 (£741) or 14 per cent towards the cost of that treatment, while insurance providers paid the remaining $5,789 (£4,517), researchers found. 

Overall, about 88 percent of the 1,355 victims incurred charges on the day they visited the hospital, and 27 per cent paid more than 25 per cent of those costs. About seven per cent paid more than 50 percent of the cost. After visiting the hospital, about 63 per cent of the patients incurred more charges up to a month after the incident, including prescriptions, further medical care and mental health services.  independent.co.uk