A survey of emergency contraceptives in Lima, Peru, turned up worrying results: More than a quarter were either counterfeit or defective.
Some of the morning-after pills tested contained too little of the active ingredient, or none at all. Other pills contained another drug altogether, researchers reported Friday in the journal PLOS ONE.
In the early 1990s, a young brain researcher named Ivan Soltesz heard a story that would shape his career.
His adviser told him about a school for children whose epileptic seizures were so severe and frequent that they had to wear helmets to prevent head injuries. The only exception to the helmet rule was for students who received an award.
"The big deal for them is that they can take the helmet off while they're walking across the stage," Soltesz says. "And that thing struck me as just wrong."
It's a sunny afternoon at Kelly's Collective, a medical marijuana dispensary in Los Angeles, and Nikki Esquibel is getting stoned. But you wouldn't know it.
The 19-year-old, who has a medical prescription for marijuana, is "smoking" pot with a handheld vaporizer, or a vape pen. It's sleek, black, and virtually indistinguishable from a high-end e-cigarette.
That's the point, says Esquibel. "I use it mostly around my neighborhood. It's easy to hide." The vapor coming from the device doesn't even have much of an odor.
Originally published on Sat April 19, 2014 12:25 pm
More than two months ago, a nasty mumps virus triggered fever, headache and painfully swollen glands among a handful of students at Ohio State University. Now the outbreak has ballooned to 234 cases at last count, and has spilled into the surrounding community in Columbus, Ohio.
"Columbus officials are calling it the city's biggest outbreak since the development of the mumps vaccine in the 1940s," WOSU reporter Steve Brown tells Shots. "It even pushed them to open a new clinic."
The workplace has become a more understanding place for pregnant women or new moms these days. Many companies now have lactation rooms and offer more liberal maternity and paternity leave policies than in years past.
But for some women, pregnancy can still be a career liability.
Heather Myers was fresh out of high school and working at a Wal-Mart in Salina, Kan., in 2006 when she found out she was pregnant. She kept a water bottle with her on the sales floor, as her doctor recommended. Then, her supervisor intervened.
President Obama says that enrollment under the Affordable Care Act has reached 8 million after the March 31 sign-up deadline was extended by two weeks.
"This thing is working," he told reporters at a White House briefing on Thursday.
The president said that 35 percent of those signing up through the federal government's website were under the age of 35. The need for younger, healthier individuals to enroll in the program is considered vital to the success of Obamacare.
Originally published on Fri April 18, 2014 8:31 am
Maybe you paint, keep a journal or knit. Or maybe you play bass in a punk rock band.
Whatever hobby you have, keep at it. A little study published this week suggests that having a creative outlet outside the office might help people perform better at work.
Psychologists from San Francisco State University found that the more people engaged in their hobbies, the more likely they were to come up with creative solutions to problems on the job. And no matter what the hobby was, these people were also more likely to go out of their way to help co-workers.
Eighteen years ago, scientists in Scotland took the nuclear DNA from the cell of an adult sheep and put it into another sheep's egg cell that had been emptied of its own nucleus. The resulting egg was implanted in the womb of a third sheep, and the result was Dolly, the first clone of a mammal.
Dolly's birth set off a huge outpouring of ethical concern â€” along with hope that the same techniques, applied to human cells, could be used to treat myriad diseases.
Shara Yurkiewicz is a med student. She's doing rounds now, moving from department to department. Much of what she sees, she's seeing for the first time. Not yet a doctor, there are moments, many moments when she has the eyes of a patient. She gets scared. She feels helpless. She's too involved. She's at that place in her training where everything is so sharp, so new, she feels the full, fresh stab of it, and sometimes, very privately, she bleeds.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Celeste Headlee. Michel Martin is away. It used to be that doctor was a profession many people aspired to - it brought prestige, money of course, a sense of purpose, bragging rights for your parents. But now a growing number of physicians say it's not really all it's cracked up to be.
After being free of polio for nearly 15 years, Equatorial Guinea has reported two cases of the disease.
The children paralyzed are in two distant parts of the country. So the virus may have spread widely across the small nation.
The outbreak is dangerous, in part, because Equatorial Guinea has the worst polio vaccination rate in the world: 39 percent. Even Somalia, teetering on the brink of anarchy, vaccinates 47 percent of its children.
According to federal labor statistics, there are more psychiatrists working in Illinois than most states, with the bulk of that service concentrated in the Chicagoland area. But mental health providers say there are major gaps in service across Illinois, especially downstate.Â
Zach Medlyn, 27, of Champaign did not start hearing the voices until about seven years ago, when he was a student at the University of Illinois.
Ted Marmor has studied the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.Â The author and Professor Emeritus at Yale sees both good and bad with the new law.
"My overall view is simple. That it's a very confusing piece of legislation, not very well explained," he said.
"It perpetuates the cost and complexity of American medical care. But it makes some improvement in the availability of health insurance and the protection of some Americans from being devastated by expensive hospital stays and expensive pharmaceutical treatment."
Yet another entertainment figure has gone public with her decision to have a double mastectomy after a breast cancer diagnosis. Samantha Harris is the latest in a series of entertainers who've decided on that surgery as treatment for the disease.
Medicare's release Wednesday of records of millions of payments made to the nation's doctors comes as the government is looking to find more cost-efficient ways to pay physicians, particularly specialists.
The federal government published data tracing the $77 billion that Medicare paid to physicians, drug-testing companies and other medical practitioners throughout 2012, and the services they were being reimbursed for.
Now we'd like to talk about seniors and technology. And when I say that, what comes to mind? Is it you helping grandma figure out how to Skype or is it the savvy grandma of all those TV commercials of late who tweet and blog about what's going on?
Originally published on Wed April 9, 2014 10:27 am
Authors of the first-ever global guidelines for treating hepatitis C went big Tuesday, advocating for worldwide use of two of the most expensive specialty drugs in the world.
The new guidelines from the World Health Organization give strong endorsement to the two newest drugs. Gilead Sciences' Sovaldi costs $1,000 per pill, or $84,000 for a 12-week course of treatment. Olysio, sold by Johnson & Johnson's Janssen Pharmaceuticals unit, costs $66,360 for a three-month course.
Salinas, California is known as the Salad Bowl of the World. Nearly a third of the world's lettuce is grown there. Many of the areas agriculture workers are from Mexico. They speak, not just Spanish, but also indigenous languages, like Triqui, Mixtec and Zapotec. For hospitals having interpreters is essential but many of them speak just Spanish. There's one medical center trying to accommodate the indigenous languages. Their approach could be useful elsewhere in the country.
Millions of Americans who didn't have health insurance last year now do because of the Affordable Care Act.
In Lane County, Oregon, Trillium Community Health Plan is struggling to deal with a huge influx of new patients looking for health care. CEO Terry Coplin says the company figured 26,000 people would sign up in the first few years. Instead, about that many signed up right off the bat.
Francis Csedrik, who is 8 and lives in Washington, D.C., remembers a lot of events from when he was 4 or just a bit younger. There was the time he fell "headfirst on a marble floor" and got a concussion, the day someone stole the family car ("my dad had to chase it down the block"), or the morning he found a black bat (the furry kind) in the house.
Guinea is on high alert. At the international airport, travelers' temperatures are monitored for signs of infection. In the capital city of Conakry, people rarely shake hands and are advised to regularly wash their hands with bleach-diluted water.
This is what life is like nearly three weeks after an outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus.
I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. They say it takes a village to raise a child, but maybe you just need a few moms and dads in your corner. Every week, we check in with a diverse group of parents for their common sense and savvy advice.
International development aid has hit an all-time high, despite some nations dramatically slashing their foreign assistance budgets. As patterns of international assistance shift, an increasing amount of money is being invested in improving health in the developing world.
For months, consumers have been warned that they have to buy health insurance by the end of open enrollment or remain uninsured until next year. But a little noticed provision of the health law may give some consumers another chance.