Here are some of the latest health and medical news
developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:
One of World's Smallest Babies Leaving L.A. Hospital
A Los Angeles hospital has decided that one of the world's
smallest babies can go home.
When she was born premature at 24 weeks in August, Melinda Star
Guido's 9 1/2-ounce weight was less than a can of soda, the
Associated Press reported. She was the second smallest baby
to be born in the United States and the world's third smallest
Melinda spent her early months in the neonatal intensive care
unit at the Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center. She now weighs 4
1/2 pounds and has made enough progress to be discharged. A team of
doctors and nurses will say farewell on Friday.
It's unclear how Melinda will do physically and developmentally
and doctors plan to monitor her for the next six years, the
New Stem Cell-Based Drug Approved by South Korea
Commerical sales of what's being called the world's first
approved medicine that uses stem cells gathered from other people
have been OK'd by South Korea's government drug agency.
The drug Cartistem is meant to help regenerate knee cartilage
and uses stem cells developed from newborns' umbilical cord blood,
Agence France-Presse reported.
"Cartistem is ... the world's first approved allogeneic (taken from different individuals of the same species) stem cell drug, that can offer new opportunity for treatment of patients with degenerative arthritis," the Korea Food and Drug Administration said in a statement.
The agency said clinical trials of the drug, developed by
Seoul-based Medipost, have been under way in the United States
since last year,
Merck to Pay $36 Million to Settle Vioxx Lawsuits in Canada
Drug maker Merck will pay up to $36.3 million U.S. to resolve
all Vioxx-related lawsuits in Canada, the company announced
Thursday. The deal will have to be approved by the courts.
The popular anti-inflammatory painkiller medicine was taken off
the market in 2004 after trials linked it to increased risk of
heart attacks and stroke,
Agence France-Presse reported.
Merck has faced numerous lawsuits over Vioxx.
In 2007, the company announced a $4.85 billion deal to settle
more than 95 percent of the Vioxx-related lawsuits in the United
States. Under the deal, Merck did not have to make any admission of
Last November, the U.S. Department of Justice announced that
Merck will pay nearly $1 billion to settle criminal and civil
charges related to improper marketing of Vioxx as a treatment for
rheumatoid arthritis, the news service said.
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