Posted by VicPlough on Feb 23, 2012 in Health
Story By: by Scott Hensley
More than a half-million bottles of Tylenol for babies have been recalled because of complaints about a new system for getting the dose right. The doughnut-like receptacle for the syringe seen in the neck of the bottle can get pushed down into the liquid medicine.
Johnson & Johnson keeps finding new reasons to recall products.
This time there’s a problem with more than a half-million bottles of grape-flavored liquid Tylenol for infants. What’s up?
Well, the “SimpleMeasure” dosing system that’s supposed to make it easier to fill a syringe with the right amount of the grapey painkiller and fever-reducer is too complicated for some parents.
J&J’s McNeil division said it has received a “small number of complaints” about how difficult it was to use the docking system for filling the syringe.
Or, to be fair to parents and caregivers, it could be a shortcoming in design that makes it possible to dislodge a doughnut-shaped plastic piece in the neck of the bottle so it can fall into the liquid medicine. (See the video below for how it’s supposed to work.)
Either way, it’s new territory for the company, which has had so many recalls in the last few years that I’ve lost count.
The affected product is Infants’ Tylenol Oral Suspension (1-ounce bottles). The lots are: BIL0U00, BIL0V00, BIL3500, BJL2D00, BJL2E00, BJL2T00 and BJL2U00.
There’s nothing wrong with medicine itself, the company said.
If you have the stuff in your medicine cabinet, you can ask for a refund here. J&J has an explanation and an apology to consumers here.
Posted by VicPlough on Feb 20, 2012 in Health
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Obama administration on Friday issued 2013 payment and policy guidelines for U.S. health insurers that participate in the Medicare Advantage program, saying the proposed changes would bring lower premiums and stable or improved benefits.
But the documents did not include an official preliminary estimate for the net average percentage change in reimbursements, leaving insurers and financial markets in the dark about the guidelines’ potential impact on the industry.
Analysts said unofficial estimates suggested a possible all-in gain of 2.3 percent, far better than market expectations that had ranged from no change to a decline of 5 percent.
A year ago, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services estimated a 1.6 percent net all-in rise for 2012 but later reduced that to 0.4 percent.
CMS, which oversees the federal healthcare program for the elderly, said on Friday that the 2013 guidelines point to an overall annual growth rate of 2.47 percent and a 2.3 percent per capita growth rate next year. But those figures do not take into account variables such as geographic location.
CMS officials said a net all-in figure for 2013 could be released among final rates due to be published on April 2.
“This positive growth trend will help ensure that beneficiaries maintain a choice of plans without significant increases in premiums or decreases in benefits,” the agency said in a statement.
Medicare Advantage allows the program’s 48 million beneficiaries to purchase private insurance instead of receiving
traditional Part A hospital coverage and Part B physician coverage. Critics say it pays too much to private insurers.
About 25 percent of beneficiaries participate in Medicare Advantage.
Analysts were upbeat about the guidelines.
Ipsita Smolinski, a healthcare analyst with Capitol Street, cited the guidelines’ 2.3 percent national per capita growth as a positive sign for insurers given that Medicare providers are scheduled to receive reimbursement cuts as a result of deficit reduction talks in Congress last year.
Ana Gupte, analyst for Sanford Bernstein, added: It should be good for the health insurers and specifically for the Medicare Advantaged leveraged health insurers.”
Humana Inc. and UnitedHealth Group Inc. are the biggest providers of Medicare Advantage plans and the most exposed. Other providers include Aetna Inc., Cigna Corp., Coventry Health Care Inc., Health Net Inc. and WellPoint Inc..
Analysts believe Medicare Advantage will expand as the Baby Boom generation leaves the workforce and younger retirees opt for private coverage instead of traditional Medicare.
(Reporting By David Morgan. Editing by Gunna Dickson)
Posted by VicPlough on Feb 6, 2012 in Health
Dr. Sanjay Gupta has been following the 2011 season of a North Carolina high school football team. In 2008, a player on the team died after sustaining a head injury during a game. For a closer look at the health and safety issues on the playing field, watch “Dr. Sanjay Gupta Reports: Big Hits, Broken Dreams,” this Saturday night at 8 p.m. ET.
Posted by VicPlough on Feb 1, 2012 in Health
Story By: Talk of the Nation
BP released millions of gallons of dispersants to break up oil from the Deepwater Horizon disaster. But what if dispersants could be sucked up again after doing their job? Chemist Julian Eastoe talks about an iron-containing soap he’s created that can be recaptured using a magnet.