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WSJ BLOG/Health: A.M. Vitals: FDA Adds a Warning, Removes Another From Statin Labels

02/29/2012 | 09:13am US/Eastern
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(This story has been posted on The Wall Street Journal Online's Health Blog at http://blogs.wsj.com/health.)

By Katherine Hobson

The FDA and Statins: The FDA will require drug makers to add to statin labels a warning about a small increase in the risk of increased blood-sugar levels and of diabetes linked to the drugs, the WSJ reports. The labels will also include the information that some patients have experienced an adverse reaction of memory loss and confusion, though that won't be a full-fledged warning. But the FDA also removed a warning about the need for liver-enzyme monitoring from statin labels. Cardiologists tell the paper that most people should keep taking their statins despite the new label information.

Benefit Cuts at Kodak: Eastman Kodak is proposing to end health-care benefits for about 16,000 Medicare-eligible retirees in order to save about $20.5 million annually, the Associated Press reports. Kodak filed for Chapter 11 last month.

Insurer and Physicians' Group Clash: Insurer Blue Shield of California filed a demand for at least $10.5 million in damages from Monarch HealthCare, a physician association that sold its management arm to a unit of UnitedHealth Group, the WSJ reports. Blue Shield alleges that Monarch tried to direct Blue Shield members into competing health plans and that physicians stopped seeing some members, violating the contract between Blue Shield and Monarch. Monarch says it objects to "the mischaracterizations made by Blue Shield," the paper says. The case was submitted for binding arbitration.

The Right Dose of Selenium: A review of previously published research appearing in the Lancet suggests that large doses of selenium supplements could raise the risk for type 2 diabetes, Bloomberg News reports. The author of the review suggests that people with blood selenium levels of 122 micrograms per liter or higher shouldn't supplement with the mineral, which has been associated with a lower risk of some cancers, BN says.

Image: iStockphoto

 
 -For continuously updated news from The Wall Street Journal, see WSJ.com at http://wsj.com. 
 

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