U.S. court rejects Linden Care's request for temporary restraining order

2015-11-26 05:31:33

A U.S. District Court on Wednesday denied specialty pharmacy Linden Care LLC's request for a temporary restraining order (TRO) against Express Scripts Holding Co for dropping it from its network earlier this month.Express Scripts, the largest manager of prescription drug plans in the United States, severed ties with Linden Care for dispensing drugs from Horizon Pharma Plc, which has come under fire for charging high prices.The pharmacy benefits manager also said that Linden Care did not fulfill key parts of its pharmacy network agreements.Linden Care failed to make "a clear showing that it was entitled to the relief requested" or that "extreme or very serious damage will result from a denial of preliminary relief," the District Court for the Northern District of New York said in a court filing on Wednesday. "We are disappointed in this ruling and believe we will prevail in arbitration proceedings," Marc Wiener, chief executive of Linden Care said in a statement.The Woodbury, New-York-based company provides specialty pharmacy services to the pain management industry. Express Scripts' move to drop Linden Care came as other big pharmacy benefit managers evaluated drug dispensaries, after Canadian drugmaker Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc came under fire for questionable practices at its partner pharmacy, Philidor Rx Services. Valeant subsequently cut ties with Philidor and said it was investigating its practices. (Reporting by Rosmi Shaji in Bengaluru; Editing by Siddharth Cavale)

Research raises questions over ADHD drug effects

2015-11-25 04:24:36

LONDON Researchers voiced concern on Wednesday about poor quality studies on the popular ADHD treatment Ritalin, saying evidence of some benefits, but also of sleep problems and appetite loss, suggests the drug should be prescribed with caution.Ritalin is sold by Swiss pharmaceutical firm Novartis NOVN.VX, known generically as methylphenidate and also sold under the brand names Concerta, Medikinet and Equasym. It has been used to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)for more than 50 years.The Cochrane Review researchers, who conducted a full assessment of studies on the benefits and harms of the Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) drug, said evidence on its use in children was poor."Our expectations of this treatment are probably greater than they should be," said Morris Zwi, a London-based consultant child and adolescent psychiatrist, who worked on the review."Whilst our review shows some evidence of benefit, we should bear in mind that this finding was based on very low-quality evidence. What we still need are large, well-conducted trials to clarify the risks versus the benefits." Cochrane Reviews are conducted by international panels of independent researchers and considered as studies of the best available science on a topic.Jonathan Green, a professor of child and adolescent psychiatry at Britain's Manchester University who was asked to comment on the Cochrane Review, said it would be "wrong to draw the conclusion ... that methylphenidate is ineffective."In fact, clinical level evidence strongly supports the effectiveness of methylphenidate for many children with ADHD." The Cochrane Review included data from 185 randomized controlled trials involving more than 12,000 children or adolescents. The studies were conducted mainly in the United States, Canada and Europe, and each one compared Ritalin with either a placebo dummy pill or no intervention.ADHD is one of the most commonly diagnosed childhood disorders and can continue through adolescence into adulthood.Symptoms include difficulty focusing, impulsive behavior, and extreme hyperactivity. It is estimated to affect about 5 percent of children. In their review, the Cochrane researchers found that Ritalin led to modest improvements in ADHD symptoms, general behavior, and quality of life, but that side-effects included a higher risk of sleep problems and loss of appetite.The researchers added, however, that their confidence in the evidence was low since many of the trials were not conducted with sufficient rigor and results reporting was not complete."Clinicians prescribing methylphenidate must take account of the poor quality of the evidence, monitor treatment carefully, and weigh up the benefits and adverse effects," they said. ((Editing by Mark Heinrich))

Aerojet Rocketdyne wins $1.4 bln in contracts from NASA, Boeing

2015-11-24 02:44:41

WASHINGTON Nov 23 Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings Inc on Monday announced contracts from NASA and Boeing Co with a combined value of nearly $1.36 billion, welcome news for the company after several recent financial setbacks.Aerojet said it had won a $1.16 billion contract from NASA to restart production of its RS-25 engine once used for the space shuttle program for the new Space Launch System (SLS), a powerful rocket designed to eventually take humans to Mars.The company said it had improved the RS-25 production lines since the retirement of the space shuttle program to incorporate new technologies such as 3-D printing, lower the number of parts and welds, and make them more efficient.The SLS rocket will use four RS-25 engines to produce more than 2 million pounds of thrust, with a first flight test expected in 2018. Separately, Aerojet also announced that it had signed a contract with Boeing valued at nearly $200 million to complete the design, development, qualification, certification and initial production of the propulsion system for the NASA Crew Space Transportation (CST)-100 "Starliner" service module. Under the contract, Aerojet said it would provide seven sets of hardware, with each including four launch abort engines, 24 engines for on-orbit maneuvering and attitude control, 28 engines for the reaction control system (RCS) engines and other equipment. It also includes options for more engines.The CST-100 Starliner is scheduled to start ferrying astronauts to the International Space Station in 2017. The two contract announcements came after Aerojet lost a key solid rocket motor contract to its rival Orbital ATK and separately agreed to pay Orbital $50 million to settle a dispute stemming from a rocket launch accident last year that destroyed a load of cargo bound for the International Space Station.(Reporting by Andrea Shalal; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

Sixteen people hospitalized after New Orleans shooting: local media

2015-11-23 04:22:41

At least 16 people were hospitalized after a shooting at a playground in New Orleans, a local TV station reported on Sunday, citing police.WWL TV said the shooting occurred around 7 p.m. local time (0100 GMT on Monday) while about 500 people were at Bunny Friend playground in the city's Upper Ninth Ward for the making of a music video.Witnesses told WWL at least two gunmen were shooting into the crowd. The Times-Picayune newspaper quoted witnesses as saying they saw several people lying on the sidewalk after the shooting. Several ambulances were seen leaving the scene and 10 of the victims were taken to University Medical Center in New Orleans, WWL said. The Times-Picayune said New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu had arrived at the scene of the shooting. (Reporting by Paul Simao in Washington; Editing by Peter Cooney)

Protesters of Minneapolis police shooting press on in bitter cold

2015-11-22 05:37:46

MINNEAPOLIS A few dozen demonstrators endured bitter cold on Saturday outside a Minneapolis police station, where they have spent the last week encamped in protest of the killing of an unarmed African-American man.Jamar Clark, 24, was shot on Sunday by police two blocks from the 4th Precinct police station and died on Monday night after his family decided to disconnect life support. Two officers under investigation in the incident have been identified, but their races have not been revealed.Clark's death comes at a time of heightened debate in the United States over police use of lethal force, especially against black people. Over the past year, protests against killings of unarmed black men and women - some videotaped with phones or police cameras - have rocked a number of cities."There are a lot of us men doing a whole lot of talking ... but the men need to make sure that the talk is put into play," Michael Wilson, 33, said through a bullhorn, imploring other male protesters to take responsibility for their community and families. As Wilson spoke, about 50 fellow demonstrators tried to stay warm in the 20-degree Fahrenheit (-6 C) cold by drinking coffee and huddling around campfires in the middle of the street in front of the station, where protesters pitched about a dozen tents. Cars brought firewood and food as a few protesters cleaned up trash from the muddy ground and city crews scrubbed profane graffiti off the station's brick walls.The mood was relatively light as police stood by and mingled with demonstrators, trading recommendations on how to stay warm and chatting about NFL football. Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton said in a statement Saturday night that he had met with Clark's family and community leaders and expressed his sympathy.Protesters demanding release of video footage of the incident say Clark was unarmed and handcuffed when he was shot.In his statement, Dayton said “I will urge that the tapes be provided to the family and released to the public, as soon as doing so will not jeopardize the Department of Justice’s investigation." Although protests throughout the week have been largely peaceful, police have used pepper spray and fired rubber marking bullets at least twice when demonstrations became heated.Officials have confirmed no weapon was found at the scene and said they are looking into whether Clark was handcuffed. The police union said Clark grabbed one officer's gun, although the weapon remained in its holster. (Editing by Scott Malone and Matthew Lewis)

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