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Thursday, February 10, 2011 As of 6:46 PM EST

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Genzyme Exam Finished
Sanofi-Aventis finished its due diligence of Genzyme's books and facilities but the two drug makers have yet to settle on a price.
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FDA Approves 3-D Mammography System
The FDA approved the first three-dimensional mammography system developed by Hologic to screen for breast cancer.
Syphilis Results Wrong in Some Cases
Hundreds of people may have been told they tested positive for syphilis when they didn't actually have the disease, health officials say.
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Cephalon Probed on Pain Drug
Cephalon received a subpoena from the U.S. Postal Service's investigative arm seeking information about its cancer-pain drug Fentora.
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Crucell Can Resume Sales of Vaccine
Crucell can resume selling its top vaccine Quinvaxem to U.N. agencies, after the World Health Organization said the Dutch biotech company resolved manufacturing problems at its plant in South Korea.
Breast Pumps Now Deductible, IRS Says
In good news for nursing mothers, the IRS just announced today that breast pumps and other “supplies that assist lactation” may be deductible medical expenses or can be reimbursed under flexible-spending accounts or health-savings accounts.
Doctors Hope to Reduce Mastectomies
Doctors hope that new research recommending less invasive surgery for a certain type of breast cancer could also help them reduce the growing number of women opting for mastectomies.
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Health-Care Skirmishes Intensify
Republican officials urged the Supreme Court to intervene quickly and House Democrats called on Justice Clarence Thomas to sit the case out because of his wife's work for groups opposed to the law.
Study Backs Prenatal Spine Fix
Prenatal surgery for spina bifida, one of the most common disabling birth defects, had significantly more benefit than surgery conducted after birth, and allowed some children to walk who otherwise likely couldn't, according to a major study.
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Sanofi, Genzyme Talks Still On
Sanofi-Aventis reported a 64% drop in fourth-quarter net profit due largely to restructuring costs, and said talks with takeover target Genzyme are continuing, furthering months of suspense surrounding the deal.
The Source: Sanofi Quiet on Genzyme Deal
GOP Seeks to Block Health Law Funds
House Republicans will use a stopgap spending bill coming to the floor next week as a vehicle to block money for the new health-care law, a top lawmaker said Tuesday.
Study: Teen Suicide Rates Diverge
Teenage girls are about three times as likely as boys to attempt suicide for drug-related reasons, according to an analysis of emergency-room visits.
Node Surgery Can Be Skipped for Some
New research says many breast cancer patients can skip aggressive lymph node surgery without increasing chances for recurrence or death, if their disease shows limited spread.
Taking Time Off to Focus on Fitness
What's Your Workout: Alison Shaw is trading in her job at Hang Seng Bank to focus on achieving three fitness goals, one of which is to run a 126.6-kilometer ultramarathon.
FDA Questions Cancer-Drug Makers
Federal officials questioned companies that make six cancer drugs about their failure to complete follow-up studies they promised to conduct in exchange for accelerated approval.
Chronic Treatments Bring Long-Term Costs
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Roche's Avastin Gets a Trial Boost
Roche said its cancer drug Avastin helped women suffering from ovarian cancer live longer without their disease worsening, raising the odds the medicine will win approval.
Health-Law Program Faces Changes
The Obama administration is looking at modifying a workers' long-term-care insurance program included in last year's health-care overhaul, responding to criticism that the program is fiscally unsustainable.
Looking Out for Scoliosis
Research report looks at the latest medical findings, including trying to predict scoliosis by tracking a child's shoe size.
In Search of Alcoholism Genes
Currently, medications for alcoholism work in less than 50% of cases. But genetic research is showing promise in identifying drugs that can help treat alcoholics based on their DNA.
Making Tattoos Fade Away
Aches & Claims looks at tattoo-removal products for at-home use.
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Wrist May Be Route To Safer Heart Treatment
The procedure for cardiac-catheterization is getting a makeover in the U.S., with a new approach that proponents say is safer and more comfortable for patients and potentially cheaper.
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Kindred to Acquire RehabCare
Kindred Healthcare agreed to acquire RehabCare Group for about $900 million in stock and cash.
More from Deal Journal blog
Help for Hyperventilating
Researchers are exploring whether patients who are hyperventilating should slow down their breathing to boost the carbon dioxide in their systems.
Obesity Risk for Infants Fed Solids Early
Infants on formula who are fed solid foods before they are 4 months old have a higher risk of becoming obese by age 3 than those starting later, Harvard researchers said.
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Sanofi, Genzyme Deal Nears
Sanofi is taking longer than expected on due diligence for its proposed acquisition of Genzyme, but the companies are confident they can seal a deal this week.
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Aetna's Profit Rises 30%
Aetna's fourth-quarter earnings rose 30% as the health insurer's medical-claims costs declined, though revenue from premiums fell.
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Opko CEO Adds to Buying
The doctor who runs Opko Health sharply escalated his purchases of the health-care company's shares last month, and another insider bought shares too.
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After Cutting Prices, 3 IPOs Rise
BG Medicine rose 15%, Endocyte gained 29%, and MedQuist Holdings ended up 13%. A fourth, Trunkbow International, declined.
Health Foes Try Divergent Tactics
States challenging the massive health-care law enacted last year are employing different tactics in their push for swift Supreme Court review of their legal cases.
Justice Dept. Wants Public Release of Tobacco Warning Statements
The Justice Department plans to ask a federal judge to make public the proposed statements the government wants tobacco companies to publish about the dangers of their products.
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Pfizer, Merck Take Different R&D; Tacks
The new leaders of the world's two biggest drug companies made divergent choices this week in balancing the billions of dollars they spend on drug research against pressure to deliver better returns for investors.
Senate Votes Down Health-Care Repeal
The Senate voted against repealing the health-care overhaul but approved a measure eliminating a tax requirement that had irked small businesses.
House GOP Weighs Medicare Limits
House Republicans are debating whether to propose new limits on the growth of Medicare and other entitlement programs, weighing a gamble that voters are more concerned about trimming the deficit than holding on to promised benefits.
Senate Votes Down Health-Care Repeal
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Komen Group Cautious on Avastin
The Susan G. Komen for the Cure organization, a breast-cancer patient-advocacy group, said it isn't promoting the use of the drug Avastin for women who haven't previously taken it.
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Merck Issues Weak View
Merck swung to a loss on a write-down of the value of an experimental heart drug recently linked to safety concerns, and the drug maker abandoned its prior long-term profit forecast.
Health Blog
Is an Oscar Nomination a New Risk Factor for Stroke?
Researchers looked at the health histories of all 409 Hollywood stars nominated for best actor and best actress in the 82-year history of the Oscars.
No Smoking For Some Hospital Employees, Even on Days Off
The Cleveland Clinic banned hiring smokers since 2007, and hospitals in at least eight states have recently done the same, the NYT says.
A.M. Vitals: Crucell’s Manufacturing Problems Resolved
Also: One syphilis test has high false-positive rate; MannKind cuts workforce; ideal pain relief for labor?
Most Primary-Care Docs Don’t Stock All Adult Vaccines
Only 27% of primary-care docs who treat adults surveyed said they had all adult vaccines on hand.
Fetal Surgery for Spina Bifida: Vindicating Some ‘Simple-Minded Thinking’
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What's Your Workout
Olympian Powers Up to Defend Title
Billy Demong, the first U.S. athlete to win a gold medal in Nordic Combined Skiing in 86 years, on his grueling workout schedule ahead of competing in the world championships.
Looking Back: Flu Immunization
Journal articles on nation-wide flu vaccination in 1976:
Government Sets Plan to Immunize All Americans Against New and Potentially Dangerous Type of Flu (March 25, 1976)
U.S. Flu-Vaccination Plan May Collapse Due to Thorny Insurance-Coverage Issue (July 19, 1976)
Flu Drives Are All Set To Roll—If the People And Vaccine Show Up (Aug. 4, 1976)
An Initial Offering Of Swine Flu Shots Is Undersubscribed (Oct. 5, 1976)
Popular Health Stories from Around the Web
By Melinda Beck
In Search of Alcoholism Genes
By Elizabeth Bernstein
How---And Why---to Say 'I Love You'
By Laura Landro
Poetry, Painting to Earn an M.D.
By Anna Wilde Mathews
A Cancer Patient Works the System
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The Numbers Guy
Sorting the Fast-Food Beef From the Chaff
Just how much beef is in fast-food meat? It can be tough for consumers to know, since the data on the content of some of their favorite food items are limited and confusing.
Weighing the Beef
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