Health Buzz: Roche Did Not Assess Adverse Drug Reports

Try these out-of-the-box fitness classes; pedicures come rife with risks

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Regulators Investigate Roche's Drug-Safety Reporting

The European agency that regulates medicine is investigating Swiss drug maker Roche Holding AG, after a routine check found that the company failed to assess 80,000 reports of possible drug-safety issues. The reports involve a variety of Roche drugs, including cancer treatments, that were sold in the United States, the European Medicines Agency said Thursday. Roche also produces drugs for viral infections, central nervous system disorders, and inflammatory diseases. Adverse drug reporting helps identify potential problems with medicines by requiring notification when a patient dies or suffers a medical setback, even if it's due to disease and not the drug itself. The reported side effects were not sent to the safety department for evaluation, and never made it to health officials. The 80,000 reports included 15,161 deaths, though it's unclear whether they were caused by natural disease progression or connected to the drugs. "Roche acknowledges it did not fully comply with regulations and appreciates the concerns that can be caused by this issue for people using its products," a Roche spokesman told Reuters. "The non-reporting of these potentially missed adverse events was not intentional."

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  • Try These Out-of-the-Box Fitness Classes

    Push-ups and squats in an airless, unforgivingly bright room? Huffing and puffing and sweating next to 25 strangers? The fitness classes of yesterday, maybe. But those are practically archaic by now. Hello, slithering, gravity-defying routines, party music, and flashing lights. Some classes are hybrids of old and new exercises; others are high-intensity variations on the norm. All will boost your fitness. U.S. News highlights some of the most out-of-the-box options: 

    1. Aerial dance. Always envied Cirque du Soleil performers? Stop at Heliummm Aerial Dance and Entertainment in New York. You'll learn the tricks of aerial dance, while giving your arms and abs a workout. The bulk of your time will be spent hanging from and climbing up silky fabric that dangles from the ceiling. "It translates into other areas of your life, too," says event producer and performer Heather Hammond. "Once you've overcome the fear of hanging upside down, you feel like a million bucks. You've just done something death-defying. It's a physical, mental, and emotional challenge." And there are no age constraints: Heliummm clients range from age 7 to 72. 

    2. Burlesque dancing. You'll learn the art of the slow tease by shimmying your shoulders and wiggling your hips. At some schools, you'll also learn how to walk in heels to optimize your appearance, how to improve your posture, and how to lure others via eye contact. Other moves you'll master: bumps, grinds, and chair dancing. Classes aren't for the shy or delicate, though, instructors say: You'll be working hard and getting on your hands and knees. [Read more: Try These Out-of-the-Box Fitness Classes]

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    • Pedicure or Pedicurse? Proceed With Caution

      Short of going barefoot, nothing conjures the free spirit of summer like sandals. But given the way we treat our feet—whether we're running marathons or home from work and in shoes that pinch, press, and blister—it's no wonder they need grooming before flaunting.

      Fact: Your feet require some TLC. More facts: Salon pedicures can be rife with risks. In fact, some foot baths might as well be renamed cesspools, hotbeds of germs that can lead to bacterial, viral, and fungal infections. Not to sound biblical, but customers have gone home with boils. Unsanitary tools aren't much better, and can spread infections such as hepatitis. 

      So the next time you treat your toes to a pedicure, follow these tips for feet as happy as they are healthy.

      1. Shun the razor. Never, ever let a nail technician put a razor to your feet and be wary of doing so yourself. The practice can lead to permanent damage along with upping your risk of infection through cuts and the possible transference of blood between customers. Callouses provide cushioning between you and the ground, and removing too much of the toughened skin can make it hurt to walk. A much gentler option is to soften your feet with a pumice stone, foot file, or exfoliating scrub, according to the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA).