- Drug Maker Recalls More Than 40 Allergy, Cold Meds for Kids
- FDA Plans to Improve Food Safety During Transport
- Quality Lacking in Private Medicare Plans: Study
- Johnson & Johnson Subsidiaries Agree to $81 Million in Fines
- Hormone Boosts Men's Empathy: Study
- Many Obese Adults Don't Get Food Advice From Doctors
Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:
Drug Maker Recalls More Than 40 Allergy, Cold Meds for Kids
McNeil Consumer Healthcare on Friday recalled more than 40 of its liquid cold and allergy products for children because some of the medications may not meet federal quality standards.
The medicines involved in the voluntary recall include Tylenol, Tylenol Plus, Motrin, Zyrtec and Benadryl. These medications have been sold in the United States and 11 other countries, the company said.
"This recall is not being undertaken on the basis of adverse medical events," McNeil said in a statement on its Web site. "However, as a precautionary measure, parents and caregivers should not administer these products to their children."
"Some products in the recall may have a higher concentration of active ingredient than specified while others may have inactive ingredients that don't meet testing requirements," the company explained. Others may contain particles, while still others may contain inactive ingredients that do not meet internal testing requirements.
In its statement, the company told parents that they should stop giving the products to their children as a precautionary measure. However, the recall was not started because of any adverse health effects, the company stressed.
For a complete listing of what products have been recalled, visit McNeil Consumer HealthCare.
FDA Plans to Improve Food Safety During Transport
New guidance to improve the safety of foods during transport were issued today by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
The standards are designed to reduce physical, chemical and biological risks during transportation of food products for people and animals while the FDA reviews current food safety transportation regulations.
Among the guidance measures: maintain foods at proper temperatures during transport and closely monitor food for pests; vehicles used to transport food should be sanitary and in proper working condition; sanitary measures should be followed during the loading and unloading of foods.
The FDA is accepting input on writing the new rules. After evaluating the input from interested parties, the agency will propose specific regulations.
"Our aim is to look at every component of the system to assess hazards, and to take science-based action where appropriate to maximize the safety of our food from farms all the way to consumers' tables," Jeff Farrar, FDAs associate commissioner for food protection, said in a news release. Although contamination of food product during commercial transport is relatively infrequent, the potential harm can be widespread and serious."
Quality Lacking in Private Medicare Plans: Study
Many American seniors are enrolled in Medicare Advantage insurance plans that offer only fair to medium quality, says a new study.
The study by consulting firm Avalere Health found that 47 percent of Medicare beneficiaries are in plans that scored two or three stars out of five on a federal government rating system for consumers, the Associated Press reported.
Only 23 percent of seniors are enrolled in plans with four or five stars -- meaning very good to excellent quality, according to Avalere.
"There is obviously a wide variance in performance," said company president Dan Mendelson, the AP reported. "These ratings are about to become much more important. When you start linking quality to payment, you can bet the plans are going to be very motivated to bring the scores up."
Under the new health care law, insurance plans will be paid according to the quality of service they provide to clients.