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Supreme Court denies Teva stay in Copaxone patent fight

By Lawrence Hurley WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts on Friday denied a request by Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd to stay a lower-court ruling in a patent case that favored the developers of generic versions of Teva's top-selling multiple sclerosis drug. The decision could help pave the way for generic competitors of Teva's Copaxone drug to go on the market as soon as next month. Teva had sought to prevent the lower-court ruling from going into effect while the Supreme Court considers its appeal in the patent fight. At issue is a July 2013 ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in favor of two teams developing cheaper generic forms of Copaxone: one comprising Novartis AG's Sandoz Inc and Momenta Pharmaceuticals Inc, and the other comprising Mylan Inc and Natco Pharma Ltd. In his decision on Friday, Roberts, in a brief opinion, wrote that he was not convinced Teva had shown the "likelihood of irreparable harm" if the application was denied, because if Teva wins the Supreme Court case it can seek damages from the generic companies for past infringement on its patents.  More »

Top Hollande aide quits in conflict of interest row

By Julien Ponthus and Nicholas Vinocur CLERMONT-FERRAND, France (Reuters) - A senior adviser to French President Francois Hollande quit on Friday over accusations of past conflict of interest linked to his work for pharmaceutical firms, adding to pressure on the unpopular Socialist leader weeks before European elections. Aquilino Morelle, Hollande's chief communications adviser, speechwriter and a main political strategist, has denied investigative website Mediapart's report that he had failed to obtain clearance for lobbying work when he was an employee of the public health inspectorate. The furore deals another blow to Hollande after heavy losses for his party in town hall elections at the end of March. Hollande, speaking during a visit to Clermont Ferrand in central France, said his aide had "taken the only option open to him".  More »

Clock ticking for states to adopt health exchanges

CHICAGO (AP) — For the more than 30 states that defaulted to the federal government under President Barack Obama's health care law, time may be running out to decide whether to create their own state-run insurance exchanges.  More »

Late sign-ups improve outlook for Obama health law

WASHINGTON (AP) — A surge of eleventh-hour enrollments has improved the outlook for President Barack Obama's health care law, with more people signing up overall and a much-needed spark of interest among young adults.  More »

Salmonella decline seen in food poisoning report

NEW YORK (AP) — The government's latest report card on food poisoning shows a dip in salmonella cases but an increase in illnesses from bacteria in raw shellfish. The report counts cases in only 10 states for some of the most common causes of foodborne illness, but is believed to be a good indicator of national food poisoning trends. Highlights from Thursday's report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:  More »

Reservoir to be flushed because of urinating teen

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The mix of 38 million gallons of treated water and one teen's urine has proven unacceptable to Portland officials who plan to flush away the whole lot — the second time in less than three years the city has gone to such lengths to keep its water pure.  More »

Scientists Use Fishing Line, Thread to Make Artificial Muscles

THURSDAY, Feb. 20, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Fishing line and sewing thread can create powerful artificial muscles that could be used to help disabled people or to build incredibly strong robots, a new study says. Compared to human muscle of the sa...  More »

Could Thyroid Activity Raise Depression Risk in Seniors?

THURSDAY, Feb. 20, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Older adults with slightly elevated thyroid activity may be at increased risk for depression, a new study indicates. Researchers analyzed data from more than 1,500 people, average age 70, who were depres...  More »

Flu Hitting Younger Adults Hard, Vaccination Helps: CDC

THURSDAY, Feb. 20, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The flu is hitting younger and middle-aged adults unusually hard this season, but getting vaccinated reduces the need for a doctor's care, U.S. health officials said Thursday. People aged 18 to 64 repres...  More »

Flu season waning; younger adults hit hardest

ATLANTA (AP) — Flu season seems to be winding down, and it's been an odd one.  More »

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