Top news of the day from across the health care landscape.
As society becomes more health conscious, companies are developing new products that target these groups. High-tech fitness trackers, such as the Apple Watch and Fitbit, boast the ability to measure steps taken, sleep, calories burned, and heart rate. However, the reliability of these devices remained unclear, according to NPR. In a study published in the Journal of Personalized Medicine, investigators examined the metrics of heart rate and calories burned. The findings showed that the fitness trackers were surprisingly accurate in heart rate, with most of the devices only being off by approximately 5%. However, data for calories burned was less than impressive, with inaccuracies ranging from 20% to 93%. In addition to the primary findings, the investigators also found that errors made by the device were higher in men with darker skin and a higher body mass index compared with Caucasian women at a healthy weight.
Epidiolex is a liquid form of cannabidiol that does not contain TCH. New research shows that Epidiolex was able to reduce the number of seizures in children with a severe form of epilepsy. Dravet syndrome is a type of epilepsy typically caused by a faulty gene, according to The Washington Post. The frequency of seizures can range anywhere from 4 to as many as 1717 per month. For the study, investigators enrolled 120 children and teens aged 2 to 18 in the United States and Europe. They received either a teaspoon of oil that contained the drug plus their usual anti-seizure medications or a placebo plus anti-seizure medication for 14 weeks. The results of the study showed that patients in the Epidiolex arm experienced a decrease in serious seizures with convulsions from approximately 12 per month to about 6, compared with the placebo arm who reported no changes. Adverse events such as diarrhea, vomiting, fatigue, and sleep issues were more frequent in the drug group. There were 12 patients who left the study, 9 from the Epidiolex arm and 4 from the placebo arm. Epidiolex is currently being tested in a second large study of children with Dravet syndrome.
Johnson & Johnson has reached a settlement to resolve claims related to several of their over-the-counter drugs that were voluntarily recalled from 2009 to 2011. The company’s J&J Consumer Inc unit will pay $33 million, and ensure that its marketing and promotional practices do not unlawfully promote over-the-counter drug products, according to Reuters. Charges by 42 states and the District of Columbia allege that the company misrepresented the manufacturing practices of Tylenol, Motrin, Benadryl, and other drugs that were eventually recalled. In a news release, the Illinois attorney general stated that J&S’s McNeil-PPC Inc unit put batches of drugs on the market that failed to comply with federal standards and were deemed adulterated as a matter of federal law, Reuters reported. J&J said in a statement that its “recalls were precautionary and not undertaken on the basis of any health or safety risks to consumers, and we remain committed to providing consumers with safe and effective over-the-counter medicines.”