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Friday, Dec 19th

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Why Scented Products (Fakegrances) Are Not Safe

If all fake fragrances (I call them fakegrances) were banned tomorrow, the world would be a dramatically healthier place by the following day. That's not going to happen, but the more people who refuse to use them in any form, the faster they'll disperse (so to speak). But watch out, those who manufacture products containing fakegrances are sneaky. The word "unscented" usually means that fragrances have been used to cover up fragrances. To actually avoid fragrances you have to look for the words "fragrance free" on the label.

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Drug prices up 100% — or higher

Drug companies are quietly pushing through price hikes of 100% — or even more than 1,000% — for a very small but growing number of prescription drugs, helping to drive up costs for insurers, patients and government programs.

Among the examples: Questcor Pharmaceuticals last August raised the wholesale price on Acthar, which treats spasms in babies, from about $1,650 a vial to more than $23,000. Ovation raised the cost of Cosmegen, which treats a type of tumor, from $16.79 to $593.75 in January 2006.

The average wholesale price of 26 brand-name drugs jumped 100% or more in a single cost adjustment last year, up from 15 in 2004, the university study found. In the first half of this year, 17 drugs made the list.

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Fluorescent Light Bulbs Linked with Eczema, Seizures, Migraines, Skin Rashes

Approximately 100,000 people in the United Kingdom have medical conditions that make their skin sensitive to fluorescent light.

The groups warned that a complete ban on incandescent lighting for people with such conditions would violate the Disability Discrimination Act, and that employers should also be allowed to purchase incandescent lights if their employees have a need for them.

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U.S. Paying Through the Nose for Poor Quality Health Care

American medical care is the most expensive in the world, and it is definitely not worth every penny. A recent study by the Commonwealth Fund highlights the stark contrast between what the United States spends on its health system and the quality of care it delivers.

The report shows that the United States spends more than twice as much on each person for health care as most other industrialized countries. But it has fallen to last place among those countries in preventing avoidable deaths through use of timely and effective medical care.

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Broccoli may undo diabetes damage

Eating broccoli could reverse the damage caused by diabetes to heart blood vessels, research suggests.

A University of Warwick team believe the key is a compound found in the vegetable, called sulforaphane.

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A Cup of Black Tea Each Day Reduces Risk of Parkinson's Disease by Astonishing 71 Percent

Drinking as little as three-quarters of a cup of this one tea each day may cut the risk of developing Parkinson's disease by as much as 71 percent, according to a new study conducted by researchers from the National Neuroscience Institute in Singapore and published in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

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Drug Companies Exaggerate Benefits of Osteoporosis Drugs to Women

Studies published by drug companies exaggerate the benefit of osteoporosis drugs to women who do not have the disease, according to a report published in the journal BMJ.

Drug companies attempt to erase the distinction between osteoporosis and pre-osteoporosis, also known as osteopenia, the report said. But because the risk of fractures is so low in patients with osteopenia, they do not actually need drugs and may needlessly be exposed to potentially dangerous side effects.

Approximately half of all women have symptoms of osteopenia, the report says. Osteoporosis drugs are now officially being marketed to this population in Europe.

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