Health Highlights: May 12, 2014

By on May 12, 2014

Health Highlights: May 12, 2014

Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:

U.S. Company Donates Hemophilia Drugs to Poor Nations

A U.S. biotechnology company says it will donate hundreds of millions of dollars worth of hemophilia drugs to developing nations.

Biogen Idec Inc. of Cambridge, Mass. pledged to give 1 billion units of clotting factor to poor nations in Africa, Asia and Latin America over the next 10 years, the Boston Globe reported.

People with hemophilia lack proteins required to control bleeding. Clotting factor helps prevent uncontrollable bleeding in patients with the inherited disorder. A person with severe hemophilia may use up to 5,000 units of clotting factor a week.

Many hemophilia patients in poor countries can’t afford treatment. As a result, most don’t live into adulthood, according to Dr. David Kuter, chief of hematology at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Biogen’s announcement of its donation coincides with its launch of new hemophilia drugs, the Globe reported.


Oil and Gas Wells on Federal, Indian Lands Lack Oversight: Report

Thousands of high-risk oil and gas wells on federal government and Indian lands have not been inspected by the Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management, according to a Government Accountability Office report.

The audit said that weak oversight of wells that pose potentially high risks for water contamination and other environmental harm is due to incomplete monitoring data and policies based on outdated science, the Associated Press reported.

The congressional investigators also said that the Bureau of Land Management failed to coordinate effectively with state regulators in New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma and Utah.

The GAO said the bureau “cannot accurately and efficiently identify whether federal and Indian resources are properly protected or that federal and Indian resources are at risk of being extracted without agency approval.”

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