Daily Rounds: Cigarette Verdict Reverberates; Blue Cross Antitrust Suit; Echinacea Flops; Gates Grants Examined

Cigarette verdict may be felt across US - The Boston Globe "...With the unprecedented, $152 million jury judgment in favor of Evans’s family, the case could have a ripple effect on court decisions and public policy decisions across the country, as smokers weigh whether to file their own lawsuits and federal officials consider a ban on menthol cigarettes." (Boston Globe)

Blue Cross Antitrust Suit in Michigan Will Test Premise of Health Law - "Federal prosecutors contend that Blue Cross in Michigan thwarts competitors by pressuring hospitals to charge rival insurers more to provide care, a practice prosecutors say has made health care extremely expensive in a state that can’t afford it." (The New York Times)

Got a cold? Study says echinacea won't help much - "The study of more than 700 adults and children suggests the tiniest possible benefit — about a half-day shaved off a week-long cold and slightly milder symptoms. But that could have occurred by chance." (USA Today)

Gauging Bill Gates’s Health Grants Five Years In - "Despite discoveries on many fronts, up to two-thirds of the grants either did not get renewed or may not in the near future, Mr. Gates estimated. In some cases, it was because they were not succeeding, either scientifically or because of political obstacles, or someone else had found a better path. In others, the foundation changed the goal." (The New York Times)

Shots - Health News Blog : NPR "...Previous tests pointing to a virus called XMRV as a possible cause of chronic fatigue syndrome may have been flawed.
The reason? Some DNA from mouse cells may have contaminated samples of human blood and prostate tissue. " (

This program aired on December 21, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.


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