Would you like some hepatitis and HIV along with that flu shot? It's not as far-fetched as it may sound, according to The Wall Street Journal's Laura Landro, who writes in today's The Informed Patient column that lax injection guidelines at some health care facilities could become life threatening.
"Although most health-care workers are aware of the dangers of reusing needles, other injection guidelines aren't always followed, including disposing of syringes after each use," Landro reports. "Contaminated shots can lead to transmission of such diseases as hepatitis and HIV, along with other viral and bacterial infections."
Look for a 'One Needle, One Syringe, Only One Time' campaign coming next week from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and private medical groups.
The FDA's move to conduct a safety review of Eli Lilly's injectable sepsis drug, Xigris, is the focus of The Associated Press's Matthew Perrone; Reuters' Susan Heavey; and Dow Jones Newswire's Jennifer Corbett Dooren. Bloomberg likely has the story, too, but nothing has been posted at its free web site as of 2 p.m. EST today.
Word from Merck & Co. that it is keeping all it's options open, including that of a mega acquisition, was covered yesterday for Dow Jones Newswires and WSJ.com by Peter Loftus in the DJNS Philly bureau. But it was print reporter Jonathan D. Rockoff who wrote the article for today's newspaper.
Loftus's Lead Sentence: "Merck & Co. Chief Executive Richard Clark said Tuesday the drug maker would consider a large-scale acquisition.
Rockoff's Lead Sentence: "Merck & Co. Chief Executive Richard Clark said the drug maker was open to buying a big rival, signaling a shift for a company that long maintained its research prowess was enough to keep it growing."
What Loftus Says Clark Said: "I don't think any CEO in this environment can categorically rule out any transaction."
What Rockoff Says Clark Said: "I don't think in today's world any CEO can categorically rule out any type of transaction."
Bloomberg's Shannon Pettypiece, who monitored the exact same conference call that Clark conducted with analysts, casts her vote for Rockoff's version: "I don't think in today's world, any CEO can categorically rule out any type of transaction."
The Journal credits Barbara Martinez and Mike Barris as contributors to Rockoff's article.
Rockoff quotes only one third-party source: John Boris of Citigroup. Pettypiece doesn't quote any third-party source in her Merck acquisitions article at bloomberg.com, but does interview Jeffrey Kraws, chief executive officer of Crystal Research Associates for her same-day story on Merck's fourth-quarter results.
"Sales of Merck’s Gardasil, a vaccine against cervical cancer, fell 16 percent to $286 million, with U.S. revenue declining 19 percent. The vaccine, approved in 2006 in girls and women ages 9 to 26, has failed to catch on with young adults within that age group. Patients may also be skipping the $400 shot because of the recession, analysts said." Pettypiece wrote. But which "analysts" she spoke with other than Kraws aren't mentioned by name in the version available online.
At the New York Times, Jeff Zeleny, Robert Pear, Carl Hulse and Peter Baker have more to say in the aftermath of Tom Daschle's retreat as President Barack Obama's secretary of health and human services.
- Spine Surgery: Less Invasive Procedure Speeds Healing (2/3) -- By Monifa Thomas, Chicago Sun-Times
- Babies Know: A Little Dirt is Good for You (1/26) -- By Jane E. Brody, The New York Times
- New Mom of 8 Babies Should Call It Quits Now (2/3) -- By Shanderia K. Posey, Health Editor, The Clarion Ledger
Photo: Laura Landro - Wall Street Journal, Undated