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Health Highlights: June 30, 2017

Last Updated: June 30, 2017.

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

Infant's Infection Spurs Experts to Warn Against Placenta Pills

New mothers should not take pills made from their placenta, experts warn.

The caution comes after a strep infection in an infant in Portland, Oregon last fall was linked to such capsules, the Associated Press reported.

The case was assessed by a group of doctors and health officials. Their findings and warning were released Thursday.

The practice of eating the placenta after birth has become more popular in the last decade because some believe it can help with postpartrum depression, breast milk production and energy levels, according to the AP.

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No Emergency Medical Help for 3rd Overdose: Ohio Councilman

An Ohio city councilman is raising eyebrows with a controversial stance on the state's opioid addiction crisis, saying that emergency medical responders should not be sent to help addicts who overdose on opioids for a third time.

According to CNN, Middletown City Council member Dan Picard says that paramedics should respond to two overdoses per addict. Each time, the addict would receive a summons and have to do community service after treatment.

However, if the addict does not show in court or fails to complete the community service, no medical help will be dispatched in the event of a third overdose, Picard said.

The legality of the proposal is being examined by the city manager, according to Picard, who said he's concerned that Middletown can't afford to keep treating overdoses, CNN reported.

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FDA to Speed Reviews of Drugs for Rare Diseases

A plan to eliminate the backlog of existing requests for approval of drugs for rare conditions and speed responses to new requests was announced Thursday by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The so-called orphan designation is typically for drugs used to treat diseases that affect fewer than 200,000 people in the U.S., and orphan designation provides drug makers with incentives such as tax credits for clinical trial costs and a seven-year exclusive patent.

Last week, the FDA committed to eliminating the orphan designation request backlog within 90 days and responding to all new requests within 90 days of receipt. Currently, the FDA has about 200 orphan drug designation requests waiting for review.

The number of requests has increased over the past five years. There were 568 requests in 2016, more than double the number in 2012.

The new plan includes a review team that has significant expertise in orphan drug designation and will focus solely on the backlogged applications, starting with the oldest requests, the FDA said.

It will also implement a new streamlined review template to improve the consistency and efficiency of its reviews.


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