Health Highlights: Oct. 12, 2016
Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:
Blue Bell Ice Cream Products With Cookie Dough Recalled
Possible listeria contamination has led Blue Bell Ice Cream to recall all products made with a cookie dough product supplied by Aspen Hills, Inc., which recently announced a recall of its cookie dough products.
The newly-announced recall includes the following products in half gallons and pints: Blue Bell Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough and Blue Bell Cookie Two Step sold to retail outlets, and three gallon flavors sold to food service accounts including Blue Bell Blue Monster, Blue Bell Chocolate Chip Cookie, and Blue Bell Krazy Kookie Dough.
The products were produced between Feb. 2, 2016 and Sept. 7, 2016. Consumers with the products should return them to the place of purchase for a full refund. To date, no illnesses associated with Blue Bell products have been reported, according to Blue Bell.
For more information, consumers can call 979-836-7977.
Hospitals Concerned About Rising Drug Prices
Along with consumers and insurers, U.S. hospitals are also feeling the sting of steep hikes in the prices of prescription drugs and want the next President and Congress to tackle the problem.
Between 2013 and 2015, hospitals' average annual inpatient drug spending rose more than 23 percent, according to a study released Tuesday by the American Hospital Association and the Federation of American Hospitals, the Associated Press reported.
Higher prices, not greater use of medications, were the main reason for the spending increase. One-third of the hospitals in the study said drug costs had a "severe" impact on their budgets.
"The system is clearly broken," Scott Knoer, chief pharmacy officer at the Cleveland Clinic, said in a teleconference arranged by the two hospital lobbying groups, the AP reported. "The (pharmaceutical) industry has proven time and time again it can no longer regulate itself."
Human Rights Groups Call for Decriminalization of all Illicit Drugs
The possession and personal use of all illicit drugs should be decriminalized in the United States, according to two major human rights groups.
The enforcement of drug laws has destroyed lives, ripped families apart and boosted racial discrimination but has not reduced drug abuse in the nation, Human Rights Watch and the American Civil Liberties Union said in a paper released Wednesday, the Associated Press reported.
"Every 25 seconds someone is funneled into the criminal justice system, accused of nothing more than possessing drugs for personal use," paper author Tess Borden said. "These wide-scale arrests have destroyed countless lives while doing nothing to help people who struggle with dependence."
Borden said broad drug decriminalization by federal or state governments is unlikely in the near future, but said the paper may convince officials to increase drug treatment program funding and to reclassify drug use and possession as misdemeanors rather than felonies, the AP reported.
Drug decriminalization would pose "huge dangers," according to Michael Ramos, district attorney of San Bernardino County in California.
Such a move would lead to more property crime as drug users committed thefts to maintain their habits, and rehabilitation programs would disappear if drug abusers no longer had the threat of jail to push them to enroll, Ramos told the AP.
Posted: October 2016