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UMN expert: New FDA sugar recommendations are lofty but likely necessary

Recently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommended a daily limit on sugar intake to no more than 10 percent of a day’s calories. An article in the New York Times does the math: most people, including children, should not have more than 50 grams per day. It is roughly the same amount in a can of Coke.

Cutting out soft drinks won’t be enough to get down to the recommended values. Consumers have to be aware of hidden sugars throughout the American food supply.

Health Talk spoke with Mark Pereira, Ph.D., associate professor of epidemiology and community health in the School of Public Health at the University of Minnesota, to provide a little more clarity.

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In the News: Drug manufacturers fail to report serious side effects within 15-day time period

Drug manufacturers are required to disclose serious side effects and unexpected adverse events to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) within 15 days of being notified by a patient. However, a recent study at the University of Minnesota’s School of Public Health in collaboration with Stanford Graduate School of Business and the Carlson School of Management, found 1 in 10 companies fail to comply with these regulations.

The research, referenced in a recent Star Tribune article, analyzed 1.6 million reports from drug manufacturers between 2004 and 2014. Results showed the companies were less likely to disclose the reports to the FDA if the side effects were fatal.

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U of M looks to new breast cancer drug to propel current research

Douglas Yee, M.D., a University of Minnesota Physicians breast cancer specialist and director of the Masonic Cancer Center appeared on Fox 9 earlier this week to discuss a new drug that combats breast cancer in its earliest stages, a major milestone for researchers and patients alike.

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Orphan drugs: Providing medication options for rare conditions

Medications that treat rare medical conditions have historically proven difficult to both develop and market.  As a result, they haven’t historically been a priority for large drug manufacturers.

“Orphan drugs”, medication defined in the 1983 Orphan Drug Act as treating diseases affecting fewer than 200,000 people, are expensive to develop, expensive to buy and often unappealing to commercial developers because of low returns on investment.

Nonetheless, developing and commercializing medications for the few people who do need them is certainly worthwhile. There are approximately 7,000 rare, often life-threatening disorders.

As Canada’s federal health department, Health Canada, readies itself to boost orphan drug research, development and access, University of Minnesota researchers are looking for ways to do the same in the United States …

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