Virgin Galactic’s Record-Breaking SpaceShipTwo Test Flight Sets Stage for Passenger Trips By 2014.

Virgin Galactic‘s private spaceship flew higher and faster than it ever had before on Thursday (Sept. 5), giving company officials confidence that the vehicle is on track to start carrying passengers on suborbital jaunts next year.


In its second-ever rocket-powered test flight, which took off Thursday morning from the Mojave Air and Space Port in California, Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo reached a maximum altitude of 65,000 feet (19,800 meters) and a top speed of Mach 1.6, or 1.6 times the speed of sound (which is about 761 mph, or 1,225 km/h, at sea level).


The six-passenger space plane got up to 56,000 feet (17,000 m) and Mach 1.2 during its only previous powered flight, which occurred on April 29. SpaceShipTwo’s engine burned for 16 seconds during that first test, compared to 20 seconds on Thursday, Virgin Galactic officials said.

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FDA denies approval to Endo’s testosterone drug again

The Food and Drug Administration has for the third time refused approval to Endo Health Solutions Inc’s injectable testosterone drug Aveed, pressing for a still better plan to manage the risks associated with the drug.

The denial comes as no surprise after an advisory panel to the FDA overwhelmingly agreed in April that Endo’s proposed plan for managing the risks associated with the drug was insufficient.

Testosterone, a hormone produced in the testicles, is responsible for maintaining muscle bulk, bone growth and sexual function. Lack of testosterone can lead to loss of libido, depression, decreased muscle mass and fatigue.

Aveed is made of testosterone and castor oil and the FDA has previously expressed concern of a risk that the oil could cause blockages in blood vessels in the lungs.

Lack of a suitable strategy to address these issues had led the FDA to refuse Aveed’s marketing application the last two times.

On Thursday, Endo said the agency wants it to include a medication guide and other some additional elements to its risk mitigation strategy to ensure the safe use of the drug and to avoid severe complications related to post-injection reactions, the drugmaker said on Thursday.

It, however, did not ask Endo to perform an additional clinical study.

Endo added that it plans to respond to the FDA by the end of the third quarter of this year.

Endo’s shares closed at $35.94 on Thursday on the Nasdaq and declined only marginally to $35.91 after market close.


Source: yahoo news


IOM: One Third of Healthcare Dollars Wasted .

Roughly one third of the money spent on U.S. healthcare in 2009 — about $750 billion — didn’t improve patients‘ health, according to an Institute of Medicine report released Thursday.

The report, Best Care at Lower Cost: The Path to Continuously Learning Health Care in America, outlined six categories of waste — unnecessary services, inefficient delivery of care, unnecessary administrative costs, inflated prices, missed opportunities for prevention, and fraud.

Among the group’s recommendations to help improve care while reducing cost:

  • Decision-support tools and knowledge management systems at point of care should be an integral part of the healthcare system.
  • Clinicians should use digital systems to capture patient care experiences.
  • Patients and caregivers should be encouraged to partner with clinicians in making healthcare decisions.
  • Clinicians should partner with community-based organizations and public health agencies to coordinate interventions to improve health, including use of Web-based tools.
  • The payment system should be reformed to reward quality care.

Source:Institute of Medicine