Health IT

FDA to warn against smoking with graphic photos (Morning Read)

The Food and Drug Administration plans to whittle 36 graphic smoking warnings to nine and will seek the public’s input on the proposal of putting them on the front and back of every cigarette packet starting in October of 2012, according to U.S. News and World Report.

Highlights of the important and interesting in the world of healthcare:

Warning: Smoking can kill you. The Food and Drug Administration plans to whittle 36 graphic smoking warnings to nine and will seek the public’s input on the proposal of putting them on the front and back of every cigarette packet starting in October of 2012, according to U.S. News and World Report.

Merge Healthcare growing again. A last-minute investment saved Chicago health system Merge Healthcare Inc. from bankruptcy two years ago, and a string of acquisitions subsequently transformed the company. Now Merge plans to focus on sales, reports the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Defending FDA from budget ax. FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg is trying to forestall any talk of cutting her agency’s funding as Republicans head to the House with their budget axes sharpened, according to FiercePharma.

HIV joint venture could go IPO. ViiV Healthcare, an HIV company set up a year ago by GlaxoSmithKline Plc and Pfizer Inc. could be spun off and floated in an initial public offering once its drug pipeline has matured a little further, Reuters reports.

Data breaches cost hospitals. The cost of a data breach is about $1 million per hospital per year, and the lifetime value of a lost patient is $108,000, according to a study by the non-profit Ponemon Institute, FierceHealthcare reports. Overall, data leaks cost U.S. hospitals $6 billion a year.

Drug pipelines show little innovation. Not one previously unidentified drug target was reported at the meeting of the American Chemical Society meeting in August. A recent association gathering yielded presentations for 58 new drug candidates but, by one reckoning, the amount of innovation on display was lacking, according to the Pharmalot blog.