Health Highlights: May 27, 2007

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

Contact Lens Eye Solution Pulled from Market; FDA Says to Discontinue Use

Increased incidences of a rare but stubborn eye infection have caused the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to alert the public to discontinue using a solution used to clean contact lenses.

The Associated Press reports that AMO Complete Moisture Plus Multi-Purpose Solution, used for cleaning and storing soft contact lenses, had been immediately and voluntarily recalled by its manufacturer, Advanced Medical Optics Inc., of Santa Ana Calif.

WHAT TO KNOW
    • Contact Lens Eye Solution Pulled from Market; FDA Says to Discontinue Use
    • After 8 Years in Prison, Dr. Kevorkian Scheduled for Release Next Thursday
    • Participants Dropping Out of Diabetes Drug's Clinical Trial, Maker Says
    • Medicare Won't Cover Artificial Disc Implants in Older Americans
    • Imported Monkfish May Actually be Poisonous Puffer Fish: FDA
    • Kentucky Cardiologist Nominated as Next U.S. Surgeon General

The infection in question is Acanthamoeba keratitis, which is caused by an amoeba, the A.P. quotes Michael Beach, team leader in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's division of parasitic diseases, as saying. If left untreated, the infection could cause permanent vision loss or complete blindness.

Neither the FDA nor Advanced Medical Optics said the contact lens solution caused increased cases of Acanthamoeba keratitis, the wire service reported. Rather, the solution didn't protect against the infection, which usually comes from swimming or showering.

Because Acanthamoeba keratitis strikes only one or two people per million, the situation came to the government's notice because only because a Chicago ophthalmologist, Dr. Elmer Tu, noticed more than a dozen cases of the infection. He usually saw only saw one or two cases a year, the A.P. reported.

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After 8 Years in Prison, Dr. Kevorkian Scheduled for Release Next Thursday

Dr. Jack Kevorkian, in a Michigan prison for more than eight years, is scheduled to leave June 1, after serving part of a 10-to-25 year sentence based on his conviction in helping a seriously ill man kill himself.

Known as "Dr. Death" for his outspoken advocacy of physician-assisted suicide, Kevorkian, 79, is unlikely to resume the unorthodox methods that attracted so much media attention and may have even led to his arrest and conviction, the Associated Press reports.

But with Oregon being the only state that allows physician-assisted suicide, the wire service says that Kevorkian will probably resume his attempts to get the controversial procedure approved in more states.

"It's got to be legalized," the wire service quotes Kevorkian as saying in a phone interview from prison aired by a Detroit TV station last Monday. "I'll work to have it legalized. But I won't break any laws doing it."

According to the A.P., in the nine years since the Oregon law has been on the books, 292 terminally ill people -- or about 32 a year -- have asked their doctors to prescribe the necessary drugs to make their deaths possible.

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Participants Dropping Out of Diabetes Drug's Clinical Trial, Maker Says

The company that makes Avandia, a diabetes drug that came under criticism last week in a published study indicating it could increase heart attack risk, says its large clinical study that might have dispelled those concerns is in jeopardy.

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