Today’s Headlines: Brain Map Project, Fake Flu Meds, and More

Project to Map the Human Brain Announced: The Obama administration plans to unveil a “decade-long scientific effort to examine the working of the human brain and build a comprehensive map of its activity.” This project, many experts believe, would do for the brain what the Human Genome Project did for genetics.  The proposal will be delivered to congress as part of the president’s budget package. The administration anticipates the project will cost roughly $300 million a year over 10 years. (MedPage Today)

FDA Warns Public of Fake Flu Medications: The FDA has sent out warning letters to various drug companies demanding that they “cease deceptive labeling of products as flu remedies and stop selling medicines marked as generic versions of the prescription flu treatment Tamiflu.”  They are also warning potential consumers of products that claim it can “neutralize the flu” or “serve as a replacement for the flu shot”— claims that Gary Coody, FDA’s national health fraud coordinator, considers “outrageous.” (NBC News)

Hip Replacements More Likely to Fail in Women: According to one of the largest studies of its kind, researchers in southern California found that women were 29% more likely than men to need a repeat hip replacement surgery within the first three years. The researchers tracked more than 35,000 hip replacements that were performed at 46 different hospitals.  The “all-cause rate of failure” for the hip replacements was 2.3% for women and 1.9% for men. After adjusting for alternate causes of hip failure, including body size, diabetes status, and device type, they found that women still had a higher risk of repeat hip failure.  (MedPage Today)