April 10, 2012 |
If Sardar Biglari wants to control Cracker Barrel Old Country Store Inc., he'll first have to get past the Southern-style restaurant chain's new "poison pill" defense. Board members of the Tennessee-based company approved a shareholder rights plan to try to obstruct investor Biglari's hostile takeover efforts. The strategy would prevent Biglari, who recently raised his stake in Cracker Barrel to more than 16%, from accumulating 20% without offering shareholders a premium. To do so would water down the value of his shares.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 7, 2012 |
It's a ritual that's beginning to make me feel less responsibly health conscious and more reliably heading toward old age. Every Sunday, I count out seven days' worth of a dozen different pills and load them into the daily compartments in my plastic medication bin. That's "geezer status," my daughter jokes, as I slip an extra set inside my purse, in case my memory-enhancing gingko biloba fails and I forget to swallow them before I leave home....
March 28, 2012 |
In 1957, when the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the first birth-control pills, it wasn't for birth control. The contraceptives won approval as a treatment for severe menstrual disorders; temporary infertility was a side effect. Funny, women across the country suddenly started complaining in droves about severe menstrual disorders. As religiously-affiliated organizations, such as Catholic hospitals and universities, continue to complain about federal policies that would require that health insurance cover family planning (President Obama worked out a compromise deal under which the insurance companies would absorb the cost, but the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops still sees this as undue interference)
March 22, 2012 |
Watching Alzheimer's disease steal away the memory, talents and very selves of its victims is hard enough for the people who love them. Now, a new pill formulated by a respected pharmaceutical company and approved by the Food and Drug Administration will do little to help most patients and will bring misery to some, say two medical investigators. The drug, Aricept 23 mg, is no more effective on the whole than the disappointing ones already on the market - but is more likely to cause gastrointestinal problems, wrote Drs. Steven Woloshin and Lisa Schwartz of Dartmouth Medical College in an article published Thursday in the medical journal BMJ. The new formulation was devised to serve commercial objectives, they say, and was approved despite a poor showing in company-sponsored tests.
March 4, 2012 |
If the pill had never been invented, perhaps American politics would be very different today. Sex has consumed the political debate in recent weeks. To many it has been a surprising turn of events, given the near-universal prediction that this year's election would be all about the economy. If the history of the bipartisan sexual counterrevolution were better known, no one would be surprised. Conflicts over gay marriage, transvaginal ultrasounds, Planned Parenthood funding and insurance coverage for birth control are not isolated events.
February 28, 2012 |
In the heated debate over to what extent religiously affiliated employers should be required to provide free contraception for workers, no one has talked much about what methods are available to women who want to prevent pregnancy and how their choices might change if cost were removed from the equation. But it's an important subject. With prices ranging from about $1 for a condom to more than $800 for an intrauterine device (IUD), some of these women - maybe a lot of them - might switch methods if they could afford to. That's exactly what manywomen's healthadvocates hope.
February 28, 2012 |
A new study suggests that the 6% to 10% of Americans who use prescription sleep medications such as zolpidem (Ambien), temazepam (Restoril), eszopiclone (Lunesta) and zaleplon (Sonata) are more likely to develop cancer, and far more likely to die prematurely, than those who take no sleep aids. The increased rates kick in at really low levels too, the study says. For those prescribed as few as one to 18 sleeping pills in a year, deaths during the period of the new study were more than three and a half times greater than for those who got no such prescriptions, the study says.
February 20, 2012 |
Presidents, politicians and physicians are fighting over who should pay for contraception, and women are getting hurt in the process. Roman Catholic bishops reject even President Obama's recent compromise not requiring religiously affiliated hospitals and universities to pay for contraception, saying it does not meet their standard of "religious liberty and moral convictions. " Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards calls the row over insurance payments part of "a misleading and outrageous assault onwomen's health.
February 8, 2012 |
Eating soy-based foods or taking soy supplements has been an intriguing strategy to reduce cancer risk. But a carefully performed new study shows soy supplements did not lower breast cancer risk and may even be harmful to some women. Previous research has shown that people with diets high in soy have lower rates of breast cancer. Soy is also known to reduce levels of estrogen, a hormone that can contribute to breast cancer development. The new study, led by researchers at Northwestern University, was designed to look carefully at how soy consumption may change breast cells.
February 1, 2012 |
In a terrifying bit of news for women trying to avoid pregnancy, Pfizer Inc. is recalling roughly a million packets of birth control pills that may have inaccurate tablet counts that could also be out of sequence. Though the mistake won't cause health risks, Pfizer said in a statement that “the daily regimen for these oral contraceptives may be incorrect and could leave women without adequate contraception, and at risk for unintended pregnancy.” Packs of Lo/Ovral-28 and generic Norgestrel and Ethinyl Estradiol pills, labeled under the Akrimax Pharmaceuticals brand, are supposed to have 21 “active” pills with contraceptive hormones and seven “inert” placebos.