Health Highlights: Nov. 12, 2015

Health Highlights: Nov. 12, 2015

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

U.S. Proposes Nationwide Ban on Smoking in Public Housing

A proposal to ban smoking in public housing homes across the United States will be announced Thursday by the federal government.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development measure would also prohibit smoking in common areas and administrative offices on public housing property, The New York Times reported.

The policy change would affect nearly one million households.

The federal government began to push for smoking bans in public housing in 2009. Since then, more than 600 agencies with over 200,000 public housing homes have voluntarily prohibited indoor smoking, The Times reported.

Along with reducing residents’ exposure to secondhand smoke, a smoking ban in public housing would reduce the risk of fires and lower buidling maintenance costs, federal officials say.


Lawsuit Claims Unwanted Pregnancies From Birth Control Pill Packaging Error

Qualitest Pharmaceuticals is being sued for allegedly mispackaged birth control pills that led to unwanted pregnancies.

The lawsuit includes 113 women from 28 states. They’re asking for millions in damages, and some want to be awarded the total cost of raising a child until adulthood, including education expenses, ABC News reported.

The plaintiffs contend the birth control pills were packaged in the wrong order, “rotated 180 degrees … reversing the weekly tablet orientation.”

Due to the error, the women say they took placebo pills intended for the week of menstruation at the wrong time of the month, and were left “without adequate contraception,” ABC News reported.

The packaging error prompted Qualitest, a subsidiary of Endo Pharmaceuticals, to announce a voluntary recall of eight brands of birth control pills in September 2011.

“The voluntary recall occurred based on an extremely small number of pill packs that were manufactured by an external contract manufacturer. Endo has been able to confirm only one blister pack that manifested a defect and was sold to a patient. Additionally, courts have dismissed cases arising out of the recall because the plaintiff could not establish that she purchased a defective package,” Endo said in a statement to ABC News.

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