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Vision Problems Strike More Than 2 Billion Globally

By Robert Preidt
HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, Oct. 11, 2019 (HealthDay News) — More than 2 billion people worldwide suffer vision problems that range from impairment to blindness, according to a new report from the World Health Organization (WHO).

And at least 1 billion of those people have problems such as short- and far-sightedness, glaucoma and cataracts — all of which could have been prevented or have not been treated.

Eye conditions and vision impairment are widespread, and far too often they still go untreated,” Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General, said in a news release from the organization.

“People who need eye care must be able to receive quality interventions without suffering financial hardship. Including eye care in national health plans and essential packages of care is an important part of every country’s journey towards universal health coverage,” he said.

Aging populations, changing lifestyles and limited access to eye care — particularly in low- and middle-income countries — are among the main reasons for increasing numbers of people with vision problems, according to the report released Tuesday in advance of World Sight Day on Oct. 10.

“It is unacceptable that 65 million people are blind or have impaired sight when their vision could have been corrected overnight with a cataract operation, or that over 800 million struggle in everyday activities because they lack access to a pair of glasses,” he added.

Eye conditions and vision impairment tend to be much more common among people in rural areas, those with low incomes, women, older people, people with disabilities, ethnic minorities and indigenous populations, according to the WHO’s first report on vision worldwide.

Untreated distance vision impairment in low- and middle-income regions is about four times higher than in high-income regions, and $ 14.3 billion (U.S. dollars) is needed to treat the 1 billion people with vision impairment or blindness due to cataracts, and short- and far-sightedness, the report said.

According to Alarcos Cieza, who leads WHO’s efforts on blindness and deafness prevention, disability and rehabilitation, “Millions of people have severe vision impairment and are not able to participate in society to their fullest because they can’t access rehabilitation services. In a world built on the ability to see, eye care services, including rehabilitation, must be provided closer to communities for people to achieve their maximum potential.”

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Sources

SOURCE: World Health Organization, news release, Oct. 8, 2019

Copyright © 2013-2018 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

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WebMD Health

Vision Problems Strike More Than 2 Billion Globally

FRIDAY, Oct. 11, 2019 — More than 2 billion people worldwide suffer vision problems that range from impairment to blindness, according to a new report from the World Health Organization (WHO).

And at least 1 billion of those people have problems such as short- and far-sightedness, glaucoma and cataracts — all of which could have been prevented or have not been treated.

Eye conditions and vision impairment are widespread, and far too often they still go untreated,” Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General, said in a news release from the organization.

“People who need eye care must be able to receive quality interventions without suffering financial hardship. Including eye care in national health plans and essential packages of care is an important part of every country’s journey towards universal health coverage,” he said.

Aging populations, changing lifestyles and limited access to eye care — particularly in low- and middle-income countries — are among the main reasons for increasing numbers of people with vision problems, according to the report released Tuesday in advance of World Sight Day on Oct. 10.

“It is unacceptable that 65 million people are blind or have impaired sight when their vision could have been corrected overnight with a cataract operation, or that over 800 million struggle in everyday activities because they lack access to a pair of glasses,” he added.

Eye conditions and vision impairment tend to be much more common among people in rural areas, those with low incomes, women, older people, people with disabilities, ethnic minorities and indigenous populations, according to the WHO’s first report on vision worldwide.

Untreated distance vision impairment in low- and middle-income regions is about four times higher than in high-income regions, and $ 14.3 billion (U.S. dollars) is needed to treat the 1 billion people with vision impairment or blindness due to cataracts, and short- and far-sightedness, the report said.

According to Alarcos Cieza, who leads WHO’s efforts on blindness and deafness prevention, disability and rehabilitation, “Millions of people have severe vision impairment and are not able to participate in society to their fullest because they can’t access rehabilitation services. In a world built on the ability to see, eye care services, including rehabilitation, must be provided closer to communities for people to achieve their maximum potential.”

More information

The WHO has more on blindness and vision impairment.

© 2019 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Posted: October 2019

Drugs.com – Daily MedNews

$8 Billion Award in Risperdal Lawsuit

A lawsuit over the antipsychotic drug Risperdal has led to an $ 8 billion punitive damages award against Johnson & Johnson and one of its subsidiaries.

The award was handed out Tuesday by a Philadelphia jury. The plaintiff’s attorneys argued that the drug is linked to abnormal growth of female breast tissue in boys, the Associated Press reported.

In a statement, attorneys Tom Kline and Jason Itkin said Johnson & Johnson used an organized scheme to make billions of dollars while illegally marketing and promoting the drug.

Johnson & Johnson said the award is “excessive and unfounded” and that it would take immediate action to overturn it, the AP reported.

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Copyright © 2013-2018 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

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WebMD Health

‘Toy Story 4’ Hits $1 Billion Mark, Scores Another Record for Disney

Buzz and Woody and the rest of the gang have scored another major record for Disney. Toy Story 4 has crossed the $ 1 billion global box office threshold, which means Disney now has five movies hitting that record in a single year—and that’s even before Frozen 2 and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker pack houses in the last two months of 2019. This means the studio will have seven big billion-dollar grosses in one single year! As Deadline points out, all these popular movies also serve as an easy ad for the studio’s eagerly anticipated streaming service Disney+ which launches in November.

The studio’s other big 2019 movies are Captain Marvel ($ 1.1 billion), Avengers: Endgame ($ 2.795 billion), The Lion King ($ 1.3 billion) and Aladdin ($ 1.03 billion). Sony Pictures Animation’s Spider-Man: Far From Home is the only other big movie that crossed the billion dollar mark with $ 1.09 billion worldwide.

Directed by Josh Cooley and produced by Jonas Rivera and Mark Nielsen, Toy Story 4 has made $ 421.8 million in the U.S. and $ 580 million overseas. The movie had the best opening for an animated movie worldwide with $ 244.5 million. The pic is the 8th highest animated movie of all time, and is the No. 2 animated release of all time in the U.K. with $ 75 million.

You can read all about the making of the movie here:

Source: Deadline.com

Animation Magazine

Colorado Crosses $1 Billion in Marijuana Tax Revenue

Legal marijuana has now earned over $ 1 billion in tax revenue for the state, according to the Colorado Department of Revenue.

Marijuana dispensary sales taxes, business licensing fees and excise taxes brought in just over $ 1.01 billion from January 2014 to May 2019, DOR numbers show, with dispensaries selling around $ 6.7 billion worth of marijuana products during that span.

Colorado’s marijuana industry has grown in sales volume every year since retail legalization in 2014, with 2019 on pace to be its highest-earning yet. According to the DOR, the state currently has 2,917 licensed marijuana businesses and 41,076 individuals who are licensed to work in the industry. In a statement announcing the new tax milestone, Governor Jared Polis wanted to make sure that growth continued as more states legalize marijuana for medical and recreational purposes.

“Today’s report continues to show that Colorado’s cannabis industry is thriving, but we can’t rest on our laurels. We can and we must do better in the face of increased national competition. We want Colorado to be the best state for investment, innovation and development for this growing economic sector,” Polis said. “This industry is helping grow our economy by creating jobs and generating valuable revenue that is going toward preventing youth consumption, protecting public health and safety and investing in public school construction.”

Marijuana Deals Near You

Polis signed a bill allowing publicly traded companies and expanded private investment opportunities in Colorado’s marijuana industry earlier this month, as well as bills legalizing marijuana delivery and social consumption at licensed businesses. All of the moves were done in the interest of maintaining Colorado’s place atop marijuana entrepreneurship, he said when signing the documents in his office.

Medical and retail marijuana sales are both taxed a standard 2.9 percent in Colorado, and retail sales are hit with an additional 15 percent state tax. This doesn’t count local taxes on retail sales, which can add an additional 5 to 12 percent.

A key selling point for legalization proponents is that marijuana tax revenue has infused over $ 194.2 million into Colorado’s capital construction assistance fund for public schools since 2014, according to state tax documents, with an additional $ 69.2 million going toward the general public school fund. Marijuana tax revenue is also used to fund affordable housing, the regulation of legal pot businesses, youth prevention efforts, behavioral health treatment, law enforcement and youth education and recreation programs.

“Generating tax revenue is not the only reason or even the best reason to regulate cannabis,” said Mason Tvert, who co-directed Colorado’s legalization campaign in 2012 and now serves as vice president of communications at marijuana public affairs firm VS Strategies. “But when those revenues start adding up to more than $ 1 billion, as they have in Colorado, it’s a pretty attractive bonus.”


Toke of the Town

Medicaid Could Save $2.6 Billion a Year With Dip in Smoking

FRIDAY, April 19, 2019 — Just a 1% decrease in the number of Medicaid recipients who smoke could save the insurance program billions of dollars a year, a new study suggests.

Over one year, that small decline in smoking and its associated health harms would lead to $ 2.6 billion in total Medicaid savings the following year and millions for each state, researchers found.

“While 14% of all adults in the U.S. smoke cigarettes, 24.5% of adult Medicaid recipients smoke,” said study author Stanton Glantz, of the University of California, San Francisco. He’s director of its Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education.

“This suggests that an investment in reducing smoking in this population could be associated with a reduction in Medicaid costs in the short run,” Glantz added in a university news release.

Half the states would save $ 25 million or more, with California reaping $ 630.2 million (if the smoking rate fell from 15.5% to 14.5%), the study found. At the low end, South Dakota could save $ 2.5 million (if the rate fell from 41% to 40%).

It’s well known that reducing smoking is associated with reduced health costs, but it’s commonly assumed that it takes years to see these savings, Glantz said.

“While this is true for some diseases, such as cancer, other health risks such as heart attacks, lung disease and pregnancy complications respond quickly to changes in smoking behavior. So reducing the prevalence of smoking would be an excellent short-term investment in the physical health of smokers and the fiscal health of the Medicaid system,” he said.

The study examined only the potential savings from reducing the total number of smokers who receive Medicaid, the publicly funded health insurance program for the poor. But even if each smoker just smoked less, there would be additional reductions in health care costs, according to Glantz.

“Because some health risks linked with smoking, such as cancer, can take years to fully manifest, these savings would be likely to grow with each passing year,” he said.

Total Medicaid costs in 2017 were $ 577 billion, he noted.

The study was published online April 12 in JAMA Network Open.

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention outlines the health risks of smoking and tobacco.

© 2019 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Posted: April 2019

Drugs.com – Daily MedNews

Jury Awards $4.62 Billion in Baby Powder Lawsuit

July 13, 2018 — A jury says Johnson & Johnson must pay $ 4.62 billion to 22 women who allege they developed ovarian cancer after using the company’s Baby Powder and Shower to Shower brand talcum powder as part of their daily feminine hygiene routine.

The St. Louis jury announced their decision Thursday after weeks of hearing testimony and eight hours of deliberation. The award includes $ 550 million in compensatory damages and $ 4.14 billion in punitive damages, CNN reported.

It’s the largest such verdict against the company, which plans to file an appeal.

“Every verdict against Johnson & Johnson in this court that has gone through the appeals process has been reversed and the multiple errors present in this trial were worse than those in the prior trials which have been reversed,” the company said.

Johnson & Johnson faces thousands of similar lawsuits nationwide. Favorable verdicts have been awarded to plaintiffs in five of the cases, but those cases are in various stages of appeal, CNN reported.

WebMD News from HealthDay

Copyright © 2013-2018 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

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WebMD Health

Denver Dispensaries Have Collected Nearly $2.4 Billion Since Legalization

Denver no longer has the distinction of being the only major city with retail marijuana dispensaries, but that hasn’t stopped weed from flying off the shelves here. This city has seen almost $ 2.4 billion in marijuana sales since the first retail dispensary opened on January 1, 2014, according to our calculations based on Colorado Department of Revenue data.

Denver has been the center of the statewide marijuana industry since its inception, and by 2018 it was home to over 210 medical, recreational and dual-use dispensaries. DOR data shows that Denver County dispensaries accounted for well over one-third of Colorado’s $ 6 billion in marijuana sales from 2014 through 2018, and brought in over $ 536 million last year alone.

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But that Denver sales figure reflects a slight 7 percent drop from the year before, falling from $ 577.5 million in 2017. Meanwhile, statewide sales increased around 2.5 percent from 2017 to 2018.

Over the past sixteen months, more than a dozen new dispensaries have opened in north Denver suburbs such as Commerce City, Federal Heights, Thornton and Longmont. But more states also began recreational pot sales in 2018, such as California and Nevada. And then there’s Canada….

Data for Colorado marijuana sales in 2019 are not yet available. Here are the annual sales numbers for the City and County of Denver from 2014 through 2018:

  • 2014 — $ 325.9 million
  • 2015 — $ 413 million
  • 2016 — $ 501.6 million
  • 2017 — $ 577.5 million
  • 2018 — $ 536.6 million


Toke of the Town

Daily News Bytes: New ‘Venom’ Spot Has Teeth, ‘Grave of the Fireflies’ Returns, ‘Incredibles 2’ Passes 1 Billion, & More

’Incredibles 2’ Passes $ 1 Billion Worldwide

Its official, the Pixar super family’s heroic return to theaters in Brad Bird’s sequel has hit the big one-bee, with a domestic cume of $ 574 million — making it the highest-grossing animated film and ninth highest-grossing film in general at the US box office — and $ 430.9 million internationally.

The Very (Very) Unusual Path Behind the Animated Justice League’s Debut
Kendall presents a fascinating dive into toon superhero history for CBR.com.

‘Grave of the Fireflies’ Returns to Theaters in Studio Ghibli Fest

Marking its 20th anniversary, the heartwrenching, gorgeous and historic film by Oscar-nominated filmmaker Isao Takahata will be presented on the big screen by GKIDS and Fathom Events on Sunday, August 12 (matinee, English dub); Mon., Aug. 13 (subtitled) and Wed., Aug. 15 (dub). Tickets are available now. [Trailer.]

50 Animation Instructors Trained Under Youth Employment Project
The Jamaican government’s YEDAI project and its “Train the Trainers” initiative put the selected secondary, tertiary and vocational educators through an extensive skills development program as part of the country’s plans to take a slice of the $ 220 billion animation industry pie.

China Licensing Awards Announces Winners
Animation properties represented include Pink Panther, Daremon, Thomas & Friends, Peppa Pig and PAW Patrol.

WATCH: ‘Venom’ – Official Trailer 2
Tom Hardy gets used to his ravenous body-guest with a biting sense of dark humor in this new spot. One of Marvel’s most complicated and viciously entertaining characters comes to the big screen through Sony Pictures on October 5. The film also stars Michelle Williams, Riz Ahmed, Scott Haze and Reid Scott.

Incredibles 2

Incredibles 2

Grave of the Fireflies

Grave of the Fireflies

Animation Magazine

Libertarian Think Tank Estimates $106 Billion in Revenue if US Legalized Marijuana — and Cocaine and Heroin, Too

Legalizing drugs could generate more than $ 106 billion a year for federal, state, and local government budgets, according to an analysis by a libertarian think tank in Washington, D.C. Jeffrey Miron, Cato Institute’s director of economic studies and undergraduate director at Harvard University’s Department of Economics, published “The Budgetary Effects of Ending Drug  Prohibition” as […]
Marijuana

Forecast: Legal Canadian Marijuana Market Will be $7 Billion Industry

A new report predicts Canadians will spend up to $ 7 billion on cannabis in 2019 — a number which comes close to the $ 9 billion wine industry the Great White North enjoys annually. Although much of the cannabis revenue is expected to come after legalization this fall, the findings show that between $ 500 million and $ 1 […]
Marijuana

Temasek stake values ‘Salt Bae’ Turkish restaurant owner at $1.2 billion

ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Singapore’s Temasek and Britain’s Metric Capital have bought into Nusr-Et steakhouse owner D.ream in a deal valuing the Turkish firm at $ 1.2 billion.

FILE PHOTO – A Temasek logo is seen at the annual Temasek Review in Singapore July 7, 2016. REUTERS/Edgar Su

Nusr-Et was made famous by butcher-turned-social media star Nusret Gokce, who went viral under the nickname “Salt Bae” in 2017 after posting videos of himself salting meat.

Salt Bae’s distinctive cobra-like manoeuver earned Gokce more than 12 million Instagram followers and has helped launch Nusr-Et restaurants in the Middle East, New York and Miami.

Dogus Restaurant Entertainment and Management (D.ream), which has a presence in 170 locations in 12 countries, said on Monday state-owned Temasek Holding and Metric Capital had paid $ 200 million for a 17 percent holding.

Reporting by Ebru Tuncay; Writing by Ali Kucukgocmen; Editing by David Dolan and Alexander Smith

Reuters: Oddly Enough

Denver Dispensaries Collected Over Half a Billion Dollars in 2017

Denver accounted for a major portion of the $ 1.5 billion worth of legal cannabis sold in Colorado in 2017. Over a third of the state’s total sales were made in the Mile High City, according to the Colorado Department of Revenue. The DOR breaks down revenue data monthly for each county; totaling the take from last year, Westword determined that dispensaries located in Denver County sold $ 577.5 million worth of cannabis and cannabis produces in 2017.

Denver has nearly 1,150 active cannabis business licenses within its jurisdiction, 364 of which were for dispensaries as of February 2018, according to the state’s Marijuana Enforcement Division. Although many individual dispensaries carry two licenses — one for medical sales and one for retail — Denver still has the most pot shops of any Colorado locality by far, beating its closest competitor (Colorado Springs) by triple figures. With such a concentration of pot shops in Denver, and Adams and El Paso counties limiting or outright banning retail pot, it’s no surprise that Denver dominates the recreational pot trade.

Mile High sales trends largely mirror the state’s, the data shows, with revenue peaking in summer months and dipping slightly as the weather gets colder in September. In August alone, Denver dispensaries collected over $ 53.6 million, with over $ 35 million of that coming from the recreational side. February was the city’s lowest-earning month in 2017, totaling just over $ 29.5 million.

Both Denver and Colorado as a whole have enjoyed rising cannabis sales since retail operations opened in 2014, but 2018 represents the first year of legitimate regional competition. Nevada began recreational pot sales in July 2017 and California went online in January 2018, while multiple states on the East Coast are loosening their cannabis prohibition laws as well.

Toke of the Town