Marseille: Pigs in the City

Marseille is being overrun by wild boars from a nearby national park.

The boar population of Calanques national park has been growing steadily as the animals are prohibited from being hunted and their population has not been culled in more than three years. The boar population has also been blessed by the fact that there are no natural predators to these boars in their protected home in the park.

The boars have been problematic for the city. Wild boars have been seen knocking over trash bins and making a general mess of things for weeks now. One woman was even bitten by a boar while trying to feed the beast. This is unsustainable and the government needs to change something. The boars are a noisy, messy nuisance. In all seriousness, we should all be eating boar for dinner for the next few weeks. A delicious solution!

Read more from The Telegraph.

Down with the pigs!

Give me back my city!

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Paxil Lawsuits

The first whiff of major trouble that UK-based GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) would have with its paroxetine-based drug Paxil was when a qui tam (whistleblower) lawsuit was filed by four of its employees, including quality manager Cheryl Eckard in 2004. While there had been ripples in the water prior to this, such as the successful Tobin case, this started the ball rolling not only for Paxil but also for other GSK products, finally resulting in a $3 billion bill from the U.S. Justice Department.

The qui tam suit alleged that GSK made false claims of the safety and effectiveness of products included in Medicare and other federal health programs. Eckard had warned GSK about the problems with the manufacture of the products but instead of fixing the problems, she was fired for her efforts. GSK settled the case, paying $750 million in civil and criminal penalties.

Barely had the qui tam case been filed when GSK again came under federal fire for its aggressive marketing campaign of Paxil as a non-addictive drug. Based on numerous reports that Paxil in fact caused withdrawal symptoms prompted the judge to order GSK to cease and desist making misleading and inaccurate claims to the public.

In 2008, GSK was again hauled into court to face allegations of concealing vital information about the adverse effects of Paxil from the government, physicians and patients. There is documentary evidence that GSK knew that paroxetine increased the risk of suicide by 8 times way back in 1989, but only alerted the public in 2006. The investigation leading to this allegation began in 2003, when reports of Paxil-induced teenage suicides began coming in. Although Paxil is not approved for pediatric use, GSK had been actively marketing the drug to physicians for child depression. In 2004, the Food and Drug Administration required Paxil to have a black box warning regarding the risk of suicide for teens.

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Redness, Vessels & Rosacea: Symptoms, Sub-types are Treatment

While many individuals worry about wrinkles and smile lines or nasolabial folds, both of which are part of the aging process, so many more, especially those who have reached the age of 30, are concerned with the chronic and more likely life-disruptive facial skin disorder that is called Rosacea.

Many individuals, aged above 30 years old, begin to notice that they blush or flush more often. Surprisingly, however, the redness, which become more persistent and ruddier overtime, also tend to affect not only their cheeks, but their chin, nose, forehead, scalp, ears, neck and chest too. Worse, besides the redness, blood vessels, likewise, begin to become more visible.

This facial redness is the first sign of rosacea, which usually affects fair skinned individuals who easily flush or blush. And while women develop it more than men, it is in men that the symptoms of the disorder are diagnosed to be more severe. In some instances, even the eyes become affected, causing feelings of eye irritation and appearing bloodshot or watery.

Leaving rosacea untreated can lead to the development of pimples and bumps; it can also make the nose grow swollen and bumpy, a condition called rhinophyma. The cause of rosacea is unknown, thus no cure is known for it; it can be controlled, however, and its signs and symptoms, reversed or controlled.

One of the most effective ways of treating the facial skin disorder is through Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) photofacial treatment. Treatment of rosacea depends on the patient’s skin type and usually requires 3 – 5 sessions that are spaced 4 weeks apart from each other – this is for optimal redness reduction. While each session takes only minutes, the effect can last for months or years, depending on how well the patient complies with the use of recommended sunscreens.

Those who suspect that they may have the facial skin disorder are advised to see a dermatologist an aesthetic doctor for the appropriate treatment. According to a consensus arrived at by a committee of 17 medical experts from around the world, rosacea has primary and secondary symptoms. Its primary signs include flushing, persistent redness, bumps and pimples and visible blood vessels, while its secondary symptoms may include eye irritation, burning or stinging, dry appearance of facial skin, plaques or red patches, skin thickening, facial swelling, and redness on the scalp, ears, neck and/or chest.

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