National digest: Drug for sleep disorder approved; food rule proposed

HEALTH

First drug for sleep disorder approved

U.S. health regulators on Friday approved the first drug to treat a sleep disorder that mainly afflicts the blind.

The Food and Drug Administration cleared Vanda Pharmaceuticals’ Hetlioz capsules for patients who have problems sleeping because they can’t detect light. The condition, called non-24-hour disorder, is estimated to affect up to 100,000 Americans, most of whom are totally blind. These people can find their sleep patterns reversed — sleeping during the day and being awake at night.

— Associated Press

FDA proposes rule
for food transporation

Food transportation companies will be required to adhere to certain sanitation standards to prevent food from becoming contaminated during transit under a new rule proposed by the FDA.

The rule would require shippers and carriers to properly refrigerate food, clean vehicles between loads and protect food during transportation. The rule is the seventh and final plank of the 2011 Food Safety Modernization Act, a sweeping initiative meant to reduce food-borne illnesses.

— Reuters

Daley nephew pleads guilty in man’s death: A nephew of former Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter Friday in the death of a man he got into a fight with outside a bar in 2004. Richard J. Vanecko will serve 60 days in the McHenry County Jail, followed by 60 days of home confinement. He also was ordered to pay $20,000 in restitution for the death of David Koschman, 21.

Powder mailed to sites near Super Bowl venue: A suspicious white powder mailed to several locations, including at least five hotels near the site of Sunday’s Super Bowl in New Jersey and the office of former New York mayor Rudolph Giuliani’s business, appears not to be dangerous, the FBI said Friday.

Montana diocese files for bankruptcy: The Roman Catholic Diocese of Helena, Mont., filed for bankruptcy protection Friday as part of a proposed $15 million settlement for hundreds of victims who say clergy members sexually abused them over decades while the church covered it up.

— From news services

 
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