Medicine

Federal Court Orders FDA To Regulate E-Cigarettes

Courthouse News reports: A federal judge sided with health advocacy groups in ruling that the Food and Drug Administration must stop electronic cigarette companies from selling their products until they win approval from the agency. In a lawsuit filed in March of last year, the American Academy of Pediatrics, American Heart Association, American Lung Association and other groups and physicians …

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GOP Reps Defend Big Pharma At Drug Prices Hearing: The Left Is “Demonizing” Gilead For Making A Profit

The Hill reports: Republican members of Congress defended Gilead, the leading manufacturer of HIV drugs in the U.S., during a testy hearing Thursday focused on the prices of its products. “I just cannot understand why we are spending time sitting here listening to people lecturing companies about making money. I hope you make a lot of money,” Rep. Chip Roy …

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Activists File Class Action Suit Against Major Pharma Companies, Allege Conspiracy To Delay HIV Generics

STAT News reports: In a bid to maintain its dominance in the HIV market, Gilead Sciences (GILD) allegedly conspired with other drug makers whose medicines were part of a so-called combination cocktail in order to block generic competition, according to a lawsuit filed by AIDS activists and two unions. The complaint describes an unusual scheme concerning these cocktails, which are …

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Instagram Expands Blocking Anti-Vaccination Hashtags

New Scientist reports: Instagram is cracking down on misinformation about vaccinations by blocking hashtags that include verifiably false information about the subject. Phase one of the crackdown involved removing hashtags promoting overt medical misinformation about vaccines — such as #VaccinesCauseAutism or #VaccinesCauseAIDS, both of which have been debunked by leading public health organizations. Now, Instagram says it is looking to …

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BREAKING: HHS Unveils Landmark Deal With Gilead, Eleven Years Of Free PrEP For Up To 200,000 Uninsured

Via press release: Health and Human Services Secretary Alex M. Azar II announced today that, as a result of discussions between the Trump Administration and Gilead Sciences, Inc., the pharmaceutical company has agreed to donate pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) medication for up to 200,000 individuals each year for up to 11 years. PrEP is used to reduce the risk of HIV …

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New Rules Require Prices In Television Drug Ads

Axios reports: The Trump administration finalized a rule Wednesday that will require pharmaceutical companies to post the list prices of their drugs in TV commercials. The drug industry may sue to block the rule, and many people are skeptical that publishing prices in ads would help patients or successfully shame drugmakers into lowering their prices. But the rule is another …

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Scientology Ship Once Again In Measles Quarantine

USA Today reports: Authorities in Curacao say 318 people aboard a Church of Scientology ship docked in the Dutch Caribbean island will remain quarantined until they determine how many might be infected with measles. Dr. Izzy Gerstenbluth said that a team of health officials took 277 blood samples and sent them to the Netherlands. He said he expects results on …

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HIV Study Confirms Undetectable = Untransmittable

The Guardian reports: An end to the AIDS epidemic could be in sight after a landmark study found men whose HIV infection was fully suppressed by anti-retroviral drugs had no chance of infecting their partner. The success of the medicine means that if everyone with HIV were fully treated, there would be no further infections. Among nearly 1,000 male couples …

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Scientology Ship Free After 100 Measles Vax Doses

NBC News reports: A cruise ship that had been quarantined this week in St. Lucia over a measles scare has set sail for Curacao maritime tracking records showed. The vessel, which St. Lucia Coast Guard Sgt. Victor Theodore said is named Freewinds, left St. Lucia at 11:18 p.m. Thursday. The shop is expected to pull into Willemstad port in Curacao, …

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Hundreds Of Anti-Vaxxers Mob California Hearing

The Sacramento Bee reports: Hundreds of vaccine-skeptical families crammed into the Capitol on Wednesday afternoon where they battled a bill that would give the state authority over whether children receive medical exemptions for mandatory vaccines. The massive crowd lined up for nearly four hours to oppose Senate Bill 276, authored by state Sen. Richard Pan, D-Sacramento, at a hearing in …

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Officials: Measles Outbreak Now Highest In 25 Years

The Associated Press reports: U.S. measles cases have climbed to their highest level in 25 years, largely because misinformation is turning parents against vaccines. New York City health officials on Wednesday reported 61 new cases since late last week. According to an Associated Press count, that pushes this year’s national tally past the 667 cases reported for all of 2014. …

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Trump Bucks Presidential Precedence With Silence On Measles Outbreaks, But That’s Probably A Good Thing

STAT News reports: President Trump’s absence in the national conversation about the measles outbreaks has prompted some debate in the public health community about whether he should be playing a more active role. For some observers, though, the question is not whether public officials should be supporting vaccinations, but rather whether a president who has previously spread false information linking …

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Scientists Revive Cells In Brains From Dead Pigs

The New York Times reports: In a study that raises profound questions about the line between life and death, researchers have restored some cellular activity to brains removed from slaughtered pigs. The brains did not regain anything resembling consciousness: There were no signs indicating coordinated electrical signaling, necessary for higher functions like awareness and intelligence. But in an experimental treatment, …

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GOP Lawmakers Oppose Vaccine Bills In Multiple States

Roll Call reports: Most Republicans are rejecting Democrat-led state bills to tighten childhood immunization laws in the midst of the worst measles outbreak in two decades, alarming public health experts who fear the nation could become as divided over vaccines as it is over global warming. Democrats in six states — Colorado, Arizona, New Jersey, Washington, New York and Maine …

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Parents Sue NYC Over Mandatory Measles Vax Order

The New York Daily News reports: A group of anti-vaccination proponents claim city officials overstepped their bounds — and violated their religious beliefs — by imposing an emergency order last week making measles vaccinations mandatory, according to a lawsuit filed early Monday. The five parents, who filed anonymously in Brooklyn Supreme Court, brought the case against the Department of Health …

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NYC Declares Public Health Emergency Over Measles

The New York Daily News reports: Mayor de Blasio declared a public health emergency over the measles outbreak in Brooklyn’s Orthodox Jewish community, mandating vaccinations for people living in Williamsburg zip codes to stem the crisis. People found not to be vaccinated could result in fines up to $1000. “There’s no question that vaccines are safe, effective and life-saving,” said …

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NYC Threatens To Close Jewish Schools Over Measles

The Daily Beast reports: New York City health officials announced a new crackdown Monday on yeshivas in a Brooklyn neighborhood that are letting unvaccinated students attend school in the midst of a major measles crisis. The Health Department had already ordered Jewish academies in certain zip codes to send home children who are not fully immunized, but some of the …

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NEW YORK: County Declares Measles Emergency, Bans All Unvaccinated Children From Public Spaces [VIDEO]

CBS News reports: Health officials in Rockland County, New York have declared a state of emergency amid an ongoing measles outbreak. The county is prohibiting unvaccinated children under the age of 18 from going out in public spaces for 30 days. There have been 153 confirmed cases of measles in Rockland County, which sits about 40 miles north of New …

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Purdue Pharma Settles First Opioid Suit For $270M

The Daily Beast reports: Purdue Pharma and its owners, the Sackler family, will pay $270 million to settle claims by the Oklahoma attorney general that the company helped fuel America’s opioid crisis, The Wall Street Journal reports. It’s the first settlement to be agreed upon from more than 1,600 opioid lawsuits the OxyContin maker faces various from states, cities, and …

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GoFundMe Bans Anti-Vax Messaging Campaigns

The Daily Beast reports: Anti-vaxxers have long used GoFundMe to raise money to spread their dangerous message—but now the site is cutting them off, The Daily Beast has learned. “Campaigns raising money to promote misinformation about vaccines violate GoFundMe’s terms of service and will be removed from the platform,” spokesman Bobby Whithorne told The Daily Beast. Last week, the American …

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