Medicine

Gayborhood Tanning Salons Linked To Skin Cancer Risk

Reuters reports: In many U.S. cities, tanning salons appear to cluster in neighborhoods where more gay and bisexual men live, according to a study that suggests this might be one reason for higher skin cancer rates among sexual minority men. The odds of living near a tanning salon were twice as high in areas where at least 10% of households …

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CALIFORNIA: PrEP Now Available Without Prescription

The Associated Press reports: Pharmacists in California will be able to dispense HIV prevention pills to patients without a doctor’s prescription after Gov. Gavin Newsom signed legislation Monday that supporters say will greatly reduce the spread of infection. Advocates of Senate Bill 159 say that California is the first state to authorize pre-exposure prophylaxis, also called PrEP, and post-exposure prophylaxis, …

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FDA Approves Second Gilead Drug For Daily PrEP

NBC News reports: Gilead Sciences, the drug giant behind the blockbuster HIV prevention pill Truvada, won FDA approval on Thursday to market Descovy — a medication already used by those who have HIV — as its next-generation prevention drug. The final approval follows an August vote in favor of Descovy as a pre-exposure prophylaxis medication, or PrEP, by an FDA …

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CDC Urges Against Vaping THC As Lung Disease Rises

CNBC reports: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is urging people to stop vaping THC products as the death toll from a mysterious lung disease rises with no signs of abating. The vaping-related illness has sickened 805 people across 46 states and one territory, the CDC said Friday. One person died in Oregon this week, bringing the death toll …

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Feds Urge Early Flu Shots As Australia Sees Outbreak

Axios reports: Public health officials on Thursday urged Americans to get their seasonal flu vaccine early this year, in case the U.S. follows Australia’s season in which the virus hit many people early. While public health officials admit the vaccine is not 100% effective, there’s growing research showing that the vaccine reduces the severe and sometimes deadly complications from the …

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Bernie Calls For Eliminating $81 Billion In Medical Debt

The New York Times reports: Bernie Sanders has long wanted to remake the health care system so no one will have to pay directly for medical care again. Now, he also wants to go back and cancel all the medical debts of people who have been billed under the current system. In a plan released Saturday, Mr. Sanders, the Vermont …

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Anti-Vax Nutbags: We’re The New Civil Rights Activists

Politico reports: A chorus of mostly white women sang the gospel song “We Shall Overcome” in the California State Capitol, an anthem of the civil rights movement. Mothers rallied outside the governor’s office and marched through Capitol corridors chanting “No segregation, no discrimination, yes on education for all!” Some wore T-shirts that read “Freedom Keepers.” But this wasn’t about racial …

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Trump Admin Readies Ban On Flavored E-Cigarettes

CNBC reports: The Trump administration is preparing to ban flavored e-cigarettes as federal health officials call for restrictions to combat an outbreak of a mysterious lung disease that has sickened hundreds and killed at least six people, U.S. health secretary Alex Azar told reporters Wednesday. President Donald Trump held a policy meeting on the issue at the White House on …

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Severe Lung Illnesses Double, CDC Urges: Stop Vaping

The New York Times reports: Medical experts and federal health officials on Friday warned the public about the dangers of vaping and discouraged using the devices as the number of people with a severe lung illness linked to vaping has more than doubled to 450 possible cases in 33 states. State officials reported two deaths, bringing the number of confirmed …

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FDA Identifies Contaminant Linked To Vaping Illnesses

The Washington Post reports: State and federal health officials investigating mysterious lung illnesses linked to vaping have found the same chemical in samples of marijuana products used by people sickened in different parts of the country and who used different brands of products in recent weeks. The chemical is an oil derived from vitamin E. Investigators at the U.S. Food …

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New York City Declares End To Measles Outbreak

Gothamist reports: New York City’s biggest measles outbreak in nearly 30 years, which predominantly sickened ultra-Orthodox Jewish residents of Williamsburg and Borough Park, has ended. According to Health Department officials, 42 days, or two consecutive incubation periods for the highly contagious virus have passed, allowing the city to declare itself measles-free. The last recorded infection was in mid-July. An emergency …

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Michigan First State To Ban Flavored E-Cigarettes

The Washington Post reports: Michigan on Wednesday will become the first state in the nation to ban flavored e-cigarettes, a step the governor said was needed to protect young people from the potentially harmful effects of vaping. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D), in an interview, said the state health department found youth vaping constituted a public health emergency, prompting her to …

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CDC Cites Lung Illnesses In Formal Vaping Warning

Axios reports: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a formal warning on Friday against the use of e-cigarettes, recommending users do not buy bootlegged e-cigarettes or modify vaping products or substances, per a press release. Why it matters: As of Aug. 27, 215 cases of lung illnesses associated with vaping had been reported, along with 1 death related …

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Johnson & Johnson Hit With $572M Opioid Judgment

NBC News reports: Johnson & Johnson must pay over $572 million for its role in the Oklahoma opioid epidemic that officials claim led to more than 6,000 deaths in the state over nearly two decades, a judge ruled Monday. Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter claimed in court that Johnson & Johnson (J&J) and its pharmaceutical subsidiary, Janssen, marketed opioids to …

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CDC Links Vaping To 153 Cases Of “Severe Lung Illness”

USA Today reports: Like to vape? Dabble in dabbing? Be careful: The number of vaping-related illnesses among teens and young adults is on the rise. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced this week that 153 possible cases of severe lung illness linked to vaping were reported across 16 states in just the past two months. Many cases involved …

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CALIFORNIA: AIDS Healthcare Foundation Faces Probe Over Use Of Federal Drug Discount Funds For Lobbying

Politico reports: A California state senator has formally asked state Attorney General Xavier Becerra to investigate whether the powerhouse AIDS Healthcare Foundation is fraudulently misusing savings from a federal drug-discount program designed to help poor patients. The request comes from state Sen. Ben Hueso (D-Chula Vista), who has urged an investigation into the politically powerful organization that has dumped upwards …

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FDA Proposes Graphic Warnings For Cigarette Packs

The New York Times reports: The corpse is gone. So are the grief-stricken woman, the rotting teeth and the man struggling to smoke despite a hole in his windpipe. Nine years after the Food and Drug Administration first proposed graphic images as warnings on cigarette packs but was thwarted by tobacco companies in a successful court battle, the agency announced …

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AFRICA: Scientists Say Ebola Is Now Curable

The Guardian reports: Ebola can no longer be called an incurable disease, scientists have said, after two of four drugs being trialled in the major outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo were found to have significantly reduced the death rate. ZMapp, used during the massive Ebola epidemic in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea, has been dropped along with …

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Trio Of Drugmakers Offer $10 Billion Opioid Settlement

Bloomberg reports: McKesson Corp., Cardinal Health, and AmerisourceBergen Corp. have proposed paying $10 billion to settle claims they helped to fuel the U.S. opioid epidemic — the first sign of progress in resolving state lawsuits against the drug distributors, according to people familiar with negotiations. The companies, which deliver the majority of prescription medications to U.S. pharmacies, made the verbal …

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Pin-Sized PrEP Implant Could Block HIV For Full Year

USA Today reports: Earlier this week, Merck released the results of a small and early trial showing a prototype of a pin-sized implant could block HIV from infecting individuals for a full year. Through an upper-arm implant, the same device used to administer certain birth controls, doctors will likely be able to deliver “meaningful doses” of an experimental anti-HIV drug, …

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