Medicine

CDC Warns That Flu Season May Be Worst In Years

Via press release from the CDC: With a potentially severe respiratory season ahead, about half of all US adults remain vulnerable to influenza (flu), according to new data released today by the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID). The new NFID survey of US adults found that only 49% plan to get a flu vaccine during the 2022-2023 flu season. …

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Pharmacies To Face Trial Over Homeopathic Products

Ars Technica reports: Pharmacy giants CVS and Walmart will have to face trials over claims that placing ineffective homeopathic products alongside legitimate over-the-counter medicines on store shelves deceives consumers into thinking that the pseudoscientific products are akin to evidence-based, Food and Drug Administration-approved drugs. The claims come from the nonprofit organization Center for Inquiry (CFI), which filed nearly identical lawsuits …

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Study: New Alzheimer’s Drug Slows Cognitive Decline

The Washington Post reports: An experimental Alzheimer’s drug slowed cognitive and functional decline by 27 percent in a closely watched clinical trial, the sponsors of the medication said Tuesday, increasing the therapy’s chance for approval as soon as early next year. Japanese drugmaker Eisai and its American partner, Biogen, in a news release said the slowing of deterioration, compared with …

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FDA: Please Do Not Cook Chicken In NyQuil [VIDEO]

The Hill reports: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is warning young people against engaging in an online trend that challenges people to cook with over-the-counter drugs, saying there are “significant risks” in using these medications incorrectly. At the beginning of this year, the trend took off on social media apps such as TikTok, where users would post videos of …

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NIH Launches Phase 3 Trial Of Monkeypox Med TPOXX

From the National Institutes of Health: A Phase 3 clinical trial evaluating the antiviral tecovirimat, also known as TPOXX, is now enrolling adults and children with monkeypox infection in the United States. Study investigators aim to enroll more than 500 people from clinical research sites nationwide. Interested volunteers can visit the ACTG website for more information. The trial is sponsored …

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New York Governor Declares Polio State Of Emergency

Via press release from New York Gov. Kathy Hochul: WHEREAS, a case of paralytic polio was identified on July 21, 2022, in an unvaccinated resident of Rockland County who had no international travel during the incubation period for polio; WHEREAS, the poliovirus that infected the Rockland County individual has been identified as a case of vaccine-derived poliovirus, the last of …

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TX Judge: Insurance Coverage For HIV PrEP Pill Violates Religious Rights And “Enables Homosexual Behavior”

The Advocate reports: A federal judge in Texas has ruled partially in favor of plaintiffs that argued that requiring insurance companies to cover medications for HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, violates their rights on religious grounds. Jonathan Mitchell, who founded a one-person law firm in 2018 intending to challenge decades-old Supreme Court rulings, brought the case Braidwood Management Inc., vs. …

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FDA Okays Pfizer And Moderna Anti-Omicron Boosters

CBS News reports: The Biden administration’s planned fall COVID-19 booster campaign cleared a key regulatory hurdle, after the Food and Drug Administration announced Wednesday it has authorized updated shots adapted for the Omicron variant of the virus for Americans as young as 12 years old. People could get the new booster as little as 2 months after their last shot …

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Feds: US Life Expectancy Dropped 11 Months In 2021

ABC News reports: U.S. life expectancy dropped for the second consecutive year in 2021, falling by nearly a year from 2020, according to a government report being released Wednesday. In the first two years of the COVID-19 pandemic, the estimated American lifespan has shortened by nearly three years. The last comparable decrease happened in the early 1940s, during the height …

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Moderna Sues Pfizer For mRNA Patent Infringement

Bloomberg Law reports: Moderna Inc. said it’s suing Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE, claiming the technology in the partners’ Covid-19 shot infringes on its patents, a move that sets the stage for a massive legal clash between the three vaccine titans. Moderna, in a statement Friday, accused Pfizer and BioNTech of violating intellectual property protecting key elements of Moderna’s messenger …

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Study: COVID Drug Ineffective In Adults Ages 40-65

USA Today reports: Pfizer’s COVID-19 pill appears to provide little or no benefit for younger adults, while still reducing the risk of hospitalization and death for high-risk seniors, according to a large study published Wednesday. The results from a 109,000-patient Israeli study are likely to renew questions about the U.S. government’s use of Paxlovid, which has become the go-to treatment …

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Pfizer Seeks FDA Approval For Anti-Omicron Booster

The Associated Press reports: Pfizer asked U.S. regulators Monday to authorize its combination COVID-19 vaccine that adds protection against the newest omicron relatives — a key step toward opening a fall booster campaign. The Food and Drug Administration ordered vaccine makers to tweak their shots to target BA.4 and BA.5 that are better than ever at dodging immunity from earlier …

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NYC Warns Of Record Presence Of West Nile Virus

As if COVID, monkeypox, and polio wasn’t enough: The Health Department today announced that West Nile virus (WNV) has been detected in two people and a record number of WNV-infected mosquitoes have been detected in New York City (NYC) across all five boroughs. Mosquitoes infected with WNV are typically present in NYC from July through October, with peak activity during …

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CDC Director Outlines Plan To Overhaul Agency

The New York Times reports: Dr. Rochelle P. Walensky, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, on Wednesday delivered a sweeping rebuke of her agency’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, saying it had failed to respond quickly enough and needed to be overhauled. In a meeting with senior staff, Dr. Walensky outlined in broad terms a plan …

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FDA Finalizes Rule Allowing OTC Sales Of Hearing Aids

Via press release from the FDA: Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a final rule to improve access to hearing aids which may in turn lower costs for millions of Americans. This action establishes a new category of over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aids, enabling consumers with perceived mild to moderate hearing impairment to purchase hearing aids directly from stores …

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Polio Virus Detected In New York City Wastewater

The Associated Press reports: The polio virus has been found in New York City’s wastewater in another sign that the disease, which hadn’t been seen in the U.S. in a decade, is quietly spreading among unvaccinated people, health officials said Friday. The presence of the poliovirus in the city’s wastewater suggests likely local circulation of the virus, the city and …

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Republican Senators Block $35 Price Cap On Insulin

The Washington Post reports: Republican lawmakers on Sunday successfully stripped a $35 price cap on the cost of insulin for many patients from the ambitious legislative package Democrats are moving through Congress this weekend, invoking arcane Senate rules to jettison the measure. The insulin cap is a long-running ambition of Democrats, who want it to apply to patients on Medicare …

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NY State Official: Hundreds May Be Infected With Polio

NBC New York reports: There are new concerns about the potential spread of polio in New York, with the state health commissioner saying there could be “hundreds” of people infected as new evidence shows the virus has been found in samples from multiple counties. “Based on earlier polio outbreaks, New Yorkers should know that for every one case of paralytic …

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Moderna May Create mRNA-Based Monkeypox Vax

ABC News reports: Amid growing concerns over the potential threat of monkeypox, executives from Moderna said Wednesday they have initiated a research program to consider whether the company could create a monkeypox vaccine with mRNA technology. “We’re obviously very aware of the monkeypox concern and obviously very sensitive to recent announcements,” Moderna President Stephen Hoge said during an investor call. …

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Labs Refuse Blood Draws From Monkeypox Patients

CNN reports: Many technicians at Labcorp and Quest Diagnostics, two of the largest commercial labs in the US, have been refusing to draw blood from patients who might have monkeypox, CNN has learned. Labcorp and Quest don’t dispute that in many cases, their phlebotomists are not taking blood from possible monkeypox patients. What remains unclear, after company statements and follow-ups …

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