Medicine

Britain: New HIV Cases Have Dropped 71% Since 2012

The BBC reports: The number of people diagnosed with HIV in the UK has dropped substantially since 2012, according to figures released by Public Health England. Gay and bisexual men have experienced the most dramatic decline in new infections, with rates falling by 71%. It has been attributed to a rise in the use of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). Campaigners are …

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Researchers Report Largest One-Year Decline In Cancer

The Associated Press reports: Researchers on Wednesday reported the largest-ever one-year decline in the U.S. cancer death rate, a drop they credited to advances in lung-tumor treatments. The overall cancer death rate has been falling about 1.5% a year since 1991. It fell 2.2% from 2016 to 2017, according to the new American Cancer Society report. That’s the largest drop …

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More Companies To Make Opioid Overdose Antidote

The Associated Press reports: More companies could begin making an easy-to-use version of an opioid overdose antidote under a deal announced Thursday by New York’s attorney general. Under the agreement, Emergent BioSolutions will no longer enforce a contract that had allowed it to be the only company to develop a nasal spray version of the drug nalmefene for use as …

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U-Haul Will No Longer Hire Nicotine Users In 21 States

Axios reports: U-Haul will not hire people who use nicotine products in 21 states beginning Feb. 1 in an attempt “to establish one of the healthiest corporate cultures in the U.S. and Canada,” the company announced in a statement. The ACLU considers anti-nicotine hiring policies “discriminatory” and a violation of worker privacy, but smokers are not a protected class under …

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Trump Admin Bans Some Flavored Vaping Products

CNBC reports: The Food and Drug Administration said Thursday it has issued a ban on flavored vaping products, with the exception of tobacco and menthol. Under the new rule, companies that do not stop the distribution of fruit and mint flavors within 30 days are at risk of regulatory action by the FDA, the agency said. “The United States has …

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Federal Vaping Ban May Be Coming After All

Bloomberg News reports: A possible ban on flavored e-cigarettes appears to be back on the table, as the White House is currently reviewing a new guidance from the FDA. The White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) began reviewing the guidance from FDA on Dec. 26. The administration finished reviewing an earlier version of the guidance in November, but …

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Seattle To Unvax’d Kids: Don’t Come Back To School

CBS News reports: Thousands of students in Seattle have 10 days to get vaccinated or they will not be allowed to go to school. This comes after Washington state had two measles outbreaks this year, one forcing a state of emergency. The Seattle Public Schools district issued a notice to families saying their kids could not attend school “until the …

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Congress Votes To Raise National Smoking Age To 21

Agence France-Press reports: The US Congress voted Thursday to raise the minimum age to buy tobacco and e-cigarettes from 18 to 21 across the country, a move intended to stem the rising tide of youth vaping. Passed by the Senate as part of a wider budgetary bill, it will take effect next year and will mean that tobacco and e-cigarettes …

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Court Strikes Down Obamacare’s Individual Mandate

Axios reports: A federal appeals court on Wednesday ruled that the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate is unconstitutional, but ordered a lower court to take a fresh look at how much of the rest of the law should fall along with it. This decision will likely keep the ACA’s protections for pre-existing conditions in legal limbo well past the 2020 …

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Opioid Family Siphoned $10B From Pharma Company

The New York Times reports: As scrutiny of Purdue Pharma’s role in the opioid epidemic intensified during the past dozen years, its owners, members of the Sackler family, withdrew more than $10 billion from the company, distributing it among trusts and overseas holding companies, according to a new audit commissioned by Purdue. The amount is more than eight times what …

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Congress To Raise National Smoking Age To 21

Politico reports: Congress is on the verge of a sweeping health care reform: Federally prohibiting the sale of tobacco products to people under 21. The legislation significantly raising the age cap on cigarettes and e-cigarettes is increasingly likely to be included in the year-end spending deal, the result of support from a diverse coalition of lawmakers, according to four people …

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New York State Court Swats Down Anti-Vax Lawsuit

Bloomberg Law reports: A judge in Albany, N.Y., upheld a state law boosting vaccine requirements, dismissing a case brought by parents who don’t want their children vaccinated and say the measure violates their religious rights. Under the law, parents are required to have their children vaccinated before they can attend school or day care, unless they have a medical condition …

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LAWSUIT: Gilead Withheld HIV Drug To Extend Profits

The Washington Post reports: In 2005, Gilead Sciences notified federal regulators that it was suspending development of a potentially safer, more potent HIV-fighting drug than the one on the market. The company did not restart its Food and Drug Administration application until 2010. Now the five-year delay of a promising drug is at the core of accusations by advocates that …

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WHO Estimate: 142,000 Measles Deaths In 2018

The Guardian reports: The worldwide surge in deadly measles outbreaks is showing no sign of abating, with nearly 10 million cases and 142,000 deaths last year, according to new estimates, and three times more cases reported so far this year than at the same stage in 2018. Most of those dying are small children, and thousands more suffer harm including …

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HHS Announces Free PrEP Medications For Uninsured

STAT News reports: In a bid to bolster a campaign to end HIV transmission in the United States, the Trump administration announced Tuesday that it will provide free pre-exposure prophylaxis — known as PrEP — for people at risk of contracting the virus who do not have prescription drug coverage. PrEP, which is taken daily, has been shown to be …

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$1/Day Breakthrough Generic Drug For HIV+ Children

The New York Times reports: About 80,000 babies and toddlers die of AIDS each year, mostly in Africa, in part because their medicines come in hard pills or bitter syrups that are very difficult for small children to swallow or keep down. But on Friday, the Indian generic drug manufacturer Cipla announced a new, more palatable pediatric formulation. The new …

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NYC Reports Plummeting Numbers Of New HIV Cases

The New York Daily News reports: Victory is in sight. City officials say they are on the cusp of the once unthinkable — ending the HIV/AIDS epidemic as new medicines and treatment drove down the number of new cases to a 17-year-low in 2018, Health Department stats show. And officials say it’s all thanks to the emergence of a new …

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AMA Backs Nationwide Ban On Ex-Gay Torture

From the American Medical Association: AMA supports state and federal bans on conversion therapy The AMA will develop model state legislation and advocate for federal legislation to ban so-called reparative or conversion therapy for sexual orientation or gender identity. The support for legislative bans strengthens AMA’s long-standing opposition to this unscientific practice. The AMA heard testimony, including first-hand accounts, regarding …

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CDC Issues Romaine Warning After E. Coli Outbreak

The Associated Press reports: U.S. health officials are telling people to avoid romaine lettuce grown in Salinas, California, as they investigate a food poisoning outbreak. The warning comes almost exactly one year after a similar outbreak. They also say not to eat the leafy green if the label doesn’t say where it was grown. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration …

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AMA Calls For Immediate Ban On All Vaping Products

Time Magazine reports: The American Medical Association is calling for an immediate ban on all electronic cigarettes and vaping devices. The group adopted the sweeping stance Tuesday at a policy-making meeting in San Diego. It aims to lobby for laws, regulations or legal action to achieve a ban, but the industry is sure to fight back. The AMA cited the …

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