Medicine

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 …

Read More »

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 …

Read More »

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 …

Read More »

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 …

Read More »

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 …

Read More »

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 …

Read More »

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 …

Read More »

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 …

Read More »

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 …

Read More »

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 …

Read More »

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 …

Read More »

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 …

Read More »

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 …

Read More »

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, …

Read More »

CDC HIV Update: Undetectable = Untransmittable

An important update to official CDC guidelines: For HIV-positive MSM, taking ART regularly greatly reduces the risk of HIV transmission to a negative partner. For persons who achieve and maintain viral suppression, there is effectively no risk of transmitting HIV to their HIV-negative sexual partner. This translates to an effectiveness estimate of 100% for taking ART regularly as prescribed and …

Read More »

Johnson & Johnson To Begin HIV Vaccine Testing

CNBC reports: Pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson is set to test an experimental HIV vaccine in the U.S. and Europe sometime this year, the company confirmed with CNBC. The experimental J&J vaccine is a mosaic-based preventative immunization that targets various strains of the HIV virus. The company is also conducting a phase 2 clinical trial for the vaccine in Africa, …

Read More »

Anti-Vaxxers File Class Action Suit Against New York

The Hudson Journal News reports: Dozens of plaintiffs have filed a class action lawsuit in state Supreme Court arguing a newly enacted law that ended the religious exemption for vaccinations in New York violates their religious beliefs. The lawsuit, filed Wednesday, comes just weeks after a contentious vote by lawmakers approving the end of religious exemptions for vaccinations in the …

Read More »

HIV Eliminated From Living Animals For First Time

ABC News reports: Researchers at Temple University’s School of Medicine and a team at the University of Nebraska Medical Center say they have, for the first time, eliminated the DNA of HIV-1, the virus responsible for AIDS, from the genomes of living animals. The technique involves 2 new technologies: gene editing known as CRISPR and a therapy known as LASER …

Read More »

House Panel Probes Trump’s PrEP Deal With Gilead

The Washington Post reports: The chairman of the House Oversight Committee is expanding the committee’s review of Gilead Science’s patent claims relating to Truvada for PrEP, the company’s drug that prevents HIV infection. In a letter released Thursday, Rep. Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.) demanded emails and other information from Gilead about negotiations that led to Gilead’s pledge to donate free …

Read More »

AMA, Others: Climate Change Is A “Health Emergency”

The Associated Press reports: As Democratic presidential hopefuls prepare for their first 2020 primary debate this week, 74 medical and public health groups aligned on Monday to push for a series of consensus commitments to combat climate change, bluntly defined by the organizations as “a health emergency.” The new climate change agenda released by the groups, including the American Medical …

Read More »