Health News Roundup: US Justice Dept appeals Obamacare ruling blocking coverage mandate- White House; Senegal says H5N1 bird flu has likely spread from wild birds to farm and more
The drugmaker told Reuters the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use's (CHMP) positive opinion was an "important recognition of the unmet medical need among adolescents living with obesity and the need for additional treatment options". Argentina restarts poultry exports weeks after bird flu episode Argentina has resumed poultry shipments weeks after imposing an export ban after bird flu was detected in the local industry, state safety regulator Senasa said on Friday, providing access to key export markets for the major agricultural producer.
Following is a summary of current health news briefs.
US Justice Dept appeals Obamacare ruling blocking coverage mandate- White House
The U.S. Justice Department is appealing a decision by a Texas judge that blocked Obamacare's mandate that health insurance plans cover preventive care at no cost to patients, the White House said on Friday. U.S. District Judge Reed O'Connor in Fort Worth, Texas, on Thursday blocked the federal government from enforcing requirements that insurance plans cover preventive care, including screenings for certain cancers and pre-exposure prophylaxis against HIV (PrEP).
Senegal says H5N1 bird flu has likely spread from wild birds to farm
Senegal has reported an outbreak of the highly pathogenic H5N1 bird flu on a poultry farm in the northwestern part of the country, the government of the West African state and the World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH) said on Friday. The outbreak occurred on March 18 on a farm in the village of Potou near the town of Louga, not far from the Langue de Barbarie National Park where an H5N1 outbreak had been found, the Paris-based WOAH said, citing Senegalese authorities.
U.S. Social Security fund seen depleted 2033, year earlier than previous estimate
The U.S. Social Security system's main trust fund's reserves will be depleted in 2033, one year earlier than estimated last year, while Medicare's finances have improved slightly, reports from the programs' trustees showed on Friday. The Medicare Hospital Trust Fund reserves are now expected to be depleted in 2031 compared to an estimate of 2028 made last year, due in part to new estimates showing higher revenue data.
EU backs use of Novo Nordisk's weight loss drug in adolescents
The European Medicines Agency said on Friday its committee has recommended expanding the use of Danish drugmaker Novo Nordisk's weight loss drug in adolescents aged 12 years and older. The drugmaker told Reuters the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use's (CHMP) positive opinion was an "important recognition of the unmet medical need among adolescents living with obesity and the need for additional treatment options".
Argentina restarts poultry exports weeks after bird flu episode
Argentina has resumed poultry shipments weeks after imposing an export ban after bird flu was detected in the local industry, state safety regulator Senasa said on Friday, providing access to key export markets for the major agricultural producer. Uruguay approved new export certificates for poultry products from Argentina, Senasa said in its statement following a meeting with WTO-ComPS sanitary officials from the World Trade Organization in Geneva.
Johnson & Johnson unit loses bid to stay in bankruptcy during Supreme Court appeal
A Johnson & Johnson company cannot delay a court order dismissing its bankruptcy, a U.S. court said on Friday, despite the company's planned Supreme Court appeal to use bankruptcy to resolve tens of thousands of lawsuits over its talc products. J&J sought to use the bankruptcy of its subsidiary company, LTL Management, to halt more than 38,000 lawsuits alleging the company's Baby Powder and other talc products are contaminated with asbestos. J&J maintains its consumer talc products are safe and asbestos-free.
US FDA identifies recall of Getinge's heart devices as most serious
The U.S. health regulator on Friday classified the recall of Getinge AB's heart devices as its most serious type as their use may cause grave injuries or death due to risk of unexpected shutdowns. The company said it has informed its customers about the issue and there was no material financial impact from the recall.
Lilly says experimental Alzheimer's drug reduces amyloid in small study
Eli Lilly and Co on Friday said early data from the first human study of its next-generation Alzheimer's treatment showed that it lowered levels of toxic amyloid plaques in the brains of people in the earliest stages of the mind-wasting disease. The higher the dose of the antibody drug, the larger the effect, Lilly said. The treatment, remternetug, was given by intravenous infusion but has the possibility of a more convenient method of administration via subcutaneous injection.
US softens cut to Medicare Advantage 2024 payments
The U.S. government announced on Friday a lower than expected 1.1% average cut of 2024 reimbursement rates for health insurers that offer coverage through the Medicare Advantage program, boosting shares of the market's largest players. It improved the rates it would pay insurers after pushback from the industry, which contended the government was cutting reimbursement rates by too much for them to adequately serve older people enrolled in their plans.
Syphilis cases in babies skyrocket in Canada amid healthcare failures
The numbers of babies born with syphilis in Canada are rising at a far faster rate than recorded in the United States or Europe, an increase public health experts said is driven by increased methamphetamine use and lack of access to the public health system for Indigenous people. While syphilis has made a global resurgence over the last five years, Canada is an outlier among wealthy nations in its rate of increase: 13-fold over five years, according to Health Canada. The incidence of babies born with syphilis reached 26 per 100,000 live births in 2021, the most recent year available, up from 2 in 2017, according to the Health Canada data.
(With inputs from agencies.)