Health News Roundup: US Senate confirms Monica Bertagnolli as NIH director; Tuberculosis fight recovering from COVID-19 knock but still off target- WHO and more
In Ohio, a state that voted for Republican Donald Trump by 8 percentage points in the 2020 presidential election, voters approved a constitutional amendment guaranteeing abortion rights, Edison Research projected. Tuberculosis fight recovering from COVID-19 knock but still off target- WHO The global fight against tuberculosis (TB), badly hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, is beginning to recover but remains a long way off target, according to a World Health Organization report.
Following is a summary of current health news briefs.
US Senate confirms Monica Bertagnolli as NIH director
The U.S. Senate on Tuesday voted to confirm President Joe Biden's pick to run the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Dr. Monica Bertagnolli, filling the director spot at the country's top medical research agency after a vacancy of almost two years. Bertagnolli, a cancer surgeon, was approved by a bipartisan 62 to 26 vote. The NIH had been without a director since December 2021, when former director Francis Collins retired, ending a 12-year reign.
Republican US senator continues abortion-related holds on military nominees
U.S. Republican Senator Tommy Tuberville said on Tuesday he would continue his blockade of hundreds of military promotions over the Defense Department's abortion policy, but was nearing some compromises including allowing promotions of essential nominees. Tuberville, a first-term senator closely aligned with former Republican President Donald Trump, has been blocking quick confirmation of high-level military promotions since February to protest the Pentagon's policy of covering travel costs for abortions for service members and their dependents.
Abortion rights advocates, Democrats score wins in US elections
Democrats and abortion rights advocates notched a string of electoral victories on Tuesday, including in conservative Ohio and Kentucky, an early signal that reproductive rights remain a potent issue for Democrats ahead of the 2024 presidential race. In Ohio, a state that voted for Republican Donald Trump by 8 percentage points in the 2020 presidential election, voters approved a constitutional amendment guaranteeing abortion rights, Edison Research projected.
Tuberculosis fight recovering from COVID-19 knock but still off target- WHO
The global fight against tuberculosis (TB), badly hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, is beginning to recover but remains a long way off target, according to a World Health Organization report. During the first two years of the pandemic, there were around 4 million “missing” TB patients per year, meaning people who developed TB but who were not diagnosed or treated. That gap narrowed to around 3.1 million in 2022, the U.N. agency’s annual report estimated, back to the pre-pandemic level of 2019.
Dialysis provider DaVita raises full-year profit outlook, shares rise
Dialysis firm DaVita raises its full-year 2023 adjusted profit per share outlook after beating quarterly revenue estimates, on the back of strong demand, sending shares up nearly 6% in extended trading. DaVita provides kidney care services to patients in the United States through a network of outpatient clinics and at-home dialysis services.
Appeals court blocks California warning requirement for glyphosate
A divided federal appeals court on Tuesday upheld an injunction barring California from requiring businesses to warn consumers that glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup weedkiller, causes cancer. In a 2-1 decision, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said it was unconstitutional for California to require Bayer AG's Monsanto unit, which makes Roundup, and some agricultural producers to provide the warning under a state law known as Proposition 65.
Biogen-Sage Therapeutics postpartum depression pill priced at $15,900
Sage Therapeutics has priced the oral postpartum depression (PPD) pill it developed with partner Biogen at $15,900 for a full 14-day course of treatment, the company said on Tuesday, months after the drug was approved by the U.S. health regulator. The companies had sought U.S. approval for Zurzuvae to treat clinical depression, a much larger market, and postpartum depression, but the Food and Drug Administration in August approved it only for PPD.
US FDA approves Otsuka's blood pressure treatment device for use
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the use of a device made by an Otsuka Holdings unit in a type of surgery to treat high blood pressure, the company said on Wednesday. The approval for Paradise Ultrasound Renal Denervation comes after an FDA panel backed its use.
Accord resumes production of cancer drug methotrexate amid supply shortage
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reported on Tuesday Accord Healthcare has resumed manufacturing of methotrexate, one of the most commonly used cancer drugs, amid ongoing shortages for some cancer drugs in the United States. Methotrexate is an injected drug used to treat cancers ranging from acute lymphoblastic leukemia in children, breast cancer, lung cancer, bone cancers and certain types of head and neck cancers, according to the National Cancer Institute.
Syphilis cases in US newborns rise 10-fold over a decade
The number of newborns with syphilis in the United States surged more than 10-fold in the last decade, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported on Tuesday. The agency said 3,761 cases were recorded in 2022, the highest in over 30 years, up from 334 cases in 2012. The 2022 cases included 231 stillbirths and 51 infant deaths.
(With inputs from agencies.)