Health News Briefs: Louisiana Reclassifies Abortion Drugs, HPV Vaccine Benefits Men, New Zantac Verdict, and More

Louisiana reclassifies abortion pills, HPV vaccine benefits men, Zantac not linked to cancer in first trial, CVS seeks private equity for Oak Street Health, Pfizer launches cost-cutting, EU reports no bird flu in humans or cows, U.S. confirms second bird flu case, WHO warns on vapes, FDA backs cancer blood test, and dairy workers yet to get bird flu protection.

Reuters | Updated: 24-05-2024 10:26 IST | Created: 24-05-2024 10:26 IST
Health News Briefs: Louisiana Reclassifies Abortion Drugs, HPV Vaccine Benefits Men, New Zantac Verdict, and More

Following is a summary of current health news briefs.

Louisiana lawmakers vote to reclassify abortion pills as controlled substances

The Louisiana Senate gave final legislative approval on Thursday to a bill that would make the state the first in the U.S. to reclassify two abortion-inducing drugs as controlled substances that carry the potential for abuse or addiction. The bill would make unprescribed possession of the abortion pills mifepristone and misoprostol a crime punishable by one to five years in prison and fines of up to $5,000, though pregnant women are expressly exempt from prosecution.

HPV vaccine provides real benefits for men, analysis shows

Vaccination of boys and men against the human papillomavirus (HPV) reduces their risk of head and neck cancers and other malignancies, a new analysis shows, adding to the vaccine's proven benefit in protecting women from cervical cancer. The study of more than 3.4 million people is one of the first long-term analyses of the vaccine's real-world effect on preventing HPV-related cancers of the head and neck, anal areas, penis, vulva, vagina and cervix, researchers said.

Zantac not a cause of woman's cancer, jury says in first trial over drug

A jury in Chicago on Thursday rejected an Illinois woman's claim that the now discontinued heartburn drug Zantac caused her colon cancer, in the first trial out of thousands of lawsuits making similar allegations. The jury in Cook County, Illinois circuit court agreed with arguments from drugmakers GSK and Boehringer Ingelheim that the plaintiff, 89-year-old Illinois resident Angela Valadez, had not proven her colon cancer was at least in part caused by her Zantac use.

CVS seeks private equity funding for Oak Street Health, Bloomberg News reports

CVS Health Corp has been seeking a private equity partner to fund growth at Oak Street Health, a primary care provider it bought a year ago, Bloomberg News reported on Thursday. The company has been working with financial advisers to help find capital to back new clinics that will be opened by Oak Street, the report said, citing people familiar with the matter.

Pfizer rolls out another cost-cutting program, sets $1.5 billion target by 2027

U.S. drugmaker Pfizer on Wednesday launched a new multi-year program to reduce its expenses by about $1.5 billion by the end of 2027, adding on to a $4 billion cost cutting plan it announced last year. Investors have fled from Pfizer as pandemic worries declined and billions of dollars in COVID-19 vaccine and treatment sales disappeared. The company responded with a $43 billion purchase of cancer drugmaker Seagen, the cost cuts, and an internal restructuring.

EU reports no bird flu cases in humans or cows as virus spreads in US

There have been no reports in the European Union of bird flu infecting a human or cow but research is ongoing on the virus's transmission, an EU official said on Thursday, one day after U.S. officials confirmed that country's second human case.

Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI), commonly called bird flu, has killed millions of birds around the globe in recent years. Its spread to humans and other mammal species, including U.S. dairy cattle in March, is raising concerns that the virus could mutate into one easily transmissible between humans and spark a pandemic.

Second US dairy worker infected with bird flu confirmed in Michigan

A second human case of bird flu has been confirmed in the United States since the virus was first detected in dairy cattle in late March, U.S. officials said on Wednesday. The infection of a dairy worker in Michigan expands the outbreak of the virus that has circulated in poultry for years, though the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said the risk to the general public remains low.

Tobacco industry aims to hook new generation on vapes, WHO says

Tobacco companies still actively target young people via social media, sports and music festivals and new, flavoured products, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Thursday, accusing companies of trying to hook a new generation on nicotine. Amid ever-stricter regulation targeting cigarettes, big tobacco companies and new entrants have begun offering smoking alternatives such as vapes, which they say are aimed at adult smokers.

U.S. FDA advisers back approval for Guardant's blood-based cancer test

Advisers to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Thursday recommended for the approval of Guardant Health's blood test to detect a cancer that begins in the colon or rectum. The panel voted seven-to-two in favor of benefits outweighing risks when using the test called Shield for colorectal cancer (CRC).

Many US dairy workers yet to receive protective gear for bird flu

Many U.S. dairy farms have not yet increased health protections against bird flu for employees during an outbreak in cows, according to workers, activists and farmers, worrying health experts about the risk for more human infections of a virus with pandemic potential. Epidemiologists are concerned the virus could potentially spread and cause serious illnesses as farmers downplay the risk to workers while employees are not widely aware of cases in U.S. cattle.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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