Louisiana's Bold Move on Abortion Pills and More Health News

The Louisiana Senate passed a bill reclassifying abortion-inducing drugs as controlled substances, leading to significant penalties. HPV vaccine benefits men, and a jury dismisses a Zantac-related cancer claim. Pfizer initiates cost-cutting, and Novo Nordisk's Ozempic shows promise in treating diabetic kidney disease. WHO updates pandemic response rules, and the tobacco industry targets youth with vapes.

Reuters | Updated: 24-05-2024 18:27 IST | Created: 24-05-2024 18:27 IST
Louisiana's Bold Move on Abortion Pills and More Health News
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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.

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.

Explainer-What are the FLiRT COVID variants and are they more contagious?

The so-called FLiRT variants of SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus that cause COVID-19 have been the dominant forms of the virus circulating this year globally, according to the World Health Organization The moniker FLiRT is an acronym for the locations of the mutations the variants share on the virus' spike protein. One of them, called KP.2, has become the most commonly circulating variant in the United States over the past month, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Explainer-How close is the World Health Organization to agreeing on pandemic response rules?

Health officials from the 194 member states of the World Health Organization hope next week to complete more than two years of negotiations on new rules for responding to pandemics when they gather in Geneva. Negotiations are ongoing for two complementary deals that could be formalised at the May 27-June 1 meeting: an update to existing health rules on outbreaks and a new legally-binding treaty to shore up the world's defences against future pathogens after the COVID-19 pandemic killed millions of people.

Novo Nordisk's Ozempic slows diabetic kidney disease progression in trial

Novo Nordisk's Ozempic slowed the worsening of kidney dysfunction in patients with type 2 diabetes and lowered the risk of kidney failure, heart problems, stroke and death, according to detailed results from a late-stage trial presented on Friday. The company in March reported that the diabetes drug known chemically as semaglutide cut the combined risk of kidney complications and cardiovascular events by 24% over the next 3.4 years in patients who received weekly 1-milligram injections compared with those who got a placebo.

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.

UK's Sunak confirms anti-smoking plan will not become law before election

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak's plan to ban smoking for younger generations will not become law after he called a snap election leaving no time to push through one of his flagship policies. "The smoking ban, of course, disappointed not to be able to get that through at the end of the session given the time available," Sunak told reporters on Friday.

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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