Health News Roundup: Teen vaping tied to marijuana use; Ebola 'no longer incurable' and moreDevdiscourse News Desk | Updated: 14-08-2019 10:34 IST | Created: 14-08-2019 10:30 IST
Following is a summary of current health news briefs.
U.S. budget deficit widens; spending up on health, military
The U.S. government's deficit widened to $120 billion in July, fueled by increases in spending on health care and the military, according to data released on Monday by the Treasury Department. The size of the deficit was in line with expectations in a Reuters poll of analysts.
British hospitals may be poorly prepared for high casualty incidents
More than half of key hospital doctors in England who would likely be involved in responding to a major incident, such as a bombing or massive fire, are ill prepared for it, a new report suggests. Worse, the new survey finds them to be less prepared than peers were in 2006, the last time similar doctors were questioned, according to the study published in Emergency Medicine Journal.
No-deal Brexit could deepen Europe's shortage of medicines: experts
As the Oct. 31 deadline for Britain to leave the European Union approaches, health professionals are warning that shortages of some medicines could worsen in Europe in the event of a no-deal Brexit. Britain's food and drink lobby warned last week that the country would experience shortages of some fresh foods if there is a disorderly no-deal Brexit. Pharmaceutical companies have expressed similar concerns about medicines, and some have reserved air freight capacity to fly in supplies if needed.
Fewer parents smoke when pediatricians offer tobacco screening, treatment
Parents who smoke may be more likely to quit when they receive tobacco screening and smoking cessation treatment from their child's pediatrician than when they don't get this support, a new study suggests. "Most parents want to quit smoking but they don't often get the help they need from their own doctor," said Dr. Jonathan Winickoff, senior author of the study and a pediatrician at Massachusetts General Hospital for Children in Boston.
Canadian drug price regulator may be flexible on rare diseases
Canada's patented drug price regulator, set to gain new powers next year, may be "more forgiving" in setting price caps for drugs that treat rare diseases, the agency's executive director told Reuters, as some advocates warned the country's pricing reforms would hurt patients. The Canadian government announced final regulations meant to cut drug spending on Friday. The reforms expand the Patented Medicine Prices Review Board's (PMPRB) powers, and among other things give it the ability to consider the cost-effectiveness of medications.
Teen vaping tied to marijuana use
Adolescents and young adults who have smoked e-cigarettes are more than three times more likely to move on to marijuana than youth who never try vaping, a research review study suggests. Researchers examined data from 21 previously published studies with more than 128,000 participants ages 10 to 24. Overall, young people who used e-cigarettes were 3.5 times more likely to use marijuana, the analysis found.
Senator Grassley seeks info on Novartis's Zolgensma data issues
U.S. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley has asked Swiss drugmaker Novartis AG to provide details on data manipulation related to its $2 million gene therapy, Zolgensma, by Aug. 23. The Republican, in a letter dated Aug.9 to the drugmaker's Chief Executive Officer Vasant Narasimhan, asked the company to provide all records on its internal inquiry into Zolgensma data discrepancies. (http://bit.ly/2Z18Fc3)
Research in astronauts sheds light on rare fainting disorder
The intervention used to treat astronauts has relevance for people on the ground with medical conditions that cause repeated fainting, researchers say. Astronauts newly returned to Earth commonly have episodes of lightheadedness and fainting. But researchers have found in the past that daily exercise in space and intravenous saline solution to boost blood volume upon landing seem to prevent these episodes under test conditions.
Deciphera shares skyrocket as cancer drug improves progression-free survival
Deciphera Pharmaceuticals Inc's shares more than doubled on Tuesday after the drugmaker said its treatment helped stomach cancer patients live longer without their disease worsening in a late-stage study. The treatment, ripretinib, was tested against placebo in 129 patients with advanced gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST), a rare cancer affecting the digestive tract, who had received at least 3 prior therapies.
Ebola 'no longer incurable' as Congo trial finds drugs boost survival
Scientists are a step closer to being able to cure the deadly Ebola hemorrhagic fever after two experimental drugs showed survival rates of as much as 90% in a clinical trial in Congo. Two experimental drugs - an antibody cocktail called REGN-EB3 developed by Regeneron and a monoclonal antibody called mAb114 - will now be offered to all patients infected with the viral disease in an ongoing outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).