A public health researcher warns that requiring vaccination against human papillomavirus could produce a backlash leading to fewer girls being immunized. Lawmakers in 23 states are considering proposals to require HPV vaccination and the governor of Texas ordered the shots for girls entering the sixth grade, provoking a public debate on the issue.
Doctors, drug companies and investors are awaiting data expected at a March medical meeting that could clarify the failure of Pfizer's cholesterol drug torcetrapib. Experts are trying to determine if the drug worked in boosting HDL, or "good cholesterol," but had some other side effect that caused adverse effects in patients.
Extra virgin olive oil may have the potential to prevent or treat Helicobacter pylori infections that are known to cause gastritis and peptic ulcer disease, Spanish researchers said. The study found the oil's healthful phenolic compounds had a strong antibacterial effect against multiple H. pylori strains, including antibiotic-resistant strains.
The FDA approved over-the-counter sales of the weight-loss pill orlistat. The drug, to be sold in a reduced-strength version by GlaxoSmithKline OTC as "alli," is taken with meals and blocks about one-fourth of any fat consumed. GSK estimates sales of at least $1.5 billion a year.