A bill that would permit importation of prescription drugs approved by pharmacies in Canada has been introduced by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn. Grassley said the legislation would "help the millions of Americans who struggle to pay exorbitant prices for medication," but the bill could face hurdles in the Senate as many GOP lawmakers have historically opposed the idea of drug importation.
Clinical labs need more specific guidelines on urine drug testing amid the ongoing opioid crisis, according to this piece. But until there is better guidance on whether to report quantitative versus qualitative results, what cutoffs should be used and other issues, "clinical laboratory professionals need to make the best decision possible in their individual institutions," write Athena Petrides and Stacy Melanson of Brigham and Women's Hospital.
A travel alert has been issued by the CDC for visitors to Nigeria due to cases of yellow fever virus infection. The alert advises vaccination at least 10 days before travel for all visitors 9 months and older.
The single-dose drug candidate MBP134 is being studied in monkeys for the treatment of three strains of the Ebola virus. The combination was developed through a public-private partnership that included the US Army Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, the Public Health Agency of Canada and Mapp Biopharmaceutical.
Chinese authorities said an inquiry found that scientist He Jiankui and fellow researchers did perform embryonic gene-editing experiments that resulted in infants. China's official news agency said He and others who are responsible "will be dealt with seriously according to the law" by the Ministry of Public Security.
Obsidian Therapeutics and Kyn Therapeutics announced they will work with Celgene to develop experimental cancer immunotherapies aimed at boosting its cancer portfolio. Celgene is being acquired by Bristol-Myers Squibb.
The World Health Organization's 10 biggest global health threats for 2019 include vaccine hesitancy, drug-resistant bacteria, climate change and air pollution, a global flu pandemic, and sustained humanitarian crises. Also on the list are risks related to outbreaks of high-threat pathogens, nontransmissible disease, dengue, HIV and the unmet needs for primary care.
HIV diagnoses among American Indians and Alaska Natives rose 70% from 2011 to 2016, according to data in the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. The study found there is a need for greater mental health screening and peer support services among HIV-positive American Indians and Alaska Natives.
Containing the Ebola virus in the Democratic Republic of Congo will take at least six more months, according to World Health Organization Deputy Director-General Dr. Peter Salama. "Though this is the 10th outbreak in the DRC, this is a community and region that has never seen Ebola. There was no baseline knowledge among health care workers in the community about the disease," Salama said.
Dragonfly Therapeutics said it will spend $10 million to begin clinical studies of TriNKETs, or tri-specific, NK cell engager therapies, in hematological cancers and solid tumors. The trials will be performed in partnership with the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.
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