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Trump Administration Sharply Curtails Fetal Tissue Medical Research

FETAL TISSUE RESEARCHThe Trump administration announced Wednesday that the federal government would sharply curtail federal spending on medical research that uses tissue from aborted fetuses, mainly by ending such research within the National Institutes of Health. The move fulfills a top goal of anti-abortion groups that have lobbied hard for it, but scientists say the tissue is crucial for studies that benefit millions of patients.

The Department of Health and Human Services said it would immediately end a $2 million-a-year contract with the University of California, San Francisco, for research involving fetal tissue from elective abortions; the contract started in 2013. The department also said that based on a review it began last fall, it would discontinue all research within the National Institutes of Health involving fetal tissue from elective abortions.


Planned Parenthood of St. Louis gets temporary stay, continues as Missouri's sole abortion provider

Planned Prenthood gets stay for abortion servicesPlanned Parenthood in St. Louis will continue to serve as Missouri's sole abortion provider after a judge issued a temporary stay.

St. Louis Circuit Judge Michael Stelzer ruled Friday, just hours before the Planned Parenthood clinic's license to perform abortions was set to expire. He issued a temporary restraining order prohibiting Missouri from allowing the license to lapse.

State officials refused to renew the facility's license, which was set to expire Friday, demanding interviews with staff doctors for an investigation into “a large number of possible deficiencies."



California lawmakers vote to offer health insurance to undocumented immigrants

California offers health care to undocumented immigrants

The California State Assembly voted overwhelmingly this week to pass legislation that would allow adult undocumented immigrants to receive health insurance benefits.

According to The Associated Press, the state legislature passed the bill in a 44-11 vote Tuesday. The bill now heads to the state Senate for consideration.

Under the bill, California’s Medicaid program would extend its coverage to adults who would otherwise be eligible to receive benefits under the program but were unable to do so because of their immigration status under the existing law.


J&J's greed helped fuel U.S. opioid crisis, Oklahoma claims at trial

Oklahoma blames J&J for opioid epedemicJohnson & Johnson’s greed led the drugmaker to use deceptive marketing to create an oversupply of painkillers that fueled the U.S. opioid epidemic, the state of Oklahoma alleged at the start of the first trial to result from lawsuits over the drug crisis.

Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter, who filed the multibillion-dollar case, argued in a state court in the city of Norman that J&J should be forced to pay for helping cause the “worst manmade public health crisis in our state’s history.”

His case is the first to reach trial from around 2,000 lawsuits filed by state and local governments seeking to hold pharmaceutical companies responsible for a drug epidemic the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says led to a record 47,600 opioid-related overdose deaths in 2017.


FDA approves first general nasal spray against opioid overdose

Opioid antidote spray

The first generic naloxone nasal spray to treat opioid overdose has received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Teva Pharmaceuticals' lifesaving product is also the first generic naloxone nasal spray approved for use by people without medical training. There was already a brand-name spray, Narcan, for emergency use by untrained people, such as family members and bystanders.

The need is urgent. On average, more than 130 Americans die every day from overdoses of opioids -- including prescription painkillers such as fentanyl, oxycodone [OxyContin], hydrocodone (Vicodin) and morphine, as well as illegal drugs such as heroin or drugs sold as heroin, the FDA said.



Syphilis Is Spreading Across Rural America

Syphilis is spreading across rural America

When Karolyn Schrage first heard about the “dominoes gang” in the health clinic she runs in Joplin, Mo., she assumed it had to do with pizza.

Turns out it was a group of men in their 60s and 70s who held a standing game night — which included sex with one another. They showed up at her clinic infected with syphilis.

That has become Schrage’s new normal. Pregnant women, young men and teens are all part of the rapidly growing number of syphilis patients coming to the Choices Medical Services clinic in the rural southwestern corner of the state. She can barely keep the antibiotic treatment for syphilis, penicillin G benzathine, stocked on her shelves.


A Mysterious Infection, Spanning the Globe in a Climate of Secrecy

bacteria spread in secrecy

Last May, an elderly man was admitted to the Brooklyn branch of Mount Sinai Hospital for abdominal surgery. A blood test revealed that he was infected with a newly discovered germ as deadly as it was mysterious. Doctors swiftly isolated him in the intensive care unit.

The germ, a fungus called Candida auris, preys on people with weakened immune systems, and it is quietly spreading across the globe. Over the last five years, it has hit a neonatal unit in Venezuela, swept through a hospital in Spain, forced a prestigious British medical center to shut down its intensive care unit, and taken root in India, Pakistan and South Africa.


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