Following is a summary of current health news briefs.
Missouri orders lone abortion clinic to close; judge keeps it open for now
Missouri health officials on Friday refused to renew the license of the state’s only abortion clinic, but the facility will remain open for now as a judge left in place an injunction blocking its closure. At a brief state circuit court hearing on Friday, Judge Michael Stelzer said it might be days before the court would come to a decision on whether the state could shut its only abortion clinic, which is operated by women’s healthcare and abortion provider Planned Parenthood.
U.S. appeals court lets Trump abortion referral ‘gag rule’ go into effect
A federal appeals court on Thursday cleared the way for the Trump administration to enforce a controversial rule barring clinics that receive federal funds for family planning services from referring patients to abortion providers. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals set aside injunctions blocking nationwide enforcement of the rule, which had been scheduled to take effect on May 3, while California, Oregon and Washington pursue legal challenges in court.
FDA declines to approve Daiichi Sankyo’s blood cancer treatment
Japan’s Daiichi Sankyo Co said on Friday the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has declined to approve its drug quizartinib as a treatment for adults with a type of blood cancer. The decision follows an advisory committee meeting, held in May, where independent advisers to the U.S. regulator voted 8-3 against the drug’s approval to treat acute myeloid leukemia patients with a specific genetic mutation called FLT3.
China reports new African swine fever outbreaks in Guizhou province
China’s southwestern province of Guizhou has reported new outbreaks of African swine fever in two villages, the agriculture ministry said on Friday. The new outbreaks have killed 82 pigs and infected 114 more at farms in the two villages, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs said in a statement on its website.
Trump to issue executive order seeking transparency on healthcare costs: Wall Street Journal
U.S. President Donald Trump plans to issue an executive order on Monday asking health insurers and doctors to disclose new details about healthcare costs, in an attempt to improve price transparency, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday, citing people familiar with the matter. The order will direct federal agencies to initiate regulations and guidance that could require insurers, doctors, hospitals and others in the industry to provide information about the negotiated cost of care, according to the report.
‘Brain fever’ blamed for India child deaths preventable: doctors
Five-year-old Soni Khatun was playing in the midday sun last week when she began to vomit and lose feeling in her hands. Her mother, a poor laborer living in rural India, borrowed money to take her to hospital. Five hours later, Soni was dead, one of more than 100 children to die this month from Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES), or ‘brain fever’, in one district of eastern Bihar state.
U.S. group says Novartis MS drug price out of line with benefit
A U.S. group that reviews the value of medicines issued a critical report on Novartis’s new multiple sclerosis drug Mayzent, calling its $88,561 list price “far out of line” compared with its benefits for patients. The Boston-based Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER), which has been reviewing Mayzent for months, recommended that Novartis lower the drug’s price.
Heart problems may hasten cognitive decline
Adults with clogged arteries carrying blood to the heart may be more prone to cognitive decline than their counterparts without such cardiac problems, a study suggests. This was true whether patients had suffered a heart attack or they had angina, which is the term for chest pains caused by reduced blood flow to the heart.
Youth with chronic physical ailments more prone to mental illness
Children and young adults with chronic conditions like asthma, diabetes, and ADHD may be more likely to develop mental illness than youth who don’t have physical health problems, a U.S. study suggests. Researchers followed more than 48,000 youth without any diagnosed mental health disorders for two years, starting when they were between 6 and 25 years old. Overall, 14.7% had a chronic physical health problem that either limited their ability to navigate daily life or required ongoing treatment.
FDA approves drug for loss of sexual desire in women
The U.S. drug regulator on Friday approved Palatin Technologies and Amag Pharmaceuticals’ drug to restore sexual desire in premenopausal women, the latest attempt to come up with a therapy that some have dubbed as “female Viagra”. The therapy, Vyleesi, will compete in a market which has seen previous attempts fail. Analysts have said that a drug that safely and effectively treats loss of sexual desire in women could eventually reach annual sales of about $1 billion.