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US sees 300% increase in the number of cases of Hepatitis A

The number of Americans infected with Hepatitis A has increased 300% in the past three years, according to figures from the CDC.

The living conditions of homeless people have been pointed to as responsible for the spike in new cases.

Hepatitis A, which can linger in faeces, can be spread by hand to mouth transmission. While in the past many cases were linked to infected food, recent cases have been linked to the unsanitary living conditions of homeless people and drug addicts.

Gilead accused of ripping off US taxpayers

Gilead have been accused of ‘ripping off’ US taxpayers after the firm was revealed to have generated $3 billion in sales from preventative HIV drug Truvada, despite the fact it was developed  by the US government.

While the American government patented the PrEP drug in 2015, the government has not received a single penny in royalties from Foster City-based Gilead Sciences.

Nevertheless Gilead charge between $1,600 and $2,000 a month for Truvada. Meanwhile, generic versions of the drug are sold for as little as £20 for a month’s supply in the UK.

Vaccine coverage falls by 6.2% since last year

Despite the severity of the flu season, just 37.1% of American adults received the flu vaccine this year, according to information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The low rate represents a 6.2% drop since last year.

While 43.3% of Americans adults were vaccinated in 2016-17 this figure dropped during the flu season this year.

Notably, there were a number of discrepancies between various groups in society, as 26.9% of 18-49 year olds compared to 59.6% of >65s received the flu vaccine.

US FDA approves HPV vaccine for men and women aged 27-45

The US Food and Drug Administration have approved the use of HPV vaccine Gardasil 9 for both men and woman between the ages of 27 and 45. Previously the vaccine had only been approved for those between the ages of 9 and 26.

Top Ten most popular articles on Pharmafile.com this week

It's the first Friday of February, and it's time for another recap of the top ten articles most popular with our readers this week.

CDC Director resigns over tobacco stock scandal

Dr Brenda Fitzgerald, the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the United States’ leading national public health institute, has resigned from her post amidst controversy surrounding financial conflicts of interest.

New director of CDC courts controversy from all angles

Published on: 10/07/17

It seems that an appointment in Trump’s administration cannot avoid being a topic of some controversy. That’s the case with the latest appointment of Brenda Fitzgerald as the Director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The reasons why her appointment are controversial? Well, on one side she is a fellow in ‘anti-ageing medicine’ and, on the other, she is a vocal proponent of vaccinations for children.

Number of babies born with opioid dependence has tripled in US, says CDC report

Photo Credit: James Gathany, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has highlighted a sharp increase in the number of babies born in the US with opioid dependence, with a 300% increase between 2000 and 2012.

Opioids have become a major issue in the US in recent times, with President Obama urging action to be taken on the issue with the FDA announcing a string of new measures to combat the chronic problem of opioid addiction in the country.

AstraZeneca set to lose out on $80 million after US turns down flu vaccine

AstraZeneca has confirmed that its influenza vaccine, FluMist Quadrivalent, will not be used in the US during the 2016-17 flu season after a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) committee stated that the vaccine should not be used in any setting.

This decision from the Advisory Committee on Immunisation Practices will see AstraZeneca write down approximately $80 million. US product sales of the vaccine for the financial year 2015 amounted to $206 million. The company does indicate that this write down does not affect its financial guidance for 2016.

One in three antibiotic prescriptions in US unnecessary, says CDC

Approximately 30% of all prescriptions of antibiotics in the United States are unnecessary, according to new data published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Using records from doctors’ offices and emergency departments throughout the country, CDC researchers found that most of these unnecessary antibiotics are prescribed for respiratory conditions, such as common colds, viral sore throats and sinus infections, which are caused by viruses that do not respond to antibiotics.

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