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Childbearing women who take painkillers may face increased risk of birth defects

Childbearing women who take painkillers may face increased risk of birth defects

More than one-fourth of privately-insured and one-third of Medicaid-enrolled women of childbearing age filled prescriptions for opioid-based (narcotic) painkillers between 2008 and 2012, according to a new analysis published today by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR). [More]
Research breakthrough in understanding mosquito reproductive process

Research breakthrough in understanding mosquito reproductive process

Diseases transmitted by mosquitoes have contributed to the death and suffering of millions throughout human history, earning the mosquito the title as the world's most dangerous animal. Even today, several devastating mosquito-borne diseases (such as malaria, dengue fever and West Nile virus) continue to rage. [More]
Injectable hormonal contraceptive appears to increase HIV risk in women

Injectable hormonal contraceptive appears to increase HIV risk in women

Women using depot medroxyprogesterone acetate (DMPA), commonly known as Depo-Provera or the birth control shot, have a moderately increased risk of becoming infected with HIV, a large meta-analysis of 12 studies involving more than 39 500 women published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases has found. Other forms of hormonal contraception, including oral contraceptive pills, do not appear to increase this risk. [More]
Janssen, Gilead to jointly develop darunavir-based, single-tablet regimen for HIV treatment

Janssen, Gilead to jointly develop darunavir-based, single-tablet regimen for HIV treatment

Janssen R&D Ireland announced today an amendment to its existing agreement with Gilead Sciences, Inc., initially established in 2011, for the development of a once daily, darunavir-based, single-tablet regimen (STR) for the treatment of people living with HIV. [More]
FDA approves AbbVie's VIEKIRA PAK for treatment of patients with GT1 HCV infection

FDA approves AbbVie's VIEKIRA PAK for treatment of patients with GT1 HCV infection

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved AbbVie's VIEKIRA PAK, an all-oral, interferon-free treatment, with or without ribavirin (RBV), for the treatment of patients with chronic genotype 1 (GT1) hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, including those with compensated cirrhosis. [More]
Study sheds light on common psychosocial barriers affecting HPV vaccination in Puerto Rico

Study sheds light on common psychosocial barriers affecting HPV vaccination in Puerto Rico

Young Puerto Rican women and their mothers know little about the human papillomavirus (HPV) and cervical cancer, according to researchers at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston School of Public Health. [More]
Mediterranean-style diets, physical activity can lower risk of first-time stroke

Mediterranean-style diets, physical activity can lower risk of first-time stroke

Eating Mediterranean or DASH-style diets, regularly engaging in physical activity and keeping your blood pressure under control can lower your risk of a first-time stroke, according to updated AHA/ASA guideline published in the American Heart Association's journal Stroke. [More]
Viewpoints: Health law fails to control costs; GOP alternative 'worse than Obamacare'

Viewpoints: Health law fails to control costs; GOP alternative 'worse than Obamacare'

A major claim of ObamaCare's political salesmen is that it will reduce U.S. health spending. The heart of this claim is the Accountable Care Organization, or ACO, but already evidence is accumulating that it isn't working. [More]
State exchanges gird for round two

State exchanges gird for round two

Covered California hopes to enroll more than half a million new residents this year, bringing total participants to about 1.7 million. [More]
Viewpoints: Abortion and birth control issues in N.C. Senate race; replacing Obamacare; cancellations

Viewpoints: Abortion and birth control issues in N.C. Senate race; replacing Obamacare; cancellations

But on Wednesday in Charlotte, Kay Hagan stood without hesitation next to Janet Colm, chief executive of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund of Central North Carolina, and proudly bashed her opponent, Thom Tillis, for reducing women's rights on abortion and birth control. [More]
State highlights: Gubernatorial election outcomes will have big impact on health law's future

State highlights: Gubernatorial election outcomes will have big impact on health law's future

The deciding factor in the Senate races will be President Barack Obama's sagging approval numbers, he said, which are weighing down Democrats like Sen. Mary Landrieu in Louisiana and Sen. Mark Pryor in Arkansas. ... Mr. McAuliffe pushed Virginia legislators to expand the state's Medicaid program as part of the Affordable Care Act last summer, but Republicans wouldn't have it (Bauerlein, 10/8). [More]

Medicare attack ads emerge in key Senate races

In recent weeks, Medicare has been an advertising topic in Alaska, Arkansas, Iowa and Louisiana. Meanwhile, New Hampshire's Senate candidates discussed a range of health care topics during their first debate. [More]
Democrats spotlight women's health issues

Democrats spotlight women's health issues

The issue is figuring prominently in races in Colorado and New Hampshire, where Democratic incumbents are highlighting their differences with Republican challengers. [More]

Obama, health law star in campaign ads

The Center for Public Integrity says there have been more than 300,000 Obama-related ads this election cycle. Elsewhere, abortion figures prominently in Senate races such as Colorado's where Democrats look to push their differences with the GOP. [More]
Study: Abortion restrictions lead to poorer health

Study: Abortion restrictions lead to poorer health

The study, however, was paid for by groups that support abortion rights. Elsewhere, California's Catholic Church leadership files a civil-rights complaint over making insurance plans cover abortion. [More]
Access to long-term contraception lowers teen pregnancy rates, study says

Access to long-term contraception lowers teen pregnancy rates, study says

The study counseled young women on the benefits of using long-lasting contraceptives like intrauterine devices and hormonal implants. [More]
Viewpoints: Mergers causing health costs to rise; reauthorize CHIP; Obamacare's influence on politics

Viewpoints: Mergers causing health costs to rise; reauthorize CHIP; Obamacare's influence on politics

Health care costs are going up, and there's a lot of debate about why. Is it the high cost of drugs or our aging population? [More]
State highlights: Calif. health insurers and contraception coverage; Alaska sues Xerox over Medicaid payment systems

State highlights: Calif. health insurers and contraception coverage; Alaska sues Xerox over Medicaid payment systems

Health insurance policies in California will have to cover all federally approved contraceptives for women by 2016 without charging co-payments under legislation signed this week by Gov. Jerry Brown, countering trends in other states and the U.S. Supreme Court. The bill, SB1053 by Sen. Holly Mitchell, D-Los Angeles, expands state laws that required coverage for most birth-control drugs and devices approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The new law mandates coverage for all FDA-approved contraception, prohibits co-payments and includes managed-care Medi-Cal plans, which are not expressly covered by current laws (Egelko, 9/27). [More]
Viewpoints: Hospitals helped by Medicaid expansion; why GOP candidates back OTC contraceptives

Viewpoints: Hospitals helped by Medicaid expansion; why GOP candidates back OTC contraceptives

Now the Department of Health and Human Services has issued a report showing that ... thanks to the Affordable Care Act, hospitals across the country will save $5.7 billion in uncompensated care costs in 2014. [More]
State highlights: Calif. gov. vetoes bill limiting Medi-Cal estate recovery, signs birth control, inmate bills

State highlights: Calif. gov. vetoes bill limiting Medi-Cal estate recovery, signs birth control, inmate bills

In a blow to tens of thousands of low-income Californians newly enrolled in Medi-Cal under a provision in the Affordable Care Act, Gov. Jerry Brown on Thursday vetoed a bill that would have limited the state's seizure of assets from their estates after they die -- a legal wrinkle that most only discovered after they had signed up for the health care plan for the poor (Seipel, 9/25). [More]