Opioid Doc Sentenced; World’s First Sickle Cell Gene Tx; FTC Warns Diet Influencers

Derick Alison
Derick Alison
4 Min Read

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A Houston physician was sentenced to 10 years in prison for his role in a $5 million pill-mill scheme, according to the Department of Justice.

In a world first, the U.K. approved CRISPR gene therapy exagamglogene autotemcel as a potential cure for sickle cell disease and beta thalassemia; the FDA is still reviewing the product for the two blood disorders. (AP)

U.S. public health officials released over 77,000 more doses of the monoclonal antibody nirsevimab (Beyfortus) for infant respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) immunization. (CNN)

Pediatric cancer mortality in the U.S. dropped 24% over the past two decades, a CDC report showed, but declines stalled for Black and Hispanic kids.

Maternal and infant mortality in the U.S. “remains at crisis-level,” a March of Dimes report found.

Meanwhile, the CDC and World Health Organization found “staggering” increases in global measles cases and deaths last year, driven by declining vaccination rates.

Columbia University set up a $100 million settlement fund for the victims of ob/gyn Robert Hadden, MD, who was sentenced to 20 years in prison. (New York Times)

The CDC detailed America’s first asthma death attributed to work at a cannabis production facility. (Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report)

Johns Hopkins physician Darren Klugman, MD, was placed on leave after posting negative social media comments about Palestinians. (CBS News)

Over 10% of fecal immunochemical tests for colon cancer screening couldn’t be processed, mainly due to patient-related reasons. (Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention)

Diagnostic tests were more often completed when ordered during an in-person office visit rather than a telehealth appointment. (JAMA Network Open)

HHS announced a new advisory committee on long COVID to advise on research and innovation.

In an effort to combat pulse oximeter inaccuracies for people of color, the FDA issued a discussion paper with suggestions for improving the quality of premarket studies and will again convene an advisory committee meeting in February 2024 to discuss the matter.

Meanwhile, the agency approved pembrolizumab (Keytruda) with chemotherapy as first-line treatment for advanced HER2-negative gastric or gastroesophageal junction adenocarcinoma, drugmaker Merck said.

And Pfizer announced approval of enzalutamide (Xtandi) for men with nonmetastatic castration-sensitive prostate cancer with biochemical recurrence at high risk for metastasis based on results of the phase III EMBARK trial.

And in other agency news, Janet Woodcock, MD, said she plans to retire early next year; the long-time senior FDA leader currently serves as principal deputy commissioner. (Reuters)

The Federal Trade Commission warned two diet influencers on social media over promoting aspartame and sugar beverages without properly disclosing they were paid by industry.

  • author['full_name']

    Kristen Monaco is a senior staff writer, focusing on endocrinology, psychiatry, and nephrology news. Based out of the New York City office, she’s worked at the company since 2015.

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