Articles

California Vaccine Bill Draws Protests

SACRAMENTO, Calif.—Hundreds of protesters packed a contentious hearing in the California state Assembly on Thursday to try to stop a proposed state law that would tighten scrutiny of doctors who give medical exemptions from vaccines for schoolchildren.
 Amid a national measles outbreak that has focused attention on vaccination rates, parents who believe vaccines would harm their children hissed at the legislation’s author, state Sen. Richard Pan, held yellow

Study Links 9/11 Dust to Prostate Cancer

Physicians and researchers have long known that men exposed to toxic dust after the collapse of the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, may have an increased risk of developing prostate cancer. The challenge has been to provide a link between exposure and the cancer.
 In a new study out Thursday, researchers from Mount Sinai found that World Trade Center responders with prostate cancer showed signs that inflammation was activated in the prostate after exposure to the

Merck Seeks Deals As It Expands Its Cancer Treatments

Merck & Co. is searching for small and midsize deals, including more transactions aimed at expanding its portfolio of cancer treatments beyond the company's top-selling product Keytruda, according to people familiar with the matter.
 Merck has been buying cancer drugmakers with promising therapies and technologies. This month, Merck bought Tilos Therapeutics Inc. for $773 million. In May, it agreed to acquire Peloton Therapeutics Inc.

Suspension of Heart Surgeries At Troubled Children's Hospital

North Carolina Children's Hospital announced it would suspend heart surgeries for the most complex cases, some of which had a mortality rate approaching 50 percent in recent years, pending investigations by state and federal regulators and a group of outside experts.
 In a statement on Monday, UNC Health Care, which runs the hospital and is affiliated with the University of North Carolina, also introduced several initiatives to “restore confidence in its pediatric heart surgery

Pfizer Expands Cancer-Treatment Lineup

Pfizer Inc. agreed to buy Array BioPharma Inc. for $10.64 billion, as one of the world's biggest pharmaceutical companies seeks to expand its cancer lineup with targeted therapies.
 Monday's deal for Array, which garnered a 62% premium to its closing price on Friday, suggests just how important the market for cancer drugs is for the world's biggest pharmaceutical companies.
 Pfizer has been trying to expand its offerings through a combination of deals as well as by ramping up its own drug-discovery efforts. The deal for Array includes two drugs in an increasingly important segment

Get Rid of Surprise Medical Bills

Scott Kohan woke up in an Austin, Texas, emergency room after an attack that broke his jaw. The hospital was within his insurance network. But the oral surgeon who set his jaw wasn't. Mr. Kohan's insurer refused to pay the surgeon's $8,000 bill.
 He's not alone. An estimated 51% of ambulance rides, 22% of emergency-department trips, and 9% of elective cases, in which patients have time for due diligence, lead to surprise bills. These typically come

Shop Till Medical Costs Drop

In an effort to bring down the costs of medical care, the Trump administration wants to make prices visible to patients, and it's moving aggressively to make that happen.
 Last year President Trump signed a legal requirement barring pharmacy gag clauses under Medicare Part D plans. Those clauses prohibited pharmacists from volunteering that a medication may be less expensive than an insurance copay if purchased for cash—as was the case more than 20% of the time.

Ebola Case Appears in Uganda As Congo Outbreak Spreads

KAMPALA, Uganda—The deadly Ebola outbreak that has been raging in the Democratic Republic of Congo for more than 10 months has crossed into neighboring Uganda, where authorities on Tuesday said a 5-year-old boy tested positive for the hemorrhagic fever.
 The spread of the disease across the border is a major setback for local and international health officials who have failed to contain the Ebola outbreak in Congo's Ituri and North Kivu provinces, the world's first

Missouri Abortion Clinic Will Stay Open

A St. Louis circuit judge ruled Missouri's only abortion clinic will stay open for now, a decision that temporarily keeps the state from becoming the only one in the U.S. without an operating abortion clinic.
 The decision comes amid a flurry of abortion-related legislation in states, including Missouri, where lawmakers last month voted to prohibit abortion, except in emergency, after eight weeks of pregnancy.
 Circuit Judge Michael Stelzer on Monday granted a preliminary injunction for the Reproductive Health Services of Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region, and ordered the state's Department of Health and

Zolgensma, Priciest Medicine Approved

The world's most expensive medicine is about to hit the market. A one-time treatment for a devastating infant muscle-wasting disease won approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Friday. Its maker Novartis AG says the gene therapy will cost $2.125 million.
 The therapy, called Zolgensma, treats an inherited disease called spinal muscular atrophy, or SMA, whose victims typically die before the age of two if untreated. It is the latest gene therapy—a technique that