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Exact Sciences says its new colon cancer test shows 30% lower false positive rate; For groups fighting U.S. opioid crisis, settlement money can be hard to come by and more

Following is a summary of current health news briefs.

Exact Sciences says its new colon cancer test shows 30% lower false positive rate

Exact Sciences said on Tuesday its next-generation screening test for colon cancer showed 30% lower false positive rate for detecting the disease in a study when compared to trial data on its already approved test. The company said it plans to complete submission of its marketing application for the new test to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) by the end of this year.

For groups fighting U.S. opioid crisis, settlement money can be hard to come by

Companies accused of fueling the U.S. opioid crisis have so far paid out more than $3 billion to compensate states, but has any of the money reached the people who need it? It depends where you live. Yes, if you’re in Massachusetts; no, in Texas. A series of landmark settlements since 2021 with top drug distributors, pharmacies and drugmakers including Johnson & Johnson set compensation at a total of more than $50 billion nationwide.

Infant mortality rises when sovereign debt defaults drag on, study says

Infant mortality rises and life expectancy falls when sovereign debt defaults are not quickly resolved, a study said on Wednesday, as negotiations to restructure the debts of countries including Zambia, Sri Lanka and Ghana drag on. In countries that have come out of default within three years since 1900, infant deaths were 2.2 percentage points higher than if they had not defaulted, according to the study by researchers Clemens Graf von Luckner and Juan Farah-Yacoub.

Gambia tightens rules for Indian drugs after cough syrup deaths – letter

Gambia will make it mandatory for all pharmaceutical products from India to be inspected and tested prior to shipment from July 1, according to Gambian government documents reviewed by Reuters, the first known restrictions on national exports following the deaths of dozens of children linked to Indian-made cough syrups. The new rule highlights how governments are reassessing their reliance on India’s $42 billion pharmaceutical industry since the contamination came to light last year. India’s industry supplies nearly half of the pharmaceuticals used in Africa. In April, India’s government said its officials had held meetings in Africa to ensure its drug exports did not suffer after at least 70 children died in Gambia after ingesting the cough syrup last year.

US FDA approves Eli Lilly-Boehringer’s diabetes drugs for children

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Tuesday approved Eli Lilly and partner Boehringer Ingelheim’s drugs Jardiance and Synjardy to treat type 2 diabetes in children. The drugs were approved as additions to diet and exercise to improve blood sugar control in children aged 10 years and above with type 2 diabetes, the most common form of the disease.

Arkansas ban on gender-affirming care for minors blocked by U.S. judge

A U.S. judge on Tuesday struck down an Arkansas law prohibiting doctors from providing gender-affirming care including puberty blockers, hormones and surgery to transgender minors, a victory for families that had sued to challenge the law. “The evidence showed that (gender-affirming care) improves the mental health and well-being of patients and that, by prohibiting it, the state undermined the interests it claims to be advancing,” U.S. District Judge James Moody in Little Rock wrote in an order barring the state from enforcing the law.

Eli Lilly boosts immunology business with $2.4 billion deal for Dice

Eli Lilly and Co will buy Dice Therapeutics Inc for about $2.4 billion in cash, the company said on Tuesday, bolstering its immune disease-related portfolio with an experimental pill to treat psoriasis. The company has been looking to bulk up its immunology pipeline, even as it bets on potential blockbuster obesity drug tirzepatide, also known as Mounjaro, to drive future growth.

U.S. Supreme Court revives South Carolina Planned Parenthood defunding case

The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday threw out a lower court ruling that blocked South Carolina from ending public funding to Planned Parenthood, giving the Republican-governed state another chance to defend its bid to deprive the reproductive healthcare and abortion provider of government money. The justices sent the case back to the lower court to reconsider the case in light of their 7-2 ruling on June 8 in a similar case from Indiana preserving an individual’s right to sue government officials over alleged violations of rights created by federal programs that Congress enacts through its spending power, like the Medicaid health insurance program for the poor.

Wegovy maker Novo Nordisk sues spas over counterfeit drugs

Wegovy maker Novo Nordisk on Tuesday said it had sued some medical spas and wellness clinics in the United States for selling products claiming to contain semaglutide, the key ingredient in its popular weight-loss and diabetes drugs. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) last month warned in public guidance about the safety risks of unauthorized versions of Novo Nordisk’s popular weight-loss drugs, which include Ozempic, Wegovy and Rybelsus, in response to reports of adverse health reactions to the “compounded” or custom-made variations.

US FDA approves Argenx’s drug for muscle-weakening disease

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved Argenx SE’s under-the-skin injection for the treatment of a muscle-weakening genetic disease called generalized myasthenia gravis, the company said on Tuesday. The drug, branded as Vyvgart Hytrulo, is expected to be available in the U.S. next month and will come at a list price of $15,773, the company told Reuters.

(With inputs from agencies.)

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