Health Highlights: March 9, 201203/09/12
Here are some of the latest health and medical news
developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:
CDC Campaign Promotes HIV Testing, Awareness Among Black
A new campaign to increase HIV testing and awareness among black
women was launched Thursday by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control
HIV/AIDS is a major health issue among black women. The CDC's
"Take Charge. Take the Test" campaign -- which features community
outreach, a website and advertising -- was launched in conjunction
with National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day.
The campaign was launched in 10 cities where black women are
especially hard-hit by HIV/AIDS: Atlanta; Chicago; Detroit; Fort
Lauderdale, Fla.; Houston; Memphis, Tenn.; Newark, N.J.; New
Orleans; Hyattsville, Md.; and St. Louis.
"At current rates, nearly 1 in 30 African-American women will be diagnosed with HIV in their lifetimes," Dr. Kevin Fenton, director of CDC's National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD and TB Prevention, said in a CDC news release.
"To help reduce this toll we are working to remind black women that they have the power to learn their HIV status, protect themselves from this disease, and take charge of their health," he added.
FDA Mulls Making Key Prescription Drugs Available
A number of widely used prescription drugs could be sold
over-the-counter under a new proposal being considered by the U.S.
Food and Drug Administration.
The agency is thinking about eliminating prescription
requirements for certain drugs used to treat such conditions as
high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, asthma and
Associated Press reported.
FDA officials said making it easier for patients to obtain these
medications could help tackle undertreated health epidemics such as
diabetes, which is a leading cause of heart disease and stroke.
More than 25 million Americans have diabetes, but about 7
million have not been diagnosed and therefore do not receive
The move to make certain prescription medications available
over-the-counter is being driven by computer technology, such as
touch-screen kiosks in pharmacies, which helps patients
self-diagnose common diseases, according to the
It's one of several FDA proposals meant to improve patient
access to established drugs or to accelerate approval of
"These are discussions that need to start happening as we think about people's health needs and how to improve access," said FDA Commissioner Dr. Margaret Hamburg, the AP reported.
Prices of Seniors' Drugs Rise Nearly 26 Percent: Report
The cost of medicines used by many older Americans increased
nearly 26 percent between 2005 and 2009, according to an AARP
The increase was nearly twice the rate of inflation, according
to the analysis of the retail prices of 514 brand name and generic
drugs most commonly used by Medicare recipients,
The New York Times reported Tuesday.
While the prices of generic drugs fell nearly 31 percent during
the study period, the prices of brand name drugs rose by nearly 41
percent, and the prices of specialty drugs increased by more than
48 percent, AARP said.
In comparison, the rate of inflation grew by just over 13
percent between 2005 and 2009, the
Drug industry officials criticized the AARP study, and said the
increased availability of generic drugs has slowed the increase in
drug prices in recent years, the newspaper reported.
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