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What We're Reading: Challenging Birth Control Rollback; Off-Label Drugs; Diseases in Houston

AJMC Staff

California Is Challenging Birth Control Policy

California’s attorney general filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration for its rollback of the birth control mandate that requires employers cover contraception as part of health insurance. According to The Hill, the state called the policy change “anti-women,” and the attorney general's statement made it sound as if this was the first in many rights that could be revoked. The mandate contained in the Affordable Care Act originally required all employers offer health insurance that covered free birth control. The new rollback would expand the exemptions available for employers to not be required to cover birth control.

 

Lifting Off-Label Restrictions

Physicians often prescribe a drug for a use other than those specified in the approval. However, the law that prohibits a drug maker from promoting an off-label use of its drug may be relaxed, according to The Washington Post. FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, MD, had been an advocate for loosening these restrictions before his nomination. Already, Arizona has changed the law to allow drug makers to communicate alternative uses for drugs, and other states are likely to follow.

 

Mosquito-borne Diseases in Houston

Hurricane Harvey may have been more than a month ago, but the health threats remain in Houston. Officials are keeping an eye out for mosquito-borne illnesses like the West Nile virus and Zika, reported STAT. After the hurricane made landfall, causing massive flooding, health officials facilitated aerial and ground spraying that they believe may keep down the numbers of mosquitoes. West Nile is already an issue in Texas, where there have been 100 cases already this year, but so far there has been no evidence of Zika.

 
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