The number of Americans diagnosed with a sexually transmitted disease (STD) in 2018 reached a record high; the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review has released its first report on unsupported drug price hikes in the United States; about 2 in 3 women do not receive recommended vaccines during pregnancy.
Amid drops in funding for local health departments, data from the CDC is revealing that the number of Americans diagnosed with a sexually transmitted disease (STD) in 2018 reached a record high. Last year, there were nearly 2.46 million cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, and other STDs, including approximately 1300 cases of congenital syphilis in newborns. According to Reuters, budget cuts at the state and local level, which has resulted in staff cuts, closures, and less screening and patient follow-up, has accounted for the increased rates, in addition to decreased condom use.
The Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER) has released its first report on unsupported drug price hikes in the United States, finding that 7 drugs had price increases that were not supported by new data. According to The Center for Biosimilars®, 3 of these price hikes were among brand-name biologics that have FDA-approved biosimilars: adalimumab, rituximab, and pegfilgrastim. The drug that had the greatest impact on drug spending was adalimumab, sold as Humira. The other drugs highlighted by the report include pregabalin, tenofovir disoproxil fumarate, tadalafil, and dimethyl fumarate.
The CDC recommends that all pregnant women receive the influenza vaccine at any point during pregnancy, as well as the whooping cough vaccine early in the third trimester. However, about 2 in 3 women do not receive both of these recommended vaccines, and 38% of women who didn’t get vaccinated against whooping cough say they did not know the vaccine was needed in each pregnancy. According to the CDC, recommendations from healthcare providers are one of the strongest motivators for pregnant women to get vaccinated.