Welcome back to Overnight Health Care.
The drug industry’s approval rating is at a record low, New York City has declared an end to its measles outbreak, and there are new concerns over the fallout from the administration’s decision to restrict Title X funding.
We’ll start with pharma…
Public’s view of drug companies sinks to record low in Gallup poll
Some bad news for the pharmaceutical industry as they face an array of threats in Washington: Their favorability has hit a record low in a Gallup poll.
The poll finds that 27 percent of the public has a positive view of the industry, compared to 58 percent with a negative view, for a net rating of negative 31 points.
The number is the lowest of any entities Gallup polled, including the federal government, at minus 27 points, the advertising industry at minus 1, the legal field at plus five, and airlines at plus 19.
Big picture: The public’s low esteem for drug companies comes as both Democrats and President Trump make lowering drug prices a top priority. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), who is trying to push through a package of bipartisan reforms, highlighted the findings (in his unique Twitter style):
“New Gallup poll says Big Pharma is the most disliked industry in America Even the fed govt ranks better The American ppl are demanding lower prescription drug prices Members of Congress would b wise to recognize this reality,” he wrote.
New York City declares end to measles outbreak
New York City health officials on Tuesday declared an end to the largest measles outbreak the city has seen in nearly three decades.
An emergency order requiring people living in parts of Brooklyn to be vaccinated was also rescinded Tuesday.
“Ending the measles outbreak required extensive collaboration with community organizations and Jewish leaders,” Mayor Bill de Blasio, a 2020 Democratic presidential contender, said in a statement. “They helped encourage vaccinations and achieve record immunization levels in parts of Brooklyn.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) had linked the outbreak to unvaccinated travelers who brought measles back from other countries, including Israel, and returned to Orthodox Jewish communities in New York City.
More than 15,500 people have received measles vaccines since the city issued the emergency order in April.
Why it matters: While the outbreak in New York City is over, there are still outbreaks in other states and countries. But other states experiencing outbreaks, like Illinois, Florida and Texas, could learn from NYC’s approach.
- Dedicated more than 500 staff to its response efforts
- Disseminated thousands of pro-vaccination booklets and conducted robocalls
- Required people living or working in certain parts of the city to be vaccinated or face potential fines
- A state law that recently took effect eliminates all non-medical vaccine exemptions for school children
Health advocates fear Planned Parenthood funding loss could worsen STD crisis
Public health advocates are warning that record-high rates of sexually transmitted diseases could worsen as Planned Parenthood, a major provider of STD testing and treatment, faces a loss of federal funding under a new Trump administration rule.
Planned Parenthood’s loss of $60 million a year in government funding is seen by advocates as a huge setback in the fight against “epidemic”-level STD rates that could lead to more low-income people going untreated.
“Planned Parenthood reached a large number of women, men and young people, and this is a blow to the availability of STD screening and treatment,” said David Harvey, executive director of the National Coalition of STD Directors.
STD rates in the U.S. hit a record high in 2017, with more than 2.3 million cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Numbers for 2018 aren’t yet available.
But resources from the federal government have not kept pace with the rise in STD rates. And experts say Planned Parenthood’s departure from the Title X family planning program could exacerbate the problem.
“We already have an enormous deficit in the U.S. around STD screenings and treatment,” Harvey said. “Anything that impacts our ability to offer STD testing and treatment is not a good thing.”
Why it matters: While some states have stepped in to fund Planned Parenthood’s family planning services, leaders in states like Arizona, Alaska and Iowa oppose the organization.
Those states are also experiencing rising STD rates and could be hurt most if Planned Parenthood had to raise its fees or cut services related to testing and treatment.
What’s next: The Title X rule changes are being challenged in court but the process has been slow-going. The first hearing is later this month. The Trump administration has said it will replace Planned Parenthood where possible but has not released further details.
House subcommittee to hold hearing on maternal mortality rates
Energy and Commerce’s health subcommittee will hold a hearing Sept. 10 at 10 a.m. on bills to “improve maternal health and welfare.”
“Over 700 women die each year from pregnancy-related causes, and thousands more face severe complications. This is a tragedy that cannot go unaddressed,” said Chairman Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) and subcommittee Chairwoman Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.).
“Next week’s hearing is an important step toward passing legislation to address this public health crisis. We look forward to hearing from expert witnesses and moving solutions forward with the urgency and seriousness these mothers and their families deserve.”
What we’re reading
What would Trumpcare look Like? Follow GOP’s ‘choice and competition’ clues (Kaiser Health News)
The hospital treated these patients. Then it sued them (The New York Times)
As Congress considers lowering drug costs, pharma CEOs target key senators with campaign cash (Stat News)
State by state
ObamaCare health insurance exchange prices to drop in Ohio for first time (Cleveland.com)
Lacking sexual assault nurses, some Kentucky hospitals illegally turn victims away (Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting)
Indiana seeks to impose slower, kinder work requirements on Medicaid recipients (The Washington Post)