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FDA approves HPV vaccine for older adults. You may have missed it in the firestorm over Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s securing the votes needed for confirmation, but
the Food and Drug Administration has approved the HPV vaccine Gardasil 9 for people between the ages of 27 to 45. The vaccine protects against human papillomavirus, which can lead to cervical cancer in women and throat cancer in men. Prior to Friday's announcement, the vaccine was only approved for younger ages, beginning at age 9 until the age of 26. Health officials had recommended that children receive the shot before they become sexually active. “Today’s approval represents an important opportunity to help prevent HPV-related diseases and cancers in a broader age range,” Dr. Peter Marks, director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, said in a statement. In a study of 3,200 women between the ages of 27 through 45, the vaccine was 88 percent effective in preventing infection, genital warts, and cervical cancer. Side effects included some pain in the area the shot was administered, as well as swelling, redness, and headaches. HPV is one of the most common types of sexually transmitted diseases, infecting about 14 million people in the U.S. every year.
Welcome to Philip Klein’s Daily on Healthcare, compiled by Washington Examiner Managing Editor Philip Klein (@philipaklein), Senior Healthcare Writer Kimberly Leonard (@LeonardKL) and Healthcare Reporter Robert King (@rking_19). Email firstname.lastname@example.org for tips, suggestions, calendar items and anything else. If a friend sent this to you and you’d like to sign up, click here. If signing up doesn’t work, shoot us an email and we’ll add you to our list.
Since Kavanaugh's youth, drinking among teens has plummeted. The confirmation battle over Kavanaugh has sparked a public conversation about drinking and its effects, particularly among and for teens. But the portrait drawn during the confirmation process of the drinking that Kavanaugh and his friends did in high school and college in the 1980s stands in stark contrast to teen drinking habits today. Decades-worth of studies have shown that when it comes to alcohol, teens today are much less likely to imbibe than their parents were. They are not only less likely to try or even regularly use alcohol, but less likely to binge drink, too. The prevalence of drinking in high school declined from 50.8 percent in 1991 to 32.8 percent by 2015, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "I'm encouraged by the continuous drop in underage drinking ... I think it's a success and I think sometimes we don't talk enough about the successes," said Dr. George Koob, director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Not drinking has become more normal among teens. In 2017, 27.1 percent of people between the ages of 12 and 17 said they had ever used alcohol in their lifetimes, and 9.9 percent reported binge drinking during the past month.
Senate confirms Kavanaugh after historic battle. The Senate confirmed Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court on Saturday, ending one of the most contentious, tawdry, and partisan battles in history over a high court seat. The vote was 50-48. One senator, Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, voted present to accommodate absent Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont., who was attending his daughter’s wedding. One embattled Democrat, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, up for re-election in a state that favored Trump by 42 points, voted for Kavanaugh. President Trump celebrated Kavanaugh’s imminent confirmation as he boarded Marine One in the first leg of a trip to Kansas for a campaign rally. “He’s going to be a great, great Supreme Court justice,” Trump said. “It’s an exciting time.”
In voting for Kavanaugh, Manchin was assured on anti-Obamacare case. Manchin had left himself room to oppose Kavanaugh early on over his concern on how the nominee would rule on pre-existing conditions, and the centrist Democrat ultimately sided with Republicans on Saturday. “With respect to any cases that may come before him impacting the 800,000 West Virginians with pre-existing conditions, Judge Kavanaugh assured me personally that he would consider the human impacts and approach any decision with surgical precision to avoid unintended consequences," Manchin said.
Manchin was slammed by NARAL. Pro-abortion rights group NARAL Pro-Choice America blasted Manchin for his vote, saying he “betrayed women and families” in his state. “Instead of standing up for them, he broke the core values we all hold dear,” the group’s president, Ilyse Hogue, said in a statement. “The anti-choice GOP used every tactic in their playbook—including dragging survivors of sexual assault through the mud—to ram through their sham process, and now Manchin has cosigned their devastating ideology for decades to come. We will never forget that Senator Manchin chose to side with Brett Kavanaugh, Donald Trump, and the anti-choice GOP over survivors and women in West Virginia and it will be a stain on his legacy forever.”
But will Manchin’s vote cost him on the air? NARAL announced a $1 million ad buy on Monday aimed at targeting seven vulnerable House Republicans ahead of the 2018 midterm elections. But one name was missing from that list: Joe Manchin, who is in a tough re-election race. Planned Parenthood Votes, the women’s health and abortion provider’s political arm, said that it was “deeply disappointed” in Manchin’s vote. But so far there haven’t been any reports of an ad buy targeting Manchin. The lack of action so far shows the bind that abortion rights groups are in when it comes to Manchin. They plan to target vulnerable Republicans for their anti-abortion stances, but politically have shied away from targeting vulnerable red state Democrats who hold anti-abortion views like Manchin.
Planned Parenthood furious over Kavanaugh confirmation. The women’s health and abortion provider generated a heated campaign against Kavanaugh since he was nominated by Trump this past summer. The group’s advocacy arm, Planned Parenthood Action Fund, said that “generations to come will feel the effects of this vote to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.” It also criticized the “yes” vote of Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, who has fought against congressional efforts to defund Planned Parenthood in Congress. “50 senators — including those who profess to support and stand with women — ignored the facts,” Planned Parenthood Action said.
But anti-abortion groups are ecstatic. Anti-abortion groups, on the other hand, have been fervently trying to get Kavanaugh confirmed and have salivated over the chances of enshrining a more conservative majority on the Supreme Court. “The balance of the Supreme Court has shifted back toward one that respects the will of the voters expressed through their representatives,” said Marjorie Dannenfelser, the president of the anti-abortion group Susan B. Anthony’s List, in a statement. The group also pointed out the votes from vulnerable red state Democrats such as Joe Donnelly of Indiana, Claire McCaskill of Missouri and Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota. “Anyone who thinks the voters will forget this profound betrayal is greatly mistaken,” she said.
Ohio Obamacare insurers seek modest price hike for 2019. Ohio’s Obamacare plans will increase rates by an average 6.3 percent for the 2019 coverage year, becoming the latest state to announce a modest hike. The state also said that the number of insurers offering plans in 2019 from eight this year to 10, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Ohio’s rates are also lower than they were for 2018, when insurers raised rates by 21 percent. Ohio became the latest state to announce modest rate hikes for 2019, a departure from massive rate hikes that most states made for the 2018 coverage year.
Mysterious drug pricing group reveals who is running it — but not donors. A new advocacy group advocating policies favorable to the pharmaceutical industry last week immediately faced, and pushed back against, accusations that it is a front for the pharmaceutical lobby, and declined to disclose who gave it funding. The small lobbying firm CGCN Group said on Friday that it created the new group, the Alliance to Protect Medical Innovation. Drug pricing reform activists and several reports questioned who was behind the group earlier in the week, after the alliance sprung into life the previous week with no mention of who is on the staff or who funds it. The drug pricing reform group Patients for Affordable Drugs sent out a release earlier last week blasting the group as a front for the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, the biggest pharmaceutical industry lobbying group in D.C. PhRMA told the Washington Examiner it had no involvement. However, the alliance conceded in a blog post on Thursday that it did get some “seed money” from people inside the industry. The post did not list the companies or groups that gave that money or how much. Patrick O’Connor, a partner at the GOP-aligned CGCN, told the Washington Examiner that the group was not disclosing its funders. At least one drug industry group, though, is part of the alliance. The Biotechnology Innovation Organization, which represents drugmakers that produce specialty products called biologics, announced on Thursday it was joining the alliance.
The Hill Mazie Hirono: Roe V. Wade won’t be overturned, but it will be nullified
NPR FDA bans use of seven synthetic food additives after environmental groups sue
Forbes As midterms approach, Republicans flee their anti-Obamacare past
Associated Press Abortion rights groups seek rehearing on Louisiana law
CNN Six cases of rare ‘polio-like’ illness diagnosed in children in Minnesota
Portland Press-Herald As lawyers argue Medicaid expansion case, uninsured Mainers forgo healthcare
Washington Post For millennials, a regular visit to the doctor’s office is not a primary concern
MONDAY | Oct. 8
Columbus Day federal holiday.
TUESDAY | Oct. 9
Senate in session. House not in session until after the Nov. 6 midterm elections.
WEDNESDAY | Oct. 10
8 a.m. FDA White Oak Campus. Food and Drug Administration meeting of the Oncologic Drugs Advisory Committee. Details.
8:30 a.m. Kaiser Family Foundation. 1330 G St. NW. Alliance for Health Policy Summit on “Aging in America.” Agenda.
FRIDAY | Oct. 12
8 a.m. FDA White Oak Campus. Food and Drug Administration meeting of the Anesthetic and Analgesic Drug Products Advisory Committee. Details.