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MPH’s Schaffner: Measles cases continue to rise

May. 24, 2019—In a report on Monday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that it has confirmed an additional 41 measles cases in the U.S. The new total brings the number of cases up to 880 in 24 states, the largest number of measles cases in this country since 1994. “We’d previously eliminated this disease not...

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MPH’s Guillamondegui comments on scooter injuries

May. 24, 2019—In April, the Nashville Fire Department responded to 43 emergency calls related to scooter injuries. Dr. Oscar Guillamondegui estimates Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s trauma center and emergency department see about one major traumatic brain injury a month related to scooters and one-to-two injuries to faces, arms and legs per day. “If you think about the actual number of scooters on the road, it...

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McPheeters to rejoin faculty of the Department of Health Policy

May. 20, 2019—NASHVILLE, Tennessee — Melissa McPheeters, PhD, MPH, will return to the permanent faculty of Vanderbilt University’s School of Medicine, beginning July 1, 2019. For the last three years, McPheeters has served the State of Tennessee as Director of Informatics & Analytics in the Tennessee Department of Health, where she built a program in informatics and analytics that...

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MPH’s Dusetzina comments on generic entry drug prices

May. 13, 2019—Congress is mainly squabbling over proposals to reduce prices by boosting competition. And with the exception of some very preliminary talk about the length of patent exclusivity period for biologics, they’re mostly focused on traditional small-molecule generics. But those regulatory tools were designed for a world in which pharmaceutical companies develop relatively simple drugs and...

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MPH’s Schaffner comments on the Measles quarantine 

May. 10, 2019—The cruise ship with a measles case on board remains under quarantine in its home port of Curacao as health officials wait to see if more people aboard become infected. The quarantine could last up to two more weeks, a public health expert told Forbes, a scenario more likely given that the majority of the ship’s...

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MPH’s Clayton: Gene testing and U.S. laws 

May. 10, 2019—While DNA testing upends the practice of medicine, U.S. laws aren’t keeping pace. That’s one message from a nearly finished 3-year, $2 million project called LawSeq, which aims to build a legal foundation to support genomic medicine. Doctors and other health care providers are already facing lawsuits that broach new legal terrain—and sometimes even hold...

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MPH’s Foster: Increase in Hepatitis A Virus Infections

May. 9, 2019—Hepatitis A virus (HAV) is primarily transmitted fecal-orally after close contact with an infected person (1); it is the most common cause of viral hepatitis worldwide, typically causing acute and self-limited symptoms, although rarely liver failure and death can occur (1). Rates of hepatitis A had declined by approximately 95% during 1996–2011; however, during 2016–2018,...

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MPH’s Schaffner: Antibiotics and big Pharma

May. 6, 2019—New antibiotics, which often compete with cheap generics, generally don’t cost more than $1,000 a day, or about $10,000 for a course of treatment. That compares with cancer drugs priced at $100,000 a year or more, so pharmaceutical companies focus on the more lucrative medicines. And infectious disease doctors, wary of promoting resistance, are reluctant...

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MPH’s Dusetzina discusses consumers out-of-pocket drug prices

May. 2, 2019—The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is working on a proposed rule that would require drug companies to disclose the list prices of prescription medications when advertising them directly to consumers on television.

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MPH’s Schaffner explains the need for a Measles booster

May. 2, 2019—Unvaccinated individuals have been the focus of attention during this year’s measles outbreaks. A record 704 cases of the illness have been confirmed in 22 states so far in 2019, and the CDC says the majority of those diagnoses have been in unvaccinated people. Health officials have repeatedly warned nearly everyone to get the shot if they haven’t...

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MPH alumna named 2019-20 Fulbright grantee

May. 2, 2019—Eight Vanderbilt students and alumni have been awarded funding to pursue graduate study, conduct research and teach English around the world through the prestigious Fulbright U.S. Student Program. The Career Center and Graduate School advised them on the application process, providing support and facilitating the internal nomination process for this highly competitive award. The Fulbright U.S. Student Program, founded...

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MPH’s Dusetzina: CAR-T payment challenges

Apr. 30, 2019—Hospitals don’t want to keep losing money over this treatment, and that could affect who gets it. More CAR-T therapies are in the development pipeline, but competition isn’t a sure-fire solution given its personalized nature. Hospitals can lose upwards of $100,000 dollars when they provide CAR-T therapy to a Medicare beneficiary on an inpatient basis. If...

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MPH’s Dusetzina discusses the high cost of insulin

Apr. 30, 2019—According to the American Diabetes Association, about 1.25 million Americans have Type 1 diabetes —less common than Type 2 — and cannot live without insulin. A peer-reviewed study published in December, which looked at people with diabetes being treated at the Yale Diabetes Center in New Haven, Conn. Of 199 participants, 51 people — just over 25%...

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MPH’s Schaffner: One vs. two Measles vaccine doses

Apr. 30, 2019—Nearly two decades after measles was declared eliminated in the United States, the country and the globe have seen an upsurge of cases — including adults who thought they were protected by the vaccine. Now, some are questioning whether they are properly vaccinated and whether they are still at risk for getting measles. In research studies, nearly everyone developed signs of...

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MPH’s Schaffner: US measles cases hit highest mark in 25 years

Apr. 26, 2019—Measles in the U.S. has climbed to its highest level in 25 years, closing in on 700 cases this year in a resurgence largely attributed to misinformation that is turning parents against vaccines. “This is alarming,” said Dr. William Schaffner, a Vanderbilt University vaccine expert. Not only is measles dangerous in itself, but its return...

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