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Scientists have found evidence of a drug-resistant form of malaria in Africa. Researchers detected genetic mutations in nearly 20% of blood samples in Uganda by 2019. That suggests the main drug used against malaria is losing effectiveness there. Experts worry there could be drug-resistant malaria elsewhere in Africa and say doctors should consider treatment changes to stop its spread. Resistant forms of malaria were previously detected in Asia, but Africa accounts for more than 90% of the world’s malaria cases. The disease is caused by a parasite that is spread through mosquito bites. The research was published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine. 

Lebanon is grappling with severe shortages in medical supplies amid a devastating economic crisis. The small Mediterranean country was once a medical hub in the Mideast. Its economic crisis is rooted in decades of corruption and mismanagement by a political class that has accumulated debt and done little to encourage local industries. Medical shortages are threatening the treatment of tens of thousands of people. In desperation, many have taken to social media to try to find their medication or have turned to travelers coming from abroad. Cancer patients say they live in fear and anxiety, not knowing where their next dose of medication or chemotherapy will come from. 

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem has issued an executive order to restrict access to abortion medication and make it clear that medicine-induced abortions fall within state law requiring an in-person consultation with a physician. The Republican governor directed the state Department of Health to that abortion-inducing drugs can only be prescribed or dispensed by a state-licensed physician after an in-person examination. Noem’s order was made in anticipation that the Food and Drug Administration later this year will allow abortion medications to be dispensed through the mail or virtual pharmacies. About 39% of abortions in South Dakota last year were done through medication

Several inmates at a northwest Arkansas jail say they weren't told a medication they were given to treat COVID-19 was actually an anti-parasite drug health officials say should not be used to treat the coronavirus. Three inmates at the Washington County jail told The Associated Press they didn't know they were given ivermectin until its use was revealed last week. The American Civil Liberties Union of Arkansas has said it's heard similar complaints from other inmates. The state Medical Board has said it's opened an investigation following reports of the drug's use at the jail.

The Arkansas Medical Board has opened an investigation following reports that inmates at a county jail were prescribed an anti-parasitic drug to combat COVID-19 even though it hasn’t been approved to treat the coronavirus. Board Director Amy Embry on Thursday declined to elaborate on the investigation, which she said began in the last two days. Washington County’s sheriff confirmed Tuesday night that inmates were prescribed ivermectin, but did not say how many. The Food and Drug Administration has not approved its use in treating or preventing COVID-19. The jail's physician has said no inmates were forced to take the drug.

The mayor of a borough in Alaska, who says he is not a medical professional, has promoted a debunked treatment for COVID-19. Kenai Peninsula Borough Mayor Charlie Pierce has publicly backed the use of ivermectin, an anti-parasitic deworming drug. The Peninsula Clarion reports livestock supply stores in the borough, directly south of Anchorage, have received numerous inquiries about the drug in the recent weeks. Pierce has twice defended use of the drug, first at last week’s borough meeting and on Monday during a radio show. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved ivermectin in both people and animals for parasitic worms and for head lice and skin conditions but not for treating or preventing COVID-19 in humans.

Inmates at a northwest Arkansas jail have been prescribed ivermectin to combat COVID-19, despite warnings from federal health officials that the antiparasitic drug should not be used to treat the coronavirus. Washington County’s sheriff confirmed Tuesday night that the jail’s health provider had been prescribing the drug, but did not say how many inmates have been given the drug. Ivermectin has been used on both people and animals for some parasitic worms and for head lice and skin conditions. But the FDA has not approved its use in treating or preventing COVID-19 in humans.

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