Taking Antibiotics Midlife May Slightly Hit Cognitive Scores Later: Study
A new study, which looked at women who reported at least 2 months of antibiotic exposure in their mid-50s showed lower mean scores on a standard cognitive assessment 7 years later. Meanwhile, ten lots of three oral drugs shipped to hospitals, nursing home, and clinics nationwide have been recalled.
Midlife Antibiotic Use Linked To Lower Cognitive Test Scores
A new study suggests a link between antibiotic use in midlife and small decreases in cognitive test scores later in life. The study, led by researchers from Harvard Medical School and Rush Medical College, found that women who reported at least 2 months of antibiotic exposure in their mid-50s had lower mean scores on a standard cognitive assessment 7 years later compared with those who weren't exposed to antibiotics. The relationship persisted after adjustment for other lifestyle risk factors. (Dall, 3/25)
Long-Term Antibiotic Use By Middle-Aged Women May Affect Cognitive Function – New Study
Antibiotics are one of the most commonly prescribed drugs in the world. They’re used to treat many different bacterial infections. While most people may only be on a course of antibiotics for a week or two at a time, some may take antibiotics for a longer period to treat certain chronic conditions, such as pneumonia or acne. While antibiotics can be life-saving, long-term use can come with several side effects – not least of which is the risk of bacteria developing antibiotic resistance. And now, a recent study has also linked long-term antibiotic use by middle-aged women to an increased risk of cognitive decline. (Barker, 3/25)
Medical News Today:
Antibiotics And Cognitive Decline: Is There A Link?
The gut microbiome consists of all the microbes and their genetic material living in our gastrointestinal tract. These microbes include bacteria, fungi, and viruses. The gut microbiome is essential for regulating our internal environment and the function of the immune system. There is two-way communication between the central nervous system and the gut, which is called the gut-brain axis. Scientists believe that the gut-brain axis allows our gut bacteria to influence the brain. The gut microbiome modulates brain development and function throughout our life. There is some evidence that changes to the intestinal microbiome may play a role in developing psychiatric and neurologic conditions, such as depression, autism spectrum disorder, schizophrenia, anxiety, and Alzheimer’s disease. (Uildriks, 3/23)
In other pharmaceutical news —
Recall: Major Pharmaceuticals Milk Of Magnesia, Pain Drug
Ten lots of three oral drugs shipped to hospitals, nursing home and clinics nationwide have been recalled for “microbial contamination and failure to properly investigate failed microbial testing.” That’s in the FDA-posted recall alert from Plastikon Healthcare, manufacturer of the medications for the Major Pharmaceuticals brand. Here’s what you need to know. (Neal, 3/27)
The New York Times:
F.D.A. Rushed A Drug For Preterm Births. Did It Put Speed Over Science?
By the time Brittany Bonds gave birth to her third son in the back of an ambulance 10 weeks before he was due, she no longer trusted the drug Makena. The drug was intended to forestall preterm birth and improve the health of a baby. But it did not work for Mrs. Bonds, whose son Phoenix ended up in a NICU for 83 days. At 2, he still has a host of health problems. (Jewett, 3/25)
The New York Times:
When Will Men Get Birth Control Pills? Your Questions, Answered
A buzzy new animal study offers another contender in the search for a male form of birth control. Researchers at the University of Minnesota created a birth control pill for male mice, which proved 99 percent effective in preventing pregnancy. The contraceptive targets a protein in the body that receives a form of vitamin A, which is involved with sperm production and fertility. Researchers gave this compound, referred to as YCT529, to male mice for four weeks; the animals showed drastically lower sperm counts. Four to six weeks after they stopped receiving the contraceptive, the mice could impregnate a female mouse again. (Blum, 3/25)
Hospitals Worry As More Drugmakers Limit 340B Discounts
UW Medicine is getting nervous about the future of its 340B discounts as more drug manufacturers restrict discounts for drugs dispensed at contract pharmacies. "We're seeing our savings be eroded dramatically," said Sumona DasGupta, assistant director of pharmacy audit and compliance. UW Medicine, which operates two 340B hospitals, has lost about two-thirds of its contract pharmacy savings, she said. Safety-net providers across the country expect more lost savings from drugmaker restrictions on 340B discounts to contract pharmacies, as sixteen drugmakers have announced plans to limit the discounts since summer 2020, despite ongoing lawsuits. (Goldman, 3/25)
Big Pharma Is Betting On Bigger Political Ambitions From Sen. Tim Scott
Sen. Tim Scott, a rising star in the Republican Party with broad popularity in his home state of South Carolina, is getting showered with drug industry money before facing voters this fall. Scott was the top recipient of pharma campaign cash in Congress during the second half of 2021, receiving $99,000, KHN’s Pharma Cash to Congress database shows, emerging as a new favorite of the industry. Though Scott has been a perennial recipient since arriving in Congress in 2011, the latest amount is nearly twice as much as his previous highest haul. (Pradhan and Knight, 3/28)
KHN Campaign Contributions Tracker: Pharma Cash To Congress
Every year, pharmaceutical companies contribute millions of dollars to U.S. senators and representatives as part of a multipronged effort to influence health care lawmaking and spending priorities. Use this tool to explore the sizable role drugmakers play in the campaign finance system, where many industries seek to influence Congress. (Lucas and KHN staff, 3/23)