- Cervarix Induces Stronger Immune Response Than Gardasil: Study
- Health Insurance Unaffordable for More Families Than Thought: Study
- Obama's 2010 Health Budget Targets Reforms
- U.S. Raid Seizes $1.5 Million of Contaminated Food Products
- Dodgers' Ramirez Suspended 50 Games After Positive Drug Test
- West Nile Test Produced False-Positive Results: Study
- Syphilis Rates in Heterosexuals Need Monitoring: Study
- Facebook Use Doesn't Harm Grades: Report
- 3.5 Million U.S. Kids Under 5 Facing Hunger: Study
- New Schizophrenia Drug Approved by FDA
- FDA OKs Avastin as Brain Cancer Tumor Treatment
Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by editors of HealthDay:
Cervarix Induces Stronger Immune Response Than Gardasil: Study
A head-to-head comparison suggests that GlaxoSmithKline PLC's Cervarix vaccine triggers a stronger immune response against the cervical cancer-causing human papillomavirus (HPV) than Merck & Co.'s Gardasil.
The Glaxo-funded study of 1,100 women, ages 18 to 45, didn't examine which vaccine was more effective at preventing cervical cancer or precancerous lesions, the Wall Street Journal reported.
The findings were presented at a Swedish medical conference that began Friday. Cervarix is on the market in Europe and is currently under review by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Gardasil is designed to protect women against four HPV types, including those that cause most cases of genital warts, the Wall Street Journal reported. Cervarix targets two HPV types and isn't meant to provide as much protection against genital warts.
Health Insurance Unaffordable for More Families Than Thought: Study
Most uninsured families who aren't covered by group health insurance through work can't afford to buy health insurance, says a U.S. government study.
Unlike most studies that use income alone to estimate how many Americans can afford health insurance, this study shows that measuring families' median net worth (the value of their savings plus other assets minus debt) provides a more accurate count.
Using national survey data, researchers with the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality found that the median net worth of families who purchased health insurance was $105,819 -- nearly 35 times greater than the median net worth of $3,057 for uninsured families. Median net worth means that half the families had net worth above or below that amount.
In contrast, the median income of families who purchased health insurance was $41,086 -- only 2.3 times greater than the median income of $17,690 for uninsured families.
The study also found that 4.1 percent of families with access to work-based health insurance were poor (family income below 100 percent of the federal poverty line), and 11.1 percent were low income (family income 100 percent to 199 percent of the federal poverty line). Among families without access to employer-based health insurance, 33.8 percent were poor, and 28.4 percent were low income.
"This study has important implications for defining who can afford to pay for health insurance in the next wave of health care reform," AHRQ Director Dr. Carolyn M. Clancy, said in a news release. "We need accurate, evidence-based findings to ensure that we are providing policymakers with reliable information."
Obama's 2010 Health Budget Targets Reforms
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius this week outlined provisions of President Barack Obama's 2010 health budget that target cutting costs, improving quality of care and rooting out waste and fraud in the Medicare system.
Overall, the proposed budget includes a total of $879 billion for the Department of Health and Human Services in 2010, a $63 billion increase over the agency's 2009 budget. The budget establishes a $635 billion health care reserve fund over 10 years, funded by new revenue and savings from Medicare and Medicaid, to finance the reforms and assure health care coverage for all Americans, Sebelius said in a news release from her agency. To improve public safety, the new budget also sets aside $584 million to prepare for and combat pandemic flu and fund increases for the Food and Drug Administration to help ensure the safety of food and medicine.
"We estimate that for every $1 we spend to stop fraud in the system, wesave $1.55," Sebelius said in the new release. "The President's budget lays out funding for anti-fraud efforts over five years that we estimate could save $2.7 billion by improving overall oversight and stopping fraud and abusewithin the Medicare Advantage and Medicare prescription drug programs."