News Scan for Nov 08, 2016

Essential medicines cost
HPV vaccine in US women
Slight chikungunya rise

Essential medicine cost feasible for low- and middle-income countries

Yesterday The Lancet released their Commission on Essential Medicines Policies report, which focuses on how to pay for essential medicines in nations with varying income levels. Included in the report is the first model for estimating the cost of providing essential medicines in the poorest nations.

The model, developed by University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) researchers, looked at the cost of 200 essential medicine "baskets" for low- to middle-income countries, and discovered the cost would between $77 billion and $152 billion each year, or about $13 to $25 per capita annually. This comes out to $1 to $2 per person, per month. That cost is feasible, though challenging, they concluded.

The Lancet said the commission's report is a synthesis of 30 years' work on essential medicines, a set of medicines based on the World Health Organization’s (WHO) list of medicines that do not require specialized tertiary care and treat some of the most common diseases in the world, including HIV/AIDS, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, mental illness, and respiratory conditions.

The commission's report is meant to help shape decision-making and global health guidelines for the next 20 years. Twenty-one experts helped author the report.
Nov 7 UCLA press release
Nov 7 Lancet report


Prevalence of vaccine-type HPV reduced by half

A new study in the Journal of Infectious Diseases shows that human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination in the United States has dramatically reduced the prevalence of vaccine-type HPV strains in only 2 years.

Between 2009 and 2012, the proportion of women ages 18 to 26 who received the HPV vaccine doubled from 17.1% to 34.5%. This study used data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) from 2009-2010 and 2011-2012 to determine if the increase in vaccination coverage corresponded to a reduction of vaccine-type HPV strains.

Researchers found that the prevalence of vaccine-type HPV decreased almost 45% from 15.4% in 2009-2010 to 8.5% in 2011-2012 in women ages 18 to 26. The prevalence of high-risk vaccine-type HPV in 2009-2010 was 13.1%, but was reduced to 6.5% by 2012.

"The finer examination reported here shows an impressive drop in VT [vaccine type] prevalence between 2009 and 2012 and enriches our understanding of the effects of the HPV vaccine in the US and what we can expect in the future. Our findings suggest that the VT HPV prevalence among 18-26 year-old women in the US will continue its rapid decline. This will be helped by the introduction of routine vaccination among males," the authors concluded.
Nov 7 J Infect Dis study


Americas chikungunya total grows by 440

The number of chikungunya cases in the Americas so far this year grew by 440 cases last week to reach 303,547 suspected, confirmed, and imported infections, according to the latest update from the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).

The weekly increase is similar to the 452-case rise seen the previous week. Most of the new cases were from Mexico, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Bolivia, and Colombia. One death was removed from last week's total, putting the number for the year at 105.

The United States has reported six more imported chikungunya cases this year, lifting its total to 119.

Many countries have not reported any new illnesses for several weeks.

Starting in the Caribbean territory of St. Martin, the Americas' chikungunya outbreak began in 2013 and has now sickened 2,181,987 people.
Nov 4 PAHO update

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