News in Brief: Week of Jan. 5-9

January 09, 2015 04:29 pm News Staff

This roundup includes the following news briefs:

[News in Brief]

FDA Approves Gardasil 9 for HPV Prevention

Last month, the FDA approved human papillomavirus 9-valent vaccine, recombinant (Gardasil 9) for the prevention of diseases caused by nine types of HPV, according to a news release( Gardasil 9 covers five more HPV types than the previously approved Gardasil and has the potential to prevent about 90 percent of cervical, vulvar, vaginal and anal cancers.

Gardasil 9 is administered as three separate shots, with the initial dose followed by additional shots given two and six months later. As with other HPV vaccines, Gardasil 9 is intended to be administered to eligible patients before they becoming infected with the HPV strains covered by the vaccine.

Tips From Former Smokers Campaign Sees Return on Investment

The 2012 Tips From Former Smokers campaign spent only $480 per smoker who quit and $393 per year of life saved, according to an analysis by the CDC. The results of the study( were published Dec. 10 in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

A commonly accepted threshold for cost-effectiveness of a public health intervention is $50,000 per year of life saved, according to a CDC news release( When related to smoking, that cost-effectiveness figure may also include costs of counseling, medications and other expenses contributing to successful cessation. Even when those costs are added to the cost of the Tips campaign, the total is still 15 times less than the $50,000 benchmark for cost-effectiveness.

"There is no question the Tips campaign is a 'best buy' for public health -- it saves lives and saves money," said CDC Director Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. "Smoking-related disease costs this nation more than $289 billion a year. The Tips campaign is one of the most cost-effective of all health interventions. This study shows how much the Tips campaign accomplished by being on the air for just 12 weeks. We would expect the benefits to be even greater if Tips was on the air all year."

PCORI Recruiting Members for Advisory Panels

The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) is seeking new members( for five of its six multistakeholder advisory panels. They are:

Applications are due( Feb. 6 by 5 p.m. EST.

AAMC Offers Three Free Publications on Med School Admissions

Explore three publications that cover various aspects of medical school admissions courtesy of the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) and available free of charge when downloaded as PDF documents. All are part of the AAMC's Roadmap Series, which sprang from its Holistic Review Project.

The most recent of the three(, Roadmap to Diversity and Educational Excellence: Key Legal and Educational Policy Foundations for Medical Schools, offers guidance -- with legal underpinnings -- on the development of mission-driven, diversity-related policies and practices.

The second document( is Roadmap to Excellence: Key Concepts for Evaluating the Impact of Medical School Holistic Admissions, which focuses on creating a basis for schools to attract, select and train a diverse student body capable of meeting the aspirations articulated by each institution.

The third publication( is Roadmap to Diversity: Integrating Holistic Review Practices into Medical School Admission Processes, which aims to help medical school admissions personnel incorporate holistic review practices into their student selection process.

FDA Warns Against Using Wallcur IV Products

Last week, the FDA issued an alert to health care professionals( to avoid using Wallcur LLC simulated IV products in patients because these products are intended for training purposes only.

According to the agency, some Wallcur training IV products have been distributed to health care facilities and administered to patients. There also have been reports of serious adverse events associated with the use of certain products, such as the company's Practi IV Solution Bags.

If clinicians suspect that any Wallcur training IV products have been administered to a patient, whether or not it was associated with an adverse event, the FDA asks that they report the incident( to its MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program.