February 15, 2023 

Bivalent COVID-19 Booster Effectiveness Against Emerging Variants

The SARS-CoV-2 Omicron sublineage XBB.1.5 became the predominant Omicron lineage in the United States, accounting for an estimated 66.4% of all new cases. The bivalent COVID-19 vaccine is effective against XBB 1.5, but the protection does not last very long. That is according to a new CDC report that demonstrates more vaccine effectiveness than researchers had originally feared. Read more.


Use of Varenicline Dropped, Stayed Lower With Chantix Recall

In what a new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association calls “lost opportunities,” the use of varenicline dropped after the recall of the brand-name Chantix in July 2021 and has struggled to recover. Find out the series of events leading to the declining use of a popular and effective medication for smoking cessation.

Texas Sues to Halt HHS Policy That Pharmacists Must Provide Abortifacients

The attorney general from the State of Texas is suing the Biden Administration over guidance to pharmacists stating failure to dispense abortifacients goes against civil rights laws. In an argument that keeps pharmacists in the middle of the controversy, the lawsuit maintains that the state law should prevail since Texas does not allow the induction of abortion. Read more.


Acid Suppressants Overused in Infants With Reflux, Not GERD

As many as 7% of infants in Virginia have been inappropriately prescribed medications for gastroesophageal reflux, according to a study published in Pediatrics. Find out why the authors maintain that confusion over gastroesophageal reflux—as opposed to gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)—has fueled prescriptions and they think common medications should be avoided whenever possible in those infants.

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