Science Policy For All

Because science policy affects everyone.

Science Policy Around the Web – May 12, 2013

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tanning bed

photo credit: mag3737 via photopin cc

By: Katherine Donigan

Our weekly linkpost, bringing you interesting and informative links on science policy issues buzzing about the internet.

FDA Proposes Tougher Warnings for Tanning Beds – Despite recommendations from the FDA’s own advisory panel and the American Medical Association that favor an outright ban on tanning beds for children, the agency is proposing only to increase the risk level associated with indoor tanning.  This move would result in requiring tanning beds to display a warning label advising against use by anyone under 18.  The decision to upgrade tanning beds from low to moderate risk devices is a step in the right direction, as skin cancer has been found to be significantly increased in people who are exposed to UV radiation from tanning beds before age 35.  The FDA has indicated that warning labels may be a precursor to an outright ban in the future, but the reasoning behind the agency’s reluctance to presently support such a ban remains unclear. (Steve Reinberg, US News)

Cancer Vaccines Get a Price Cut in Poor Nations – The two major manufacturers of the HPV vaccine have announced that they will be making it available to girls and women in poor countries for under $5 per dose.  This price reduction is significant, as in the US, the vaccine usually runs around $130 per dose.  Advocates of a low-cost HPV vaccine hope that by 2020, 30 million girls living in 40 different countries would be vaccinated.  The HPV vaccine protects against multiple strains of human papilloma virus that cause genital warts and up to 70% of cervical cancers.  Dramatically reducing the cost barrier for women and girls in poor countries at higher risk of dying from cervical cancer has the potential to save millions of lives, representing a major advance for women’s health. (Sabrina Tavernise, NYTimes)

New Genomic Prostate Cancer Test Holds More Answers – The limitations of the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test have become increasingly apparent over the years, as new studies have shown PSA levels alone are a relatively poor marker for prostate cancer.  Data indicate that PSA testing can lead to overdiagnosis, and in October 2011, the United States Preventive Services Task Force issued a recommendation against PSA testing in healthy men at any age.  A new test from Genomic Health, Oncotype DX, screens 17 different genes from a biopsy and assigns a numerical score correlating to tumor aggressiveness.  The test appears to be more sensitive at detecting the differences between low and high-risk samples, potentially sparing thousands of men each year from unnecessary medical treatment. (Andrew Pollack, NYTimes)

Have an interesting science policy link?  Share it in the comments!

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Written by sciencepolicyforall

May 12, 2013 at 9:21 pm

Posted in Linkposts

Tagged with , ,

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