Overnight Health Care: Three NYC parents face fines for not vaccinating children | FDA approves generic version of anti-overdose drug | Over 1M Americans have lost health insurance since 2016

Overnight Health Care: Three NYC parents face fines for not vaccinating children | FDA approves generic version of anti-overdose drug | Over 1M Americans have lost health insurance since 2016

Welcome to Friday's Overnight Health Care.

Happy Good Friday and Chag Semach to everyone observing Passover.

Today, three parents are facing fines under New York City's measles vaccine mandate, the FDA approved a generic version of anti-overdose drug Narcan, and the number of uninsured Americans has climbed.

We'll start with the measles controversy:


Three New York parents face $1,000 fines for failing to vaccinate children

New York City public health officials said they issued summonses to the parents of three children Thursday for failing to vaccinate their children against the measles.

The parents' refusal to vaccinate their children is a violation of an emergency order from the city's public health department, which requires mandatory vaccinations in an effort to control New York's largest measles outbreak in decades.


The adults face a $1,000 fine if a hearing officer upholds the summons. Failing to appear at the hearing or respond to the summons will result in a $2,000 fine, but no criminal charges.

The mandatory vaccine order took effect April 12, and officials said an investigation found three children who were exposed to the measles but still unvaccinated.

Measles cases keep rising:  As of Wednesday, the city has confirmed 359 cases of the measles, an increase of 30 cases just since Monday. Most of the cases in New York have involved members of the Orthodox Jewish community. The vaccination order required people living in four ZIP codes in Brooklyn -- the ZIP codes that are home to the most Orthodox Jews -- to receive a measles, mumps and rubella vaccine within 48 hours.

Mandate withstands challenge: Also on Thursday, a judge in Brooklyn sided with the city, and ruled that the vaccine mandate can remain in effect. The case was brought by a group of parents who argued that the current outbreaks do not justify "drastic emergency measures" that override individual rights.

Read more on NYC's measles fight here.


FDA approves generic version of Narcan

A generic version of the anti-opioid overdose drug Narcan will soon be available, the Food and Drug Administration announced Friday. The agency granted approval to the first generic version of naloxone nasal spray, which can stop or reverse the effects of an opioid overdose.

FDA said the approval is the first generic naloxone nasal spray for use in a community setting by individuals without medical training; however, generic injectable naloxone products have been available for years for use in a health care setting.  

The generic version of the drug is manufactured by Teva Pharmaceuticals. The company did not say how long it would take before the spray would be commercially available, or how much it would cost.

FDA said the approval is part of the agency's efforts to prioritize the review of generic products to help fight the opioid epidemic. The agency said it is exploring other ways to increase the availability of naloxone products intended for use in the community and has "taken the unprecedented step" of helping to assist manufacturers to pursue approval of an over-the-counter version.

If naloxone nasal spray is administered quickly, FDA said it can counter the effects of an opioid overdose, usually within minutes.


More than 1 million Americans have lost health insurance since 2016

Something you may have missed: more than 1 million Americans have lost health insurance coverage since 2016, according to a new report from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).

The analysis was released Thursday, while most of the city was preoccupied with the Mueller report. CBO estimated that the number of Americans without insurance has risen from 27.5 million in 2016 to 28.9 million in 2018.

The numbers: One of the main areas of decline the CBO found was among Americans who purchase coverage on the individual market outside of the federal and state-run ObamaCare exchanges.

  • In 2016, 7.4 million people purchased coverage outside the exchanges. In 2018, that number dropped to 4.9 million.
  • The number of people who bought unsubsidized insurance through the exchanges has declined slightly, from 1.6 million people in 2016 to an estimated 1.3 million in 2018.
  • In both cases, experts attributed the decline to rising premiums. At the same time, the number of people employer-sponsored coverage has increased.

Read more on the numbers here.


What we're reading

Lilly bets billions on focus on cancer drugs (Indianapolis Business Journal)

Two-wave U.S. flu season is now the longest in a decade (Associated Press)

A pivotal test of an experimental malaria vaccine set to begin (Stat)


State by state

Family of Chicago-area woman who died hopes officials will lift secrecy on Candida auris fungus (Chicago Tribune)

Montana Legislature passes Medicaid expansion bill (NBC Montana)