Abuse-deterrent reformulation of opioid OxyContin led to an increase in hepatitis C infections

The Food and Drug Administration has been encouraging pharmaceutical opioid manufacturers to come up with new drug combinations called abuse-deterrent drugs that are designed to make it harder for people to abuse them. A new study found that since regular OxyContin was replaced by OxyContin reformulation in 2010, states with above-median OxyContin misuse rates before the reformulation had a 222 percent increase in hepatitis C infections from 2004 to 2015. At the same time, states with below-median misuse rates saw a 75 percent increase in hepatitis C cases during the period.

E-Cigarettes can help smokers quit

A recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that e-cigarettes are about twice as effective at helping habitual smokers quit as other nicotine substitutes like nicotine patches and nicotine gum. The study used a random control trial to assign smokers to either use normal nicotine replacement therapies or e-cigarettes. Study participants also participated in counseling designed to help them deal with their smoking behavior. The success rate among e-cigarette users was 18 percent compared to 9.9 percent among  those using other nicotine replacement therapies.

Decline in unplanned pregnancies has driven falling fertility trends in the U.S.

Fertility in the United States has fallen since 2007 to a historic low of 60.2 births per 1,000 age 15 to 44 women in 2017. According to a new paper from the private nonprofit National Bureau of Economic Research, about 35 percent of this fertility decline can be attributed to a reduction in unintended pregnancies. Unplanned births has decreased by 17 percent since 2006.

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