PHARMACY

Merck seeks FDA approval for use of Gardasil HPV vaccine in boys

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK Merck & Co. has asked the Food and Drug Administration to approve its genital warts vaccine Gardasil for use in males, according to published reports.

In November, a study that the drug maker funded indicated that the vaccine was effective in preventing infection by human papillomavirus in boys and men. The study took place in 20 countries among 4,000 boys and men aged 16 to 26, including more than 1,000 in the United States.

Regulatory agencies in 40 countries have approved Gardasil (human papillomavirus quadrivalent [types 6, 11, 16 and 18]) for use in males, but not the FDA, which has only approved it for use in girls and women aged 9 to 26, citing a lack of evidence of efficacy in males.

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Researchers test administering medication using nanotechnology, gold

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK Researchers have developed a way to use tiny particles of gold to control the administration of drugs for diseases such as cancer, according to a study published in the journal ACS Nano.

The researchers, at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, created a device that shines infrared light on particles of gold coated with medicine.

The particles vary in size, causing them to melt at different rates depending on the intensity of the light.

The researchers said the device would allow medicine to target specific areas of the body at specific rates, thus minimizing damage to healthy tissue.

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N.J. tests new law requiring vaccinations for school-age children

BY Alaric DeArment

TRENTON, N.J. New Jersey will find out this week if its new law requiring flu vaccinations for schoolchildren has worked, according to published reports.

The state is the first in the country to require schoolchildren to receive flu vaccinations, between the ages of 6 months and 5 years. It required the children to receive the vaccinations by Dec. 31. Children who have not been vaccinated will not be allowed to attend school.

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