NPR News

Are Golden Tickets That Speed Drugs Through FDA Worthwhile?

11 hours ago

Drugmaker Sarepta Therapeutics won a big victory when its $300,000 muscular dystrophy drug was approved Sept. 19, despite questions about its effectiveness.

But the company had other reasons to celebrate. It was also awarded the pharmaceutical industry's version of a Willy Wonka golden ticket.

Since their launch in 2012, cellphone emergency alerts have become a frequent tool for public safety officials to alert people to missing children, warn them of impending weather calamities or notify them of dangers specific to the local community.

Federal health officials are urging all Americans to get their flu shots as soon as possible, and are especially concerned that too few elderly people are getting vaccinated.

"Flu is serious. Flu is unpredictable," Dr. Thomas Frieden, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told reporters during a joint briefing Thursday with the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases. "Flu often does not get enough respect."

Americans want to stay in control of their cars, a new study finds.

According to a study by Kelley Blue Book, 80 percent of Americans say people should always have the option to drive themselves.

This study comes just a week after the Department of Transportation released regulatory guidelines for self-driving vehicles.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

What rats can remember may help people who forget.

Researchers are reporting evidence that rats possess "episodic memories," the kind of memories that allow us to go back in time and recall specific events. These memories are among the first to disappear in people who develop Alzheimer's disease.

The finding, which appears Thursday in Current Biology, suggests that rats could offer a better way to test potential drugs for Alzheimer's. Right now, most of these drugs are tested in mice.

Turkey's national security council is recommending a three-month extension of the state of emergency imposed following a failed coup attempt in July.

The council is chaired by the Turkey's president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has presided over tens of thousands of dismissals and arrests of opposition leaders, journalists and others since the initial state of emergency went into effect on July 20, NPR's Peter Kenyon reports.

Winter clothes, blankets, food and medical supplies. In an act of humanity, a U.N. aid convoy was carrying these precious necessities to a neighborhood in Aleppo, Syria, cut off by war. The convoy never made it.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Pages