Trending News Today: FDA Approves First Drug for Tardive Dyskinesia

Top news of the day from across the health care landscape.

Michigan increased its immunization rates by implementing an “inconvenience” strategy to address high rates of kindergarteners who were unvaccinated, according to Kaiser Health News. State officials abandoned Michigan’s relatively loose rules for obtaining an exemption and instead issued a regulation that required families to personally consult with local public health departments before receiving an immunization waiver. Within the first year, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services reported that the number of statewide waivers issued had dropped 35%. “The idea was to make the process more burdensome,” Mark Largent, Michigan State University health policy specialist, told KHN. “Research has shown that if you make it more inconvenient to apply for a waiver, fewer people get them.”

President Donald Trump said that a health care overhaul of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is still a top priority, even if it means pushing a revamp of the tax code to the back burner. Last month, House Republicans failed to gain enough votes to pass the health care bill, according to The Wall Street Journal. Despite the setback, President Trump and congressional Republicans said they have not given up and are working to assemble the necessary votes to overturn the ACA.

The FDA approved valbenazine (Ingrezza) for the treatment of adults with tardive dyskinesia, according to a press release. The approval was based on a trial that examined the efficacy of valbenazine compared with placebo in 243 patients. After 6 weeks, participants in the valbenazine arm experienced improvement in the severity of abnormal involuntary movements compared with patients in the placebo arm. Tardive dyskinesia is a neurological disorder characterized by repetitive involuntary movements, such as smacking of the lips or sticking out the tongue. Valbenazine is the first approved drug for this condition.