Health News Roundup: Henrietta Lacks' estate says pharma company profited from stolen cells; J&J to seek U.S. FDA authorization of booster shot this week - NYT and more

Mark Lanier told a federal jury in Cleveland hearing the first trial the pharmacy chains have faced in nationwide litigation over the epidemic that the companies bore responsibility for drug abuse in the counties of Lake and Trumbull. Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine effectiveness drops after 6 months -study The effectiveness of the Pfizer Inc/BioNTech SE vaccine in preventing infection by the coronavirus dropped to 47% from 88% six months after the second dose, according to data published on Monday that U.S. health agencies considered when deciding on the need for booster shots.


Reuters | Updated: 05-10-2021 10:53 IST | Created: 05-10-2021 10:30 IST
Health News Roundup: Henrietta Lacks' estate says pharma company profited from stolen cells; J&J to seek U.S. FDA authorization of booster shot this week - NYT and more
Representative Image Image Credit: Twitter(@JNJNews)

Following is a summary of current health news briefs.

Henrietta Lacks' estate says pharma company profited from stolen cells

The estate of a Black woman whose cervical cells were taken from her decades ago without her permission sued a pharmaceutical company on Monday, saying it made a "conscious choice" to mass-produce the cells and profit from a "racially unjust medical system." Henrietta Lacks' estate hasn't "seen a dime" of the revenue Thermo Fisher Scientific made from cultivating the HeLa cell line that was taken from Lacks at Johns Hopkins Hospital in 1951, according to the lawsuit filed in Maryland federal court.

J&J to seek U.S. FDA authorization of booster shot this week - NYT

Johnson & Johnson is planning to ask U.S. federal regulators this week to authorize a booster shot of its COVID-19 vaccine, the New York Times reported on Monday, citing officials familiar with the company's plans. While scientists are divided over the need for booster shots when so many people in the United States and other countries remain unvaccinated, the Biden administration announced the push for an extra dose in August as part of an effort to shore up protection against the highly transmissible Delta variant.

Pharmacy chains failed to prevent opioid misuse, U.S. jury hears

Pharmacy operators including CVS Health Corp and Walmart Inc fueled the U.S. opioid epidemic by failing to stop massive quantities of addictive painkillers from reaching the black market, a lawyer for two Ohio counties said at the start of a trial on Monday. Mark Lanier told a federal jury in Cleveland hearing the first trial the pharmacy chains have faced in nationwide litigation over the epidemic that the companies bore responsibility for drug abuse in the counties of Lake and Trumbull.

Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine effectiveness drops after 6 months -study

The effectiveness of the Pfizer Inc/BioNTech SE vaccine in preventing infection by the coronavirus dropped to 47% from 88% six months after the second dose, according to data published on Monday that U.S. health agencies considered when deciding on the need for booster shots. The data, which was published in the Lancet-published medical journal, had been previously released in August ahead of peer review.

Australia to buy Merck's COVID-19 pill, Victoria cases hit record

Australia will buy 300,000 courses of Merck & Co's experimental antiviral pill, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Tuesday, as Victoria logged the highest number of daily COVID-19 infections of any state in the country since the pandemic began. Molnupiravir, which would be the first oral antiviral medication for COVID-19 if it gets regulatory approval, could halve the chances of dying or being hospitalized for people most at risk of contracting severe COVID-19, according to experts.

Former FDA chief Gottlieb expects Delta to be last big pandemic wave in U.S.

The summer spike in cases fueled by the Delta variant of the coronavirus is likely the last big COVID-19 wave in the United States, but the pandemic is far from over globally, former U.S. Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said on Monday. "I think this Delta wave is probably the last major surge of SARS-CoV-2 infection that we have in the U.S., barring something unexpected happening," Gottlieb, author of "Uncontrolled Spread," a new book on the U.S. response to the pandemic, said in an interview.

New York's largest healthcare provider fires 1,400 unvaccinated workers

New York State's largest healthcare provider, Northwell Health, has fired 1,400 employees who refused to get COVID-19 vaccinations, according to a spokesman, Joe Kemp. As with other healthcare companies that have recently terminated workers for not complying with vaccine mandates, the fired employees represent a small percentage of Northwell's workforce of more than 76,000, all of whom are now inoculated.

Exclusive-Eli Lilly's recalled emergency diabetes drug came from plant cited by FDA

A recently recalled batch of Glucagon Emergency Kits, Eli Lilly and Co's therapy for diabetic patients in crisis was manufactured at an Indiana factory cited by U.S. health regulators this year for quality-control violations, including several involving that product, according to the company and a Reuters review of federal inspection records. The Indianapolis-based company on Sept. 24 issued a voluntary U.S. recall of one lot of the kits whose key ingredient is Glucagon, a drug used to treat dangerously low blood sugar in diabetes patients. The company issued a voluntary recall in Canada the following day.

Two Americans win Medicine Nobel for work on heat and touch

American scientists David Julius and Ardem Patapoutian won the 2021 Nobel Prize for Medicine on Monday for the discovery of receptors in the skin that sense temperature and touch and could pave the way for new painkillers. Their work, carried out independently, has helped show how humans convert the physical impact from heat or touch into nerve impulses that allow us to "perceive and adapt to the world around us," the Nobel Assembly at Sweden's Karolinska Institute said.

New Zealand to use vaccine certificates as Delta persists

New Zealand said on Tuesday that it will start using COVID-19 vaccine certificates as proof of inoculation at large events and other high-risk settings from next month, as the country battles the spread of the Delta variant. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who on Monday abandoned a long-standing strategy of eliminating coronavirus in the face of a persistent Delta outbreak, said the certificates would help ensure large gatherings such as music festivals did not become superspreader events.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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