Health News Roundup: Sanofi ordered to compensate French family for epilepsy drug side effects; Britain delays ban on promotion of high-sugar foods and more
The FDA said Mounjaro, along with diet and exercise, improved blood sugar levels and was more effective than the other diabetes therapies with which it was compared in clinical studies. Biden says baby formula shortage to ease in weeks as U.S. imports more The U.S. baby formula shortage should improve dramatically in coming weeks, President Joe Biden and top officials said on Friday as the administration scrambled to reverse a shortfall that hits lower-income Americans particularly hard.
Following is a summary of current health news briefs.
Sanofi ordered to compensate French family for epilepsy drug side effects
A French court has ordered Sanofi to pay more than 400,000 euros ($416,440) in damages to a family whose child suffered from a form of autism caused by its epilepsy drug Valproate, saying the drugmaker failed to inform about known side effects. The link, alongside physical malformation, had also been recognised in a landmark class action ruling in January, which could potentially lead to hundreds of millions of euros in compensation, though Sanofi said it would file an appeal.
Britain delays ban on promotion of high-sugar foods
Britain will delay by a year new rules banning multi-buy deals on foods and drinks high in fat, salt, or sugar (HFSS), with the government saying on Saturday it needed more time given the cost of living crisis. The ban on the deals, including "buy one get one free" (BOGOF), "3 for 2", and restrictions on free refills for soft drinks, had been due to come into force in October.
Two more cases of monkeypox infection reported in England
Two more cases of rare viral monkeypox infection have been diagnosed in England, health authorities said on Saturday, adding that they are not linked to one reported a week ago. The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) said the latest infections involved people living in the same household and an investigation was underway into how they contracted the virus.
Locked-down Shanghai aims to ringfence its COVID outbreak over the next week, officials said on Friday, while residents in China's capital Beijing largely heeded the advice of authorities to work from home to stem the virus' spread. Easing weeks of punishing restrictions in the commercial hub would bring relief to China's battered economy, although there is growing concern that Beijing may yet take a similar course of action if it fails to get a nascent outbreak under control.
U.S. FDA approves Eli Lilly's treatment for type 2 diabetes
The U.S. Food & Drug Administration said on Friday it had approved Eli Lilly's injected drug tirzepatide, which has the brand name Mounjaro, to help improve blood sugar control in adults with type 2 diabetes. The FDA said Mounjaro, along with diet and exercise, improved blood sugar levels and was more effective than the other diabetes therapies with which it was compared in clinical studies.
Biden says baby formula shortage to ease in weeks as U.S. imports more
The U.S. baby formula shortage should improve dramatically in coming weeks, President Joe Biden and top officials said on Friday as the administration scrambled to reverse a shortfall that hits lower-income Americans particularly hard. The United States is working with manufacturers to allow more importation of baby formula, Biden told reporters in the Rose Garden. "We're going to be, in a matter of weeks or less, getting significantly more formula on shelves," he said.
Pfizer, EU push back COVID vaccine delivery to help booster campaign
Pfizer Inc and its German partner BioNTech SE said on Friday they had agreed to push back deliveries of their COVID-19 vaccines to the European Union by three months as the bloc prepares for a potential booster campaign in the fall. The companies amended their supply agreement with the European Commission to push back delivery of doses scheduled for June through August until September through the fourth quarter of this year.
Abbott says shipped millions of cans of infant formula from Ireland
Abbott Laboratories said on Friday it has air shipped millions of cans of infant formula powder into the United States from its facility in Ireland to address shortages here as it tries to reopen its Michigan manufacturing plant. The company said in a blog https://www.abbott.com/corpnewsroom/nutrition-health-and-wellness/abbott-update-on-powder-formula-recall.html it was shipping infant formula produced at its Cootehill, Ireland facility to be used by consumers eligible for the U.S. government's Women, Infants and Children (WIC) nutrition assistance program for low-income families.
Blood marker identified for babies at risk of SIDS hailed as 'breakthrough'
A team of Australian researchers have identified a biochemical marker in the blood that could help identify newborn babies at risk for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), a breakthrough they said creates an avenue to future tragedy-preventing interventions. In their study, babies who died of SIDS had lower levels of an enzyme called butyrylcholinesterase (BChE) shortly after birth, the researchers said. BChE plays a major role in the brain's arousal pathway, and low levels would reduce a sleeping infant's ability to wake up or respond to its environment.
North Korea's Kim says COVID 'great turmoil', 21 new deaths reported
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said on Saturday the spread of COVID-19 had thrust his country into "great turmoil" and called for an all-out battle to overcome the outbreak, as 21 daily deaths were reported among people with fever. North Korea this week acknowledged for the first time a COVID outbreak, imposing a nationwide lockdown. But there was no sign of a rigorous testing or treatment campaign in the isolated country's rudimentary healthcare system.
(With inputs from agencies.)