Health News Roundup: WHO warns 'sustained transmission' of monkeypox risks vulnerable groups; Sanofi caps out-of-pocket insulin costs at $35 for uninsured U.S. patients and more

Devdiscourse News Desk | Updated: 30-06-2022 10:38 IST | Created: 30-06-2022 10:28 IST
Health News Roundup: WHO warns 'sustained transmission' of monkeypox risks vulnerable groups; Sanofi caps out-of-pocket insulin costs at $35 for uninsured U.S. patients and more
Representative Image Image Credit: ANI

Following is a summary of current health news briefs.

WHO warns 'sustained transmission' of monkeypox risks vulnerable groups

The World Health Organization says "sustained transmission" of monkeypox worldwide could see the virus begin to move into high-risk groups, such as pregnant women, immunocompromised people and children. WHO said on Wednesday it was investigating reports of infected children, including two cases in Britain, as well as following up on reports in Spain and France. None of the cases in children has been severe.

Sanofi caps out-of-pocket insulin costs at $35 for uninsured U.S. patients

French drugmaker Sanofi said on Wednesday that uninsured diabetes patients in the United States will pay no more than $35 for a 30-day supply of insulin, in the wake of heightened public scrutiny over soaring prices of the life-saving drug. Sanofi said the new price, down from the prior out-of-pocket cost of $99, will be effective from July 1.

EU proposes ban on flavoured heated tobacco products

The European Commission proposed on Wednesday to ban the sale in the EU of flavoured heated tobacco products after a big rise in their consumption. "By removing flavoured heated tobacco from the market we are taking yet another step towards realising our vision under Europe's Beating Cancer Plan to create a "Tobacco-Free Generation" with less than 5% of the population using tobacco by 2040," EU health commissioner Stella Kyriakides said in a statement.

British Columbia reaches $116 million settlement with Purdue Pharma over opioid crisis

Canada's British Columbia province said on Wednesday it reached a C$150 million ($116.50 million) settlement with OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma Canada over healthcare costs related to the opioid crisis. Purdue had been named as one of more than 40 defendants - drugmakers and distributors - in a proposed class-action lawsuit brought by British Columbia in 2018 on behalf of all provincial and federal Canadian governments. The lawsuit aims to recover healthcare costs for the "wrongful conduct of opioid manufacturers, distributors and their consultants."

Pfizer signs new $3.2 billion COVID vaccines deal with U.S. government

Pfizer Inc and partner BioNTech SE said on Wednesday they signed a $3.2 billion deal with the U.S. government for 105 million doses of their COVID-19 vaccine, which could be delivered as soon as later this summer. The deal includes supplies of a retooled Omicron-adapted vaccine, pending regulatory clearance, according to Pfizer.

Japan's capital to raise coronavirus infections alert level to 2nd-highest -FNN

The Tokyo metropolitan government will on Thursday raise its alert level for new coronavirus infections to the second-highest of four levels due to a sharp rise in cases, Fuji News Network reported. The Japanese capital recorded 3,803 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday, up 63% from the previous week.

Shifting U.S. abortion landscape: What you need to know right now

Abortion rights groups are flooding state courts with lawsuits seeking to stop the enforcement of bans that began taking effect after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the 1973 Roe v. Wade case that legalized abortion nationwide. Meanwhile, Democratic-led states are trying to pass legislation that would strengthen protections for abortion providers and patients, anticipating an influx of women seeking to terminate pregnancies from abortion-hostile states.

Sharp spike seen in Americas COVID cases -PAHO

COVID-19 cases in the Americas rose 13.9% last week from the previous one, with 1.3 million new cases and 4,158 new deaths, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) said at a news conference on Wednesday.

Macau COVID infections rise as spread extends to medics, police

Authorities in the world's biggest gambling hub Macau are scrambling to contain the city's biggest coronavirus outbreak since the pandemic began, requiring all residents to test daily and stay home as much as possible. Health, police and fire services staff are among the 533 infected cases, the government said on Wednesday night as it urged residents to test daily for the virus using Rapid Antigen kits.

BioNTech, Pfizer to start testing a universal vaccine for coronaviruses

Germany's BioNTech, Pfizer's partner in COVID-19 vaccines, said the two companies would start tests on humans of next-generation shots that protect against a wide variety of coronaviruses in the second half of the year. Their experimental work on shots that go beyond the current approach includes T-cell-enhancing shots, designed to primarily protect against severe disease if the virus becomes more dangerous, and pan-coronavirus shots that protect against the broader family of viruses and its mutations.

(With inputs from agencies.)

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