Health News Roundup: U.S. can conduct 60,000-80,000 monkeypox tests per week, HHS secretary says; Pfizer leaves COVID product forecast unchanged, shares fall and more
In a lawsuit filed in state court in Manhattan, New York Attorney General Letitia James said CVS group abused its market power by requiring hospitals and clinics to use a CVS subsidiary, Wellpartner, to fill prescriptions for discounted drugs at CVS pharmacies. Reinfection, severe outcome more common with BA.5 variant; virus spike protein toxic to heart cells The following is a summary of some recent studies on COVID-19.
Following is a summary of current health news briefs.
Cheap copies of GSK's HIV prevention drug could be ready in 2026
British drugmaker GSK has struck a deal to allow low-cost generic versions of its long-acting HIV preventive medicine to be used in the developing world, including sub-Saharan Africa where the virus remains a leading cause of death. Each year, roughly 1.5 million new cases of HIV are recorded globally, most of which occur in resource-limited countries, and disproportionately impact women and adolescent girls.
U.S. can conduct 60,000-80,000 monkeypox tests per week, HHS secretary says
The United States has the capacity to conduct 60,000-80,000 tests for monkeypox virus per week, Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra said on Thursday. When the monkeypox outbreak began, the U.S. was able to conduct only 6,000 tests per week, Becerra told reporters during a telephone briefing.
CVS siphoned millions from 'safety net' hospitals - New York lawsuit
New York on Thursday sued CVS Health Corp for allegedly forcing hospitals that serve low-income patients to pay millions of dollars to access discounted prescription drugs, violating state antitrust law. In a lawsuit filed in state court in Manhattan, New York Attorney General Letitia James said CVS group abused its market power by requiring hospitals and clinics to use a CVS subsidiary, Wellpartner, to fill prescriptions for discounted drugs at CVS pharmacies.
Reinfection, severe outcome more common with BA.5 variant; virus spike protein toxic to heart cells
The following is a summary of some recent studies on COVID-19. They include research that warrants further study to corroborate the findings and that has yet to be certified by peer review. Reinfections, severe outcomes may be more common with BA.5
U.S. says insurers must still cover birth control after Supreme Court abortion ruling
The Biden administration on Thursday warned U.S. businesses and health insurance providers that limiting coverage of contraceptives, after a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that overturned the constitutional right to abortion, would violate federal law. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued guidance clarifying that the Affordable Care Act (ACA), commonly known as Obamacare, requires insurance plans to provide free birth control and family-planning counseling to insured individuals and their dependents.
Thousands of dead migrant seabirds wash up on Canada shore, avian flu suspected
The carcasses of thousands of migrant seabirds have washed up on the shores of eastern Canada this week and preliminary findings showed that the birds died of avian flu. Since May 2022, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency has confirmed 13 positive cases of highly pathogenic avian influenza in the eastern Canadian province of Newfoundland.
Russia daily COVID cases hit highest since April
Russia reported 11,515 new daily coronavirus cases on Thursday, authorities said, the highest such figure since April 13. Forty-one people in Russia died of coronavirus over the last day, the country's anti-COVID-19 taskforce said in an update.
Sanofi lifts profit outlook as Dupixent sales surge 43%
French healthcare group Sanofi lifted its full-year earnings outlook on continued forecast-beating sales growth for its bestselling drug Dupixent. In a statement on Thursday, Sanofi said it now expects 2022 adjusted earnings per share to grow by about 15%, excluding the effect of currency swings. It had previously predicted low double-digit percentage growth.
Japan looks to regions to mount COVID fight as variant spreads
Japan is encouraging regional authorities to take their own counter-measures against the spread of a new coronavirus variant that has sent cases surging to record levels but there is no plan for any sweeping national measures. A seventh wave of COVID-19 pushed the daily tally of new cases in Japan to a record 233,094 on Thursday as the BA.5 variant of virus spreads, putting pressure on medical services and disrupting company operations in some places.
Pfizer leaves COVID product forecast unchanged, shares fall
Pfizer Inc did not raise its 2022 forecast for sales of its COVID-19 vaccine and antiviral treatment on Thursday, and its shares fell nearly 5% before recovering. The U.S. drugmaker maintained its full-year forecast of around $54 billion for its COVID products, even as second-quarter sales of its Paxlovid antiviral pills were much higher-than-expected, raising concerns among some analysts over Pfizer's long-term growth prospects.
(With inputs from agencies.)