Health News Roundup: Bill Gates, South Korea expand global health partnership; China reports 3,036 new COVID cases for Aug 16 vs 2,526 days earlier and more
The deal came after Gates arrived in South Korea late on Monday, calling for Seoul to play a bigger role in global health and to increase aid. Plaintiff in first Zantac lawsuit set for trial drops case The plaintiff in the first lawsuit over the heartburn drug Zantac scheduled to go to trial has agreed to drop his case, according to his attorney and drugmakers named as defendants.
Following is a summary of current health news briefs.
Bill Gates, South Korea expand global health partnership
South Korea agreed on Tuesday to expand its global health partnership with the foundation set up by Microsoft Corp co-founder and philanthropist Bill Gates. The deal came after Gates arrived in South Korea late on Monday, calling for Seoul to play a bigger role in global health and to increase aid.
China reports 3,036 new COVID cases for Aug 16 vs 2,526 days earlier
China reported 3,036 new coronavirus cases for Aug. 16, of which 637 were symptomatic and 2,399 were asymptomatic, the National Health Commission said on Wednesday. That compared with 2,526 new cases a day earlier - 591 symptomatic and 1,935 asymptomatic infections, which China counts separately.
Plaintiff in first Zantac lawsuit set for trial drops case
The plaintiff in the first lawsuit over the heartburn drug Zantac scheduled to go to trial has agreed to drop his case, according to his attorney and drugmakers named as defendants. The news on Tuesday came days after shares of GlaxoSmithKline Plc, Sanofi SA, Pfizer Inc and Haleon Plc were hit by investor concerns about thousands of lawsuits claiming the drug, which U.S. regulators pulled from the market in 2020, causes cancer.
U.S. FDA gets over 48,000 reports of faulty Philips respiratory devices in May-July
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said it had received more than 48,000 reports of faulty Dutch medical equipment maker Philips' ventilators and respiratory devices between May and July, which included 44 deaths. This was more than twice the number of reports it had received in over a year until April, the agency said on Tuesday.
Newly launched U.S. drugs head toward record-high prices in 2022
Drugmakers are launching new medicines at record-high prices this year, a Reuters analysis has found, highlighting their pricing power even as Congress moves to cut the $500 billion-plus annual bill for prescription drugs in the United States. At the same time, some pharmaceutical manufacturers are disclosing less information about the pricing of those treatments, which have come under greater scrutiny in recent years, Reuters found. "In the U.S. we allow drug manufacturers to freely set prices for all brand-name drugs," Dr. Aaron Kesselheim, professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital, told Reuters.
Baby formula supplies improving, say U.S. retailers Walmart and Target
Two big U.S. retailers Walmart Inc and Target Corp said on Tuesday that supplies of baby formula were improving, months after the country faced acute shortages that had caused a panic among parents. Considering the still-existing supply constraints, Target said it will continue with the purchase restrictions both at its stores and online.
Drugmaker Endo files for bankruptcy, lenders to take control
Endo International Plc filed for bankruptcy protection on Tuesday which will allow some of the U.S. drugmaker's lenders to take control in a $6 billion deal, after the company struggled with litigation over its alleged role in the country's opioid epidemic. The company's Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing in the Southern District of New York showed assets and liabilities in the range of $1 billion to $10 billion.
China to discourage abortions to boost the low birth rate
China will discourage abortions and take steps to make fertility treatment more accessible as part of efforts to boost one of the world's lowest birth rates, its National Health Authority said on Tuesday. Support measures from taxation and insurance to education and housing would be improved and implemented, with local governments encouraged to boost infant care services and family-friendly workplaces, according to guidelines published on the authority's website.
U.S. approves sale of over-the-counter hearing aids
The Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday approved the sale of over-the-counter hearing aids, allowing millions of Americans to buy hearing aids without seeing an audiologist and potentially saving individuals thousands of dollars. The rules, which take effect in mid-October, apply to hearing aids for people with mild to moderate hearing loss. The aids will be available directly from stores or online without medical exams, a prescription or audiologist fitting adjustment.
WHO vows nothing 'ridiculous' as public submits ideas to rename monkeypox
Poxy McPoxface, TRUMP-22 or Mpox: these are some of the ideas sent in by the public to the World Health Organization as it seeks a new name for monkeypox. Often disease names are chosen behind closed doors by a technical committee, but the WHO has this time decided to open up the process to the public. After a slow start, dozens of submissions have now been made from a range of contributors including academics, doctors, and a gay community activist.
(With inputs from agencies.)