Health News Roundup: New York officials ask 3 pharmacy chains for plans on abortion drug access; Moderna loses bid to shift liability in COVID-19 vaccine patent case and more
The COVID vaccine maker said it will open new offices in California and Seattle, adding that its Genomics unit will expand to south San Francisco. US FDA approves Pfizer's nasal spray for migraine The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Friday approved Pfizer Inc's nasal spray for migraine, giving patients access to a potentially fast-acting pain-relief option for headaches.
Following is a summary of current health news briefs.
Canadian federal government warns provinces against health care charges
The Canadian government has warned provinces and territories to ensure that necessary medical services remain free to avoid a reduction in federal funding, Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos said on Friday, calling a rise in cases of Canadians having to pay for health services "unacceptable". The Canada Health Act (CHA) governs the publicly funded healthcare system, which is meant to offer Canadians equitable access to medical care based on their needs, not their ability to pay.
New York officials ask 3 pharmacy chains for plans on abortion drug access
New York government officials on Thursday sent a letter to pharmacy operators CVS Health Corp, Walgreens Boot Alliance, and Rite Aid Corp, asking about their plans to make abortion pill mifepristone available in the state. The letter from New York Governor Kathy Hochul and Attorney General Letitia James asked the companies to respond in writing within 10 business days about their commitment to dispense mifepristone at U.S. drug regulator-certified pharmacy locations and via mail in the state.
Bayer plans to spend $1 billion on US pharma R&D in 2023-US pharma head
Bayer AG plans to spend $1 billion on drug research and development in the U.S. this year as it works to double its sales in the country by the end of the decade, Bayer's top U.S. pharmaceutical executive told Reuters. Sebastian Guth, president of Bayer's pharmaceuticals business in the Americas, also said in an interview on Wednesday that the company had raised the number of U.S. employees working on marketing for its pharmaceutical business by around 50% over the last three years, and plans to expand on that by another 75% by 2030.
Moderna loses bid to shift liability in COVID-19 vaccine patent case
Despite the backing of the U.S. government, Moderna Inc on Friday failed to persuade a federal judge it should not have to face a patent lawsuit over its COVID-19 vaccine and that the United States should have been sued instead. U.S. District Judge Mitchell Goldberg ruled for the second time that Moderna had not yet shown that the government was the proper target of a lawsuit by Arbutus Biopharma Corp and Genevant Sciences GmbH.
Britain's junior doctors prepare to strike over pay, burnout
Fed up with a government he says doesn't care, Poh Wang plans to go on strike with tens of thousands of other British junior doctors next week, saying he is overworked, underpaid, and burdened with a student loan he cannot imagine paying off. The 28-year-old says he and his colleagues have been pushed to the brink after below-inflation pay rises collided with the surging cost of living to leave him questioning how he can ever pay off his more than 85,000 pounds ($101,000) of student debt.
US House unanimously backs COVID origins information declassification
The U.S. House of Representatives voted unanimously on Friday to require Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines to declassify information on the origins of COVID-19, increasing pressure on President Joe Biden's administration to allow its release. The vote was 419 to 0 in favor. Since the Senate on March 1 passed the bill - by unanimous consent - it now goes to the White House for Biden to sign into law or veto.
U.S. FDA approves Acadia's genetic Rett syndrome drug
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Acadia Pharmaceuticals Inc's drug for the treatment of Rett syndrome, a genetic brain disorder, the company said on Friday, making it the first approved drug for the condition. The U.S. health regulator's decision allows use of the trofinetide, to be sold under the brand name Daybue, in adult and pediatric patients two years of age and older and comes with a warning of diarrhea and weight loss.
Moderna to hire around 2,000 employees amid mRNA development push
Moderna Inc said on Friday it was planning to hire about 2,000 employees globally by 2023-end and set up new offices on the U.S. West Coast, as it aims to scale up the development of new products amid declining COVID vaccine sales. The COVID vaccine maker said it will open new offices in California and Seattle, adding that its Genomics unit will expand to south San Francisco.
US FDA approves Pfizer's nasal spray for migraine
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Friday approved Pfizer Inc's nasal spray for migraine, giving patients access to a potentially fast-acting pain-relief option for headaches. The drug, Zavzpret, was approved for the treatment of acute migraine, the company said. Pfizer gained the drug as well as the FDA-approved oral migraine pill Nurtec ODT, through its $11.6 billion buyout of Biohaven Pharmaceutical last year.
How cough syrup gets poisoned
The global market for children’s over-the-counter cough, cold, and allergy remedies in 2022 was worth about $2.5 billion, according to market research firm Euromonitor. These medicines combine active ingredients such as paracetamol (known as acetaminophen in the United States) to reduce fever with a syrup made from glycerin or propylene glycol that is safe, sweet and easy to swallow.
(With inputs from agencies.)