Health News Roundup: US FDA classifies recall of heart devices by Getinge as most serious; Two new vaccines against bird flu effective in Dutch lab -govt and more
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration planned to hold a meeting of its independent experts to review the gene therapy, the company said late on Thursday, less than a month after saying it would not do so. Amid U.S. pressure on fentanyl, Mexico raises drug lab raids data Mexico's army has dramatically revised upward the number of drug lab raids it says it conducted under President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, according to government data and leaked military documents reviewed by Reuters.
Following is a summary of current health news briefs.
Sarepta slides as FDA about-turn on panel clouds gene therapy approval path
Shares of Sarepta Therapeutics Inc slumped as much as 21% on Friday on uncertainty over its gene therapy for Duchenne muscular dystrophy after the U.S. health regulator reversed its decision on a panel meeting. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration planned to hold a meeting of its independent experts to review the gene therapy, the company said late on Thursday, less than a month after saying it would not do so.
Amid U.S. pressure on fentanyl, Mexico raises drug lab raids data
Mexico's army has dramatically revised upward the number of drug lab raids it says it conducted under President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, according to government data and leaked military documents reviewed by Reuters. The documents, found among a trove of millions of emails leaked last year by the Guacamaya hacker group, show the upward revision being due to the army retroactively including hundreds of inactive labs on its seizures list under Lopez Obrador's presidency. Figures for the years of previous administrations were left unchanged.
Novo Nordisk's diabetes drug Ozempic back in supply in US after months of shortage
Novo Nordisk's best-selling diabetes treatment drug Ozempic is back on the shelves in the United States after months of shortage, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) website showed on Friday. The main active ingredient in Ozempic is semaglutide, also the key ingredient in Novo's obesity drug Wegovy, which has been seeing supply shortage due to high demand.
Veterans, carpenters and vaccines: What's at stake if US COVID aid is canceled
A Republican proposal to cancel unspent COVID-19 relief money could undercut healthcare for military veterans and pensions for blue-collar workers while doing little to improve the U.S. fiscal picture, a Reuters review of federal spending figures found. The flood of COVID-relief aid -- $5.2 trillion in all -- that Congress approved in 2020 and 2021 under Republican President Donald Trump and his Democratic successor Joe Biden has emerged as an early target for House of Representatives Republicans as they search for ways to rein in federal spending.
Acer Therapeutics to pause trial of hot flashes drug
Acer Therapeutics Inc said it will pause the trial of its experimental drug to treat menopausal symptoms that failed to reduce the frequency or severity of hot flashes in post-menopausal women, sending its shares down over 40% before the bell. The company said on Friday the drug, osanetant, was found to be safe and well-tolerated, meeting one of the key goals of the study, and it will review the trial data.
Vaccine-derived poliovirus detected in Burundi, Congo
Health officials in Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have detected cases of vaccine-derived poliovirus, the World Health Organization and Global Polio Eradication Initiative said. The WHO said the Burundian government had declared the detection of the virus a national public health emergency, after cases were confirmed in an unvaccinated four-year-old boy in Isale district in western Burundi and two other children who were his contacts.
Malawians fear storm Freddy could make deadliest cholera outbreak worse
Despite her fears, Fyness Afiki joined other women drawing dirty water from a well in Malawi's second-biggest city Blantyre, which is still reeling from the devastation caused by Tropical Storm Freddy. "I am fearful of cholera but there is no potable water and I have no option. I don't have money," she told Reuters on Friday in Blantyre's Ndirande township.
UK healthcare workers to decide on new pay offer by end of April -unions
Healthcare workers in England will decide by the end of April whether to accept a government pay proposal aimed at ending strikes which have disrupted hospital and emergency care, two trade unions said on Friday. Britain sought to end months of walk-outs in the healthcare sector on Thursday by offering a 5% wage increase for the coming year for 1 million nurses, paramedics, midwives and other workers in England. Union members will now vote on the offer.
US FDA classifies recall of heart devices by Getinge as most serious
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Friday classified the recall of Getinge AB's heart devices as the most serious type, saying their use may cause injuries or death. The Swedish medical equipment maker's unit, Datascope, recalled an estimated 2,300 devices in the United States in January.
Two new vaccines against bird flu effective in Dutch lab -govt
Two vaccines tested by a Dutch veterinary research centre have proved effective against highly infectious bird flu in a first experiment conducted under a controlled environment, the Dutch government said on Friday. "Not only did the vaccines give poultry used in the lab protection against disease symptoms but they also countered the spreading of the bird flu," the government said in a statement.
(With inputs from agencies.)