Health News Roundup: Sarepta slides as FDA about-turn on panel clouds gene therapy approval path; US FDA classifies recall of heart devices by Getinge as most serious 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.
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.
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.
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.
WHO, advisors urge China to release all COVID-related data after new research
Advisors to the World Health Organization on Saturday urged China to release all information related to the origin of the COVID-19 pandemic after new findings were briefly shared on an international database used to track pathogens. New sequences of the SARS-CoV-2 virus as well as additional genomic data based on samples taken from a live animal market in Wuhan, China in 2020 were briefly uploaded to the GISAID database by Chinese scientists earlier this year, allowing them to be viewed by researchers in other countries, according to the statement from the WHO's Scientific Advisory Group for the Origins of Novel Pathogens (SAGO).
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.
Wyoming governor signs law outlawing use of abortion pills
Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon on Friday signed into law a bill outlawing the use or prescription of medication abortion pills that was passed by the state's Republican-controlled legislature earlier this month. Gordon, a Republican, signed the law as a federal judge in Texas considers ordering a nationwide ban on the abortion pill mifepristone in response to a lawsuit by anti-abortion groups.
(With inputs from agencies.)