Health News Roundup: COVID-19 vaccination for health workers no longer mandatory, but favoured, France's health body says; COVID led to sharp rise in vaccine compensation schemes, but gaps remain -Oxford and more
But in those rare cases, the pandemic exposed problems in some countries -- such as in the United States -- with vaccine compensation schemes when large proportions of populations are inoculated. India cancels licences of some drug firms in crackdown on fake products, says source Indian authorities have cancelled or suspended licences of some domestic drug companies as part of action taken against 76 pharmaceutical firms this month for selling adulterated or fake products, a government source said on Thursday.
Following is a summary of current health news briefs.
COVID-19 vaccination for health workers no longer mandatory, but favoured, France's health body says
France's public health authority Haute Autorite de Sante (HAS)on Thursday eased its vaccination guidance for professionals in the health sector, saying the shot was no longer mandatory, but still strongly recommended, in light of recent epidemiological data. "This recommendation to lift the obligation to vaccinate against Covid-19 does not in any way call into question its previous ... recommendations which were made in different healthcare-related and epidemiological contexts", the HAS said in a statement. The government usually follows the body's recommendations.
COVID led to sharp rise in vaccine compensation schemes, but gaps remain -Oxford
The COVID-19 pandemic led to a nearly six-fold increase in the number of non-fault compensation schemes for vaccine injuries globally, said Oxford University researchers who on Friday made public an online database tracking the schemes. Regulators globally have shown that COVID-19 vaccines are safe and adverse events are extremely rare. But in those rare cases, the pandemic exposed problems in some countries -- such as in the United States -- with vaccine compensation schemes when large proportions of populations are inoculated.
India cancels licences of some drug firms in crackdown on fake products, says source
Indian authorities have cancelled or suspended licences of some domestic drug companies as part of action taken against 76 pharmaceutical firms this month for selling adulterated or fake products, a government source said on Thursday. India is known as the 'pharmacy of the world' and its pharmaceuticals exports have more than doubled over the past decade to $24.5 billion in 2021-22.
GSK sees $500 million peak sales for yeast infection pill licensed from Scynexis
British drugmaker GSK sees peak sales of more than $500 million for a drug to treat yeast infections that it licensed from U.S. biotech company Scynexis in a $90 million deal announced on Wednesday, a top GSK executive said. The pill, Brexafemme, made just $1.6 million in revenues in the third quarter of last year, according to the most recent financial results from Scynexis, which specialises in anti-fungal treatments.
U.S. judge blocks Obamacare coverage mandate for some cancer screenings, PrEP
A federal judge in Texas on Thursday blocked Obamacare's mandate that health insurance plans cover preventive care, including screenings for certain cancers and pre-exposure prophylaxis against HIV (PrEP), at no cost to patients. U.S. District Judge Reed O'Connor in Fort Worth, Texas, previously found that the PrEP mandate violated a federal religious freedom law and that other no-cost preventive care mandates were based on recommendations by an illegally appointed task force.
US doctor groups debate best use of new weight-loss drugs
As powerful new obesity drugs enter the U.S. market, medical associations are keen to advise their members on how to best use them for patients. That is where the debate begins. Some specialists advocate for broad use of drugs like Novo Nordisk's Wegovy, alongside a healthy diet and exercise. Others recommend prioritizing them for high-risk patients, who have other conditions that are exacerbated by excess weight.
Sanofi looks to spin off consumer business in India - ET
French drugmaker Sanofi has started a process to turn its India consumer healthcare business into a listed entity via a demerger, the Economic Times newspaper reported on Friday. The company is working with Bank of America on the spin-off process, ET reported, citing people familiar with the matter.
GSK licenses companies to make cheap copies of HIV prevention drug
British drugmaker GSK has signed deals with three companies allowing them to make inexpensive generic versions of its long-acting HIV preventive medicine for use in lower-income countries, where the majority of new cases occur. The injected drug cabotegravir was approved by regulators in the United States in late 2021. Last July, GSK announced a program with the United Nations-backed healthcare organisation, the Medicines Patent Pool, which aims to get poor countries access to new HIV therapies far earlier than they did for previous HIV medicines.
Dengue fever spreads across Sudan with health response weakened
Dengue fever has spread into Sudan's capital for the first time on record, as the country tackles its widest ever outbreak of the disease, exacerbated by an under-funded health system, officials say. At least 45 people have died out of at least 2,576 cases recorded since July in 12 of the country's 18 states, according to a health ministry report this week seen by Reuters.
Biden admin urges Supreme Court to hear 'skinny labels' case between Teva, GSK
The Biden Administration told the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday that it should agree to hear a patent appeal over drug labels involving Teva Pharmaceuticals USA Inc and GlaxoSmithKline LLC that could have significant ramifications for the generic-drug industry. The U.S. Solicitor General said Teva's generic version of GSK's heart drug Coreg could not have violated GSK's patent rights because Teva omitted the infringing use of the drug from its labeling.
(With inputs from agencies.)
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