Health News Roundup: White House urges RSV immunization makers to meet demand; Novartis raises sales growth target to 5% a year through 2027 and more
The FDA said it had received reports of patients developing a type of T-cell blood cancer after being treated with genetically modified cells known as chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapies or CAR-T. Suspected fake Ozempic causes hypoglycemia in 11 in Lebanon Eleven people suffered bouts of dangerously low blood sugar in Lebanon this year, one of whom required hospitalization, after injecting suspected fake versions of Novo Nordisk's diabetes drug Ozempic, according Lebanese health officials.
Following is a summary of current health news briefs.
White House urges RSV immunization makers to meet demand
Senior Biden administration officials met with the makers of RSV immunizations for children this week to underscore the need for manufacturers such as Sanofi and AstraZeneca to urgently meet demand as winter approaches, the White House said on Tuesday. At a meeting at the White House on Monday, officials and manufacturers also agreed to plan now to meet next year's demand for the immunizations targeting respiratory syncytial virus, which generally causes mild, cold-like symptoms but can develop into severe illness in infants and older adults.
Novartis raises sales growth target to 5% a year through 2027
Novartis has dialled up its sales growth target to 5% per year until 2027, citing demand for innovative drugs after the spin off of its generics business. The medium-term target, which excludes any foreign exchange effects, is mainly driven by six drugs, led by Kisqali, the Swiss drugmaker said in a presentation on Tuesday.
China launches probe into surrogacy, fake paternity tests in Wuhan
Chinese authorities have suspended a hospital and a judicial institute in the city of Wuhan from conducting some services after they were accused of surrogacy and issuing fake paternity results. The suspension comes amid several investigations related to the issuance of fake birth certificates as China, where surrogacy is illegal, tries to boost its birth rate.
US FDA investigating safety risk of CAR-T cancer therapies
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said on Tuesday it was investigating cancer therapies made by Gilead Sciences, Johnson & Johnson, Novartis and others over the risk of hospitalizations and death due to a serious safety issue. The FDA said it had received reports of patients developing a type of T-cell blood cancer after being treated with genetically modified cells known as chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapies or CAR-T.
Suspected fake Ozempic causes hypoglycemia in 11 in Lebanon
Eleven people suffered bouts of dangerously low blood sugar in Lebanon this year, one of whom required hospitalization, after injecting suspected fake versions of Novo Nordisk's diabetes drug Ozempic, according Lebanese health officials. A director for the Lebanese Ministry of Public Health, Rita Karam, said officials suspected the drugs were fake after discovering the doses were different from the ones calibrated for authentic Ozempic injector pens.
Biden campaign taps Pelosi on Obamacare after Trump threatens health law
President Joe Biden's re-election campaign enlisted former U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Tuesday to warn about threats to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), better known as Obamacare, after former President Donald Trump pledged new efforts to replace the law if he wins a second term. THE TAKE: Tuesday's push, a Pelosi call with reporters and campaign staff, highlights a new Biden campaign strategy, dubbed "Trump's America in 2025," which plans to highlight what Democrats think the Republican former president will do in office if elected, as well as his multiple legal troubles.
AIDS response 'under threat' amid human rights backlash - UN
The global response to AIDS is "under threat" because of an unprecedented backlash against human rights that is stigmatizing the groups most at risk of HIV infection, the head of the United Nations AIDS programme has warned. Winnie Byanyima, executive director of UNAIDS, said countries where there are laws against LGBTQ people, or which criminalise sex work or personal drug use, are largely the places seeing a rise or plateau in new infections.
US FDA cautions on use of Philips' sleep apnea machines
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said on Tuesday that it is alerting patients about a safety issue with Dutch healthcare technology company Philips' machines used for treatment of obstructive sleep apnea. The FDA said that it has received reports of people facing thermal issues such as fire, smoke, burns, and other signs of overheating while using Philips' DreamStation 2 CPAP machines.
Disease could be bigger killer than bombs in Gaza - WHO
More people could die from disease than from bombings in the Gaza Strip if its health system is not repaired, a World Health Organization spokesperson said on Tuesday, warning of a surge in infectious diseases and diarrhoea in children. In figures deemed reliable by the United Nations, Gaza health authorities say more than 15,000 people have been confirmed killed in Israel's bombardment of the narrow enclave, around 40% of them children, with many more feared to be lost under rubble.
WHO authorizes emergency use of Novavax's updated COVID shot
Novavax's updated vaccine has been granted emergency-use authorization by the World Health Organization (WHO) for active immunization to prevent COVID-19 in individuals aged 12 and older, the company said on Tuesday. The updated Novavax shot, which was authorized in the U.S. last month, targets a descendant of the XBB lineage of the coronavirus that was globally predominant earlier this year.
(With inputs from agencies.)