Health News Roundup: Mystery illness affecting dogs across the United States; UK health insurance rates to soar on surging claims-industry experts and more
Shares of the medical device maker more than doubled to $9.12 in premarket trading. Novo Nordisk finds compounded Wegovy up to 33% impure, sues Florida pharmacies Novo Nordisk on Thursday said it sued one compounding pharmacy and refiled a lawsuit against another after finding their products claiming to contain the active ingredient for its in-demand weight-loss drug Wegovy were impure, some by as much as 33%.
Following is a summary of current health news briefs.
Mystery illness affecting dogs across the United States
A mystery respiratory illness has stricken dogs in at least 14 states, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association, which is asking vets to report cases while laboratories race to isolate the pathogen. Researchers are still attempting to determine if the disease, which can be fatal, is viral or bacterial, and whether it could be a variant of the well-understood canine disease known as "kennel cough," the association said.
UK health insurance rates to soar on surging claims-industry experts
Health insurance rates in Britain are likely to soar by at least 20% next year due to the surging number and cost of claims, industry advisers say. British employers have expanded the use of company health schemes as the country's National Health Service struggles to meet patient demand in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.
US FDA clears Vivos Therapeutics' oral device for sleep apnea
Vivos Therapeutics said on Wednesday the U.S. health regulator has cleared its oral device for severe obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), leading a massive rally in the company's shares before the bell. Shares of the medical device maker more than doubled to $9.12 in premarket trading.
Novo Nordisk finds compounded Wegovy up to 33% impure, sues Florida pharmacies
Novo Nordisk on Thursday said it sued one compounding pharmacy and refiled a lawsuit against another after finding their products claiming to contain the active ingredient for its in-demand weight-loss drug Wegovy were impure, some by as much as 33%. The Danish drugmaker said it found impurities in all the drugs tested from Wells Pharmacy and Brooksville Pharmaceuticals, both based in Florida. Novo first sued Brooksville in July, and discovered a substance called BPC-157 in samples from Wells.
Factbox-Consolidation in US health insurance industry
Health insurer Cigna is in merger talks with Humana, a source familiar with the matter said on Wednesday, potentially marking the latest in a long string of deals aimed at consolidation of the industry. The U.S. Department of Justice, citing the prospect of higher prices, in 2016 successfully sued to stop two proposed mega mergers: Anthem's - now Elevance Health - planned $54 billion purchase of Cigna and Aetna's proposed $34 billion acquisition of Humana.
US life expectancy climbs in 2022 after COVID retreat
U.S. babies born in 2022 gained roughly a year in life expectancy compared with babies born a year earlier, federal data showed on Wednesday, marking progress after two consecutive years of declines largely due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Life expectancy at birth for 2022 newborns was 77.5 years, up from 76.4 in 2021 but still lower than the 78.8 years expected for those born in 2019, data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests.
Taiwan urges elderly, young to avoid China visits due to respiratory illnesses
Taiwan's health ministry on Thursday urged the elderly, very young and those with poor immunity to avoid travel to China due to the recent increase in respiratory illnesses there, a move some experts said was ineffective to manage public health risks. The World Health Organization (WHO) last week requested China provide detailed information on the spike, which a WHO official said was not as high as before the COVID-19 pandemic and that no unusual or novel pathogens had been detected.
UK expands HIV screening programme as Elton John addresses lawmakers
Singer Elton John addressed British lawmakers on Wednesday as the government announced plans to expand an HIV testing programme as part of its aim to end new transmissions of the virus in England by 2030. John, 76, one of the biggest selling artists of all time, spoke at a private reception in the Houses of Parliament to honour his work in the fight against HIV and Aids as part of celebrations ahead of World Aids Day on Friday.
US FDA flags new problem with Philips machines, shares fall
Philips shares fell more than 6% on Wednesday after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said it is alerting patients of a new safety issue with machines made by the group that are used for the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea. The Amsterdam-based healthcare technology company has been grappling with the fallout of a global recall in June 2021 of millions of respirators used to treat sleep apnea over worries that foam used in the machines could become toxic.
AbbVie to buy ImmunoGen for $10.1 billion to boost cancer drug portfolio
AbbVie said on Thursday it will buy drugmaker ImmunoGen for $10.1 billion, boosting its presence in the market for cancer treatments. The drugmaker will pay $31.26 per ImmunoGen share in cash, representing a premium of 94.6% to the last closing price.
(With inputs from agencies.)