Health News Roundup: UK health insurance rates to soar on surging claims-industry experts; Novo Nordisk finds compounded Wegovy up to 33% impure, sues Florida pharmacies and more
In a complaint filed in a Lubbock County state court, Paxton said it was misleading for Pfizer to claim its vaccine was 95% effective because it offered a "relative risk reduction" for people to who took it. GSK CEO says RSV vaccine revenue to top 1 billion pounds in first year GSK CEO Emma Walmsley gave an upbeat assessment of the British drugmaker's new respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) vaccine on Thursday and said the costs of Zantac litigation won't alter the company's capital plans.
Following is a summary of current health news briefs.
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.
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.
Indian authorities probe deaths caused by 'contaminated' medicinal syrup
Authorities in India's western state of Gujarat are investigating the deaths of three people after they allegedly consumed a contaminated medicinal syrup, state government and police officials said on Thursday. The deaths took place over the last three days in the district of Kheda, district collector KL Bachani told Reuters.
World at risk of losing malaria fight as cases rise, report says
The world is in danger of losing the fight against malaria, as cases of the disease rose by around 5 million year-on-year in 2022, exceeding global targets to contain it, a new World Health Organization report showed on Thursday. Pandemic-related disruptions and extreme weather events linked to climate change have hindered the fight against malaria in recent years.
Explainer-Why prior mega health insurer deals like the possible Cigna/Humana merger failed
U.S. health insurers Cigna and Humana are in talks to merge, a potential deal likely to face aggressive scrutiny from the U.S. Justice Department (DOJ) if antitrust history with similarly sized deals is any indication. The deal could exceed $60 billion in value. The DOJ in 2017 successfully stopped Anthem, now Elevance Health, from buying Cigna for $54 billion, and thwarted Aetna's plan to purchase rival Humana for $34 billion. Here's a look at what happened with those deals first announced in 2015.
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.
US FDA probes quality issues with China-made plastic syringes
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said on Thursday it is looking into reports of leaks, breakages and other quality problems with plastic syringes manufactured in China. The agency was conducting further investigations along with federal partners and may prevent plastic syringes made in China from entering the U.S. market, if necessary, it said.
Pfizer is sued by Texas over COVID vaccine claims
Pfizer has been sued by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who on Thursday accused the drugmaker of misrepresenting the efficacy of its widely-used COVID-19 vaccine. In a complaint filed in a Lubbock County state court, Paxton said it was misleading for Pfizer to claim its vaccine was 95% effective because it offered a "relative risk reduction" for people to who took it.
GSK CEO says RSV vaccine revenue to top 1 billion pounds in first year
GSK CEO Emma Walmsley gave an upbeat assessment of the British drugmaker's new respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) vaccine on Thursday and said the costs of Zantac litigation won't alter the company's capital plans. GSK shares rose 1.3% on Thursday.
AbbVie seeks lift from 'guided missile' cancer drug with $10 billion ImmunoGen deal
AbbVie will buy ImmunoGen for $10.1 billion in cash, it said on Thursday, the latest major drugmaker to acquire a maker of promising "guided missile" cancer therapies as its top-selling treatment Humira faces newer rivals. ImmunoGen's Elahere belongs to a new class of treatments called antibody-drug conjugates (ADC) that precisely targets cancer cells, potentially reducing toxicity for other cells.
(With inputs from agencies.)