Health News Roundup: US FDA finds control lapses at Catalent plant being sold to Novo; Dengue spreads fast in Brazil prompting emergency health measures and more

AstraZeneca, which is a client of Catalent for some of its drug manufacturing, is working to boost its in-house capacity to cut reliance on contract drugmakers, Chief Executive Pascal Soriot told reporters after the release of fourth-quarter results. US FDA puts hold on Gilead's blood cancer therapy trials Gilead Sciences said on Wednesday the U.S. Food and Drug Administration had put a hold on trials testing the company's blood cancer drug following increased risk of patient death in some studies.


Devdiscourse News Desk | Updated: 08-02-2024 18:32 IST | Created: 08-02-2024 18:28 IST
Health News Roundup: US FDA finds control lapses at Catalent plant being sold to Novo; Dengue spreads fast in Brazil prompting emergency health measures and more
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Following is a summary of current health news briefs.

US FDA finds control lapses at Catalent plant being sold to Novo

U.S. drug regulators in November found quality control lapses at the Bloomington, Indiana factory of contract drug manufacturer Catalent, including discovery of a "pest" on the manufacturing line, according to an inspection report. Novo Holdings, the parent company of Novo Nordisk, on Monday announced it was buying Catalent in a $16.5 billion deal that included its Bloomington plant, which it plans to sell to Novo Nordisk to help it produce its popular weight-loss drug Wegovy.

Walgreens Boots pockets $992 million after cutting Cencora stake for third time

U.S. drugstore chain Walgreens Boots Alliance on Wednesday said it has cut its stake in pharmaceutical distributor Cencora for the third time in just over six months, pocketing about $992 million. The proceeds include around $942 million from shares sold as well as about $50 million from a concurrent share repurchase by Cencora, formerly AmerisourceBergen.

Dengue spreads fast in Brazil prompting emergency health measures

Dengue fever has surged in Brazil's hot rainy season, forcing health authorities to take emergency measures and start mass vaccination against the mosquito-borne illness. In the first five weeks of this year 364,855 cases of infection have been reported, the Health Ministry said, four times more than dengue cases in the same period of 2023.

Florida top court weighs letting voters decide abortion rights amendment

Florida's attorney general on Wednesday urged the state's highest court to block voters from deciding whether to amend the state constitution to protect abortion, arguing the measure was misleading and unclear. Nathan Forrester, a lawyer for Republican Attorney General Ashley Moody, told the seven justices of the Florida Supreme Court that the amendment is a "Rorschach test." He said it would effectively eliminate the state's authority to regulate abortion, but that some voters might not realize how broad it was.

EU watchdog looking into impact on drug availability from Catalent-Novo deal

The European Union's drugs regulator said on Wednesday it will investigate any risks to the availability of medicines processed at Catalent sites that will be sold to Novo Nordisk, part of its mandate to prevent drug shortages. The European Medicines Agency told Reuters in a statement that its Medicine Shortages Single Point of Contact (SPOC) Working Party will liaise with member states to gather data on the products manufactured at the sites.

Eli Lilly to offer low-cost insulin, donate to clinics in Minnesota settlement

Eli Lilly agreed to provide low-cost insulin to patients and donate free insulin to clinics, to settle a lawsuit by Minnesota that accused the three largest insulin makers of deceptively raising the price of the diabetes treatment. The settlement filed on Wednesday in a New Jersey federal court calls for Lilly to offer patients in Minnesota who pay out-of-pocket the ability to pay no more than $35 a month for its insulin products.

Canada's Conservative leader supports ban on puberty blockers for minors

Canada's Conservative opposition leader Pierre Poilievre on Wednesday expressed support for a gender identity policy that would forbid minors in the Western province of Alberta from receiving hormonal treatments like puberty blockers. Alberta's guidelines, which were announced last week and are expected to be implemented later this year, would be the strictest in Canada. They would ban hormonal treatments for children who are 15 and under, and require parental consent for 16- and 17-year-olds.

Astrazeneca says Catalent deal shows need for in-house capacity

The sale of listed contract drugmaker Catalent to the parent of Novo Nordisk this week demonstrates the importance for big pharma companies of building an independent supply chain, Astrazeneca said Thursday. AstraZeneca, which is a client of Catalent for some of its drug manufacturing, is working to boost its in-house capacity to cut reliance on contract drugmakers, Chief Executive Pascal Soriot told reporters after the release of fourth-quarter results.

US FDA puts hold on Gilead's blood cancer therapy trials

Gilead Sciences said on Wednesday the U.S. Food and Drug Administration had put a hold on trials testing the company's blood cancer drug following increased risk of patient death in some studies. The company will stop testing the drug, magrolimab, for all blood cancers and will review its safety across other studies such as those in patients with colon and breast cancers.

Dengue spreads fast in Brazil prompting emergency health measures

U.S.-based drug distributor McKesson raised its annual profit forecast on Wednesday, banking on strong demand for specialty medicines. An increase in volumes for costly specialty medicines and other products in the United States have helped McKesson counter the impact of lower COVID vaccine sales in the third quarter.

(With inputs from agencies.)

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