Global Health Update: Ebola Vaccines, Pharma Cartels, and Modern Medical Advances

Recent health news highlights routine Ebola vaccinations for high-risk workers, EU charges against Alchem for price fixing, and medical advancements from Moderna. Other stories include U.S. Southern Baptists condemning IVF, South Africa's second mpox death, and skyrocketing U.S. healthcare spending reaching $4.8 trillion in 2023.

Reuters | Updated: 13-06-2024 18:29 IST | Created: 13-06-2024 18:29 IST
Global Health Update: Ebola Vaccines, Pharma Cartels, and Modern Medical Advances
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Following is a summary of current health news briefs.

High-risk health workers can get routine Ebola vaccine, says Gavi

A global stockpile of Ebola vaccines can be used to protect frontline health workers in high-risk countries routinely, rather than just as an emergency measure during outbreaks, international vaccine group Gavi said on Thursday. A stockpile of half-a-million Ebola vaccine doses was established by Gavi and other global health partners in 2019 for use in outbreaks of the haemorrhagic fever, which has an average fatality rate of roughly 60%. Around 11,000 people died in a 2014-16 outbreak in West Africa, the largest ever.

Alchem accused of pharma price fixing by EU watchdog

EU antitrust regulators has accused Indian drugmaker Alchem International of taking part in a pharmaceutical cartel to fix prices of a key ingredient, which could lead to a hefty fine for the company. The European Commission, which acts as the EU competition watchdog, said it had sent a statement of objections to Alchem, laying out its charges.

South Africa reports second mpox death this week

A second person has died in South Africa this week from the viral infection mpox, the health ministry said on Thursday, less than 24 hours after it announced the first death. The second person who died was a 38-year-old man. He was admitted to a hospital in the KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) province with extensive lesions, headache, fatigue, oral ulcers, muscle pain and a sore throat. He tested positive for mpox on Wednesday.

US Southern Baptists condemn IVF procedure

The Southern Baptist Convention, the largest Protestant denomination in the U.S., on Wednesday voted to condemn the use of in vitro fertilization, signaling the campaign by evangelicals against abortion is widening to include the popular fertility treatment. Earlier at its annual meeting, a proposed amendment to the church's constitution that would have banned women as pastors fell just short of the two-thirds majority vote it needed to pass.

Moderna says next-generation COVID vaccine efficacy non-inferior to current shot

Moderna said on Thursday its next-generation COVID-19 vaccine candidate showed it was not inferior in efficacy compared to its approved shot in a late-stage study. The experimental vaccine, which met the main trial goal, was being tested in more than 11,000 people aged 12 years and older. The shot showed superior efficacy in adults than the current vaccine sold under the brand Spikevax.

Sigma's $5.9 billion merger with Australia's Chemist Warehouse raises regulatory concerns

Australia's competition regulator on Thursday flagged major concerns with Sigma Healthcare's proposed merger with retailer Chemist Warehouse Group to form a A$8.8 billion ($5.9 billion) company. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) said in a statement the proposed integration across the wholesale and retail level would limit competition in a number of markets.

Future Pak raises cash portion of buyout offer for Vanda

Contract manufacturer Future Pak said on Thursday it has raised the cash portion of its buyout offer as part of a final attempt to acquire Vanda Pharmaceuticals. It raised the portion to $8.50-$9.00 per share alongside previously proposed contingent value rights, representing about $4.27 per share, for a total consideration of $12.77-$13.27 per share.

Cancer victims ask court to block J&J talc bankruptcy

A group of cancer victims asked a federal judge to block Johnson & Johnson's proposed bankruptcy settlement of tens of thousands of lawsuits alleging the company's baby powder and other talc products caused their illnesses, according to a court filing. The plaintiffs filed a motion late on Tuesday in a New Jersey court seeking a temporary restraining order to stop a J&J subsidiary from filing bankruptcy in Texas or another jurisdiction outside New Jersey.

About 4% of US adults age 65 and older have a dementia diagnosis, survey finds

Some 4% of U.S. adults aged 65 and older say they have been diagnosed with dementia, a rate that reached 13% for those at least 85-years old, according to a report of a national survey released on Thursday. The report issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) was based on the 2022 National Health Interview Survey, a nationally representative sample of U.S. adults aged 18 and older. The survey in 2019 added the option to report dementia, including Alzheimer's disease, to its questions on doctor-diagnosed health conditions.

U.S. healthcare spending rises to $4.8 trillion in 2023, outpacing GDP

Healthcare spending in the U.S. is projected to have risen 7.5% in 2023 to $4.8 trillion, federal data showed on Wednesday, outpacing the projected annual gross domestic product growth rate of 6.1%. Spending on Medicaid and private health insurance drove the growth, with the insured share of the population surging to a historic high of 93%, data from the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) showed.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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