Health Headlines: Sharp Drop in Birth Rates and HIV Drug Breakthrough

In recent health news, birth rates in wealthy countries have halved due to economic concerns, per an OECD report. Gilead’s HIV drug proved superior in a study, and Eli Lilly is suing entities over counterfeit Mounjaro sales. Additional updates include vaccine funding efforts and anti-vax propaganda probes.

Reuters | Updated: 21-06-2024 02:29 IST | Created: 21-06-2024 02:29 IST
Health Headlines: Sharp Drop in Birth Rates and HIV Drug Breakthrough
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Following is a summary of current health news briefs.

Birth rates halve in richer countries as costs weigh, OECD report says

Birth rates have dropped sharply in some of the world's richest states and are likely to stay low as economic worries leave people weighing the costs of having children, a report from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development said. Many in OECD member countries were now choosing to have children later in life or not at all, it said in a paper released on Thursday. "Both young men and women increasingly find meaning in life outside of parenthood," it added.

Gilead's long-acting HIV drug superior to daily pill Truvada in study

Gilead Sciences said on Thursday a late-stage study showed its long-acting injectable drug was more effective in preventing HIV infection in women compared to its existing daily pill Truvada, sending the company's shares up over 8%. The study was stopped early by an independent committee as it exceeded efficacy expectations.

Lilly files more lawsuits to curb sales of counterfeit Mounjaro

U.S. drugmaker Eli Lilly said on Thursday it was suing six more entities including medical spas and wellness centers for selling products claiming to contain tirzepatide, the active ingredient in its popular diabetes drug, Mounjaro. Tirzepatide was approved late last year as Zepbound for weight loss, and Lilly is the only company that has the approval of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to sell the drug.

Lawmakers in Philippines push for probe into Pentagon's anti-vax propaganda operation

Lawmakers in the Philippines, including the head of the Senate's foreign relations committee, are seeking an investigation into a secret U.S. military propaganda operation that aimed to cast doubt among Filipinos about China's vaccines during the height of the COVID pandemic. Philippine Senator Imee Marcos, who chairs the foreign relations committee, and House Representative France Castro filed resolutions in the country's Congress this week to initiate the probe, according to documents reviewed by Reuters.

Vaccine group Gavi seeks $9 billion to immunise world's poorest children

The global vaccine organisation Gavi wants $9 billion from governments and foundations to fund immunisation efforts in the world's poorest countries over five years, it said on Thursday. The amount was finalised at a meeting in Paris, where donors also began announcing commitments for the organisation's plan for 2026-2030. Gavi said it had already raised $2.4 billion of the total with months more fundraising to go, including $1.58 billion from the United States.

Industry groups back drugmakers' appeal in Zantac cancer lawsuits

A bid by GSK and other drugmakers to stop more than 70,000 lawsuits in Delaware over discontinued heartburn drug Zantac has received the backing of leading U.S. industry groups, including the United States Chamber of Commerce and Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America. In a friend-of-the-court brief posted to the Delaware Superior Court's docket on Thursday, the groups said that a Delaware judge's recent ruling allowing the lawsuits to proceed jeopardized the state's business-friendly reputation and threatened to turn it into "a hotbed of products-liability and mass-tort litigation."

Nestle, Coke take cautious approach to catering to Ozempic users

Nestle's new food brand for people taking weight-loss drugs like Wegovy will note that the meals are high in protein, fiber and nutrients, but will not name the blockbuster medications, a company executive told Reuters. The world's largest food maker is keeping the names of the drugs off the packaging due to regulatory concerns, Tom Moe, Nestle USA's president of meals, said in a recent interview. Nestle will instead market its Vital Pursuit line of $5-and-under frozen meals on social media, he said.

US FDA proposes to remove switching study requirement for biosimilars

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has proposed that biosimilar drugs seeking agency's interchangeable designation will no longer need studies showing the impact of switching between them and the branded drug. WHY IT'S IMPORTANT

India's Biocon seeks partner to test generic Wegovy, Ozempic in China

India's Biocon is searching for a partner in China to test generic versions of Novo Nordisk's hot-selling diabetes drug Ozempic and weight loss treatment Wegovy, a senior executive told Reuters. Biocon, which aims to eventually launch generic versions of the injectible drugs globally, wants to find a Chinese partner for clinical trials on 500-plus patients so they can be sold in the world's second-biggest economy, said Amit Kaptain, Biocon's head of commercial active pharmaceutical ingredients business.

WHO issues warnings on fake copies of Novo Nordisk's weight-loss drugs

The World Health Organization on Thursday issued warnings on fake drugs claiming to contain the active ingredient found in Novo Nordisk's diabetes drug Ozempic and weight-loss treatment Wegovy. Surging demand has outpaced supply for Ozempic, Eli Lilly's Mounjaro and other GLP-1 drugs that promote weight loss, fueling a growing global market for counterfeit versions.

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

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