Health News Roundup: WHO sees little impact on COVID-19 vaccine supplies to Africa from Ukraine war; Civica aims to launch low-cost insulin in U.S. by 2024 and more – Devdiscourse

Following is a summary of current health news briefs.
Sacklers will pay up to $6 billion to resolve Purdue opioid lawsuits – mediator
The Sackler family owners of Purdue Pharma LP reached a deal with nine attorneys general to pay up to $6 billion in cash to resolve widespread litigation alleging that they fueled the opioid epidemic, according to a court filing.
Arthritis drug shown to reduce risk of COVID death in large UK trial
Eli Lilly and Incyte’s arthritis drug baricitinib helped reduce the risk of death in hospitalised COVID-19 patients by 13% regardless of which other coronavirus treatment they were given, according to a large British study. Over 8,000 patients were administered baricitinib in addition to usual care, at random, or usual care alone, as part of the so-called RECOVERY trial, scientists from the University of Oxford said on Thursday.
EMA says not concerned by New York state data on Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine
The European Medicines Agency’s leading vaccine expert said he was not concerned over recent data from New York state on a decline of protection from the Pfizer and BioNTech SE COVID-19 vaccine in children aged 5 to 11. “This study somehow showed lower protection from symptomatic COVID-19 but it is still within the frame of the level of protection that we are seeing overall with the vaccines that we have against Omicron and after a primary series,” EMA’s head of vaccines strategy, Marco Cavaleri, said in a media briefing, adding the regulator would assess the data in more detail.
Civica aims to launch low-cost insulin in U.S. by 2024
Non-profit drugmaker Civica said on Thursday it expects to launch lower-cost versions of insulin in the United States by 2024, to help diabetic patients struggling with high prices for the life-sustaining medicine. Civica, launched in 2018 to make generic drugs, said it would produce three copycat versions of insulin, and make them available at roughly the same price for all customers, once approved by U.S. health regulators.
Drugmakers, device companies say sanctions may hinder medical supplies to Russia
Western drugmakers and medical device companies warn their plans to keep selling products to Russia may be complicated by economic sanctions targeting the country and its major banks in punishment over Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine. Sanctions levied by the United States, Britain, Europe and Canada against Russia do not apply to medicine and medical equipment, and the industry has a responsibility under international humanitarian law to continue supplying these products, industry trade groups, policy experts and company officials said. International aid groups are pushing to keep critical medicines flowing into Ukraine, where Russian troops are seeking to wrest control of major cities, prompting more than 870,000 Ukrainians to flee their country and millions to seek shelter from air strikes. Already, pharmacies are reporting shortages of medical supplies.. Many Western companies said they will stop selling everything from cars to movies in Russia. Transactions related to medicine and medical devices, as well as food, have been authorized despite U.S. and EU sanctions.
U.S. healthcare agencies request data on COVID misinformation
The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services and the Office of the Surgeon General will request input on COVID-19 misinformation online as they seek to understand the role it played during the pandemic and its impact on health decisions made by individuals. The agencies will put out a Request For Information (RFI) on Thursday to collect public comments and data within 60 days from stakeholders such as academic institutions, advocacy groups, government entities and community-based organizations.
Hong Kong transport operators, supermarket cut services as COVID surges
Hong Kong’s subway operator, bus and ferry companies, and one of its biggest supermarket chains, are cutting back services due to a worsening COVID-19 outbreak that has seen daily infections explode since early February. The surge in cases and mixed messaging from government officials have triggered an exodus of people from the global financial hub, where authorities are clinging to a “dynamic zero” coronavirus strategy that seeks to stamp out all outbreaks.
U.S. Supreme Court lets Republican defend Kentucky abortion curbs
The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday let Kentucky’s Republican attorney general seek to restore a restrictive abortion law after the state’s Democratic governor dropped defense of the statute when lower courts struck it down. The justices ruled 8-1 in favor of Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron, the top legal officer in the state, in his appeal of a lower court’s rejection of his request to intervene in the litigation. A federal appeals court had found that Cameron’s request, in a bid to revive the law, came too late.
Exclusive-Illumina remedies on Grail bid unconvincing to EU antitrust regulators, sources say
U.S. life sciences company Illumina’s offer to cut prices and allow rivals continued access to its technologies has “yet to convince” EU antitrust regulators scrutinising its $8 billion cash-and-stock bid for Grail Inc, people familiar with the matter said. Such doubts could mean that Illumina may have to sweeten its package of proposed remedies if it wants to win EU approval for the acquisition of the cancer detection test maker which it completed last August but is keeping as a separate company prior to regulatory approval.
WHO sees little impact on COVID-19 vaccine supplies to Africa from Ukraine war
The World Health Organization does not expect any immediate impact on vaccine supply to Africa from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, senior officials on the continent said on Thursday. Russia’s Sputnik vaccines are part of an effort by wealthier countries to plug the COVID-19 vaccine gap in Africa, but so far they remain a minimal component of imports to the continent.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)
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