💊 Janssen’s Covid vaccine EUA revoked; GSK promotes adult vaccination uptake; Who trusts pharma?
#355 | PAINTing wounds away; Male babies’ chitter chatter; Swipe left on plastic
Hello and welcome back to The Kable. Happy World Environment Day! But how happy is it really? We’ll let you decide. Yes, you, who couldn't go skiing trip this past winter, had to buy an air purifier for your home and your office, and probably can’t tolerate a second outside an air-conditioned room.
Now that that climate complaint is out of the way, on to the heavy news.
A dejected Janssen has given up all hope and efforts on Covid vaccines. The last lots of the vaccines it supplied to the US government have expired, there is no new demand for new ones in the US, and the company does not intend to update its shot to target emerging variants. On May 22, it requested the US FDA to withdraw its emergency use authorization for the vaccine, and now the agency has gone ahead and done just that.
What use are innovative vaccines if no one wants to take them? Adult vaccination rates have dropped in the US in recent years, but GSK is not having it. The pharma biggie is running a “COiMMUNITY Initiative” to bring more funds, data transparency and resource-sharing to efforts to increase vaccine uptake. Maybe the company is doing this out of the goodness of their hearts, with a deep commitment to health equity. Or maybe it sells hep A, hep B, flu, shingles, MMR and rotavirus vaccines, not to mention its recently approved RSV shot which will be on the market before the upcoming RSV season.
Sandoz may have broken up with Novartis but remains committed to Basel. The generics and biosimilars company will establish its independence by moving to a new headquarters in Basel, which is a global life sciences centre.
In India, Apollo Hospitals plans to sell up to 6% of its stake in its omnichannel healthcare services platform Apollo HealthCo.
Also, in India, concerns regarding misuse by consumers have led the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation’s Drugs Consultative Committee to consider restricting the alcohol contentin aromatic cardamom tincture and alcoholic preparations, which have high alcohol content.
In Malaysia, KL Wellness City has emerged as the first purpose-built township project – integrated with healthcare and wellness facilities – in Southeast Asia. Launched on June 1, this medical and wellness ecosystem features a healthcare hub, a hospital, laboratories, clinical R&D facilities and more. Malaysia hopes this will strengthen its ambitions of becoming a leading destination for medical tourism.
In Kenya, the government is offering tax exemptions on raw materials used to produce pharma and biopharma products. The government hopes to reduce the cost of drugs and vaccines and also encourage the establishment of more pharma manufacturing plants in the country. It has already signed an MoU with Moderna to construct its first vaccine manufacturing plant.
After 42 days of no new cases, Tanzania has declared the end of its first-ever Marburg outbreakwhich claimed 6 deaths from amongst 9 cases since March. Equatorial Guinea could be next in line to declare the end of their Marburg outbreak next week, provided no new cases are detected there.
In Cameroon, 26 more people have lost their lives in the past two weeks of the ongoing cholera outbreak. This takes the overall death toll to 426.
In Haiti, meanwhile, the cholera outbreak has a total death toll of 704.
And finally, in Balochistan, out of 35 cases of Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever, 6 people have died.