FDA approves first treatment for children with rare blood vessel diseases

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the first treatment for children suffering from rare vasculitis or inflammation of the blood vessels. According to the FDA, Genentech received the approval for Rituxan (rituximab) injection in combination with glucocorticoids (steroid hormones) to treat granulomatosis with polyangiitis (GPA) and microscopic polyangiitis (MPA) in children 2 years of age and older. Granulomatosis with polyangiitis (GPA) formerly known as Wegener’s granulomatosis is a rare disease that causes inflammation of the blood vessels in the nose, sinuses, throat, lungs and kidneys. Microscopic polyangiitis (MPA)…

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Health Officials Warns of Severe Pulmonary Disease Outbreak Linked to E-cigarettes

e-cigarettes-vaping device

Health officials are warning consumers regarding a multistate outbreak of severe pulmonary disease associated with the use of e-cigarettes or vaping devices. E-cigarettes are devices that deliver an aerosol to the user by heating a liquid that usually contains nicotine, flavorings, and other chemicals. Some users use e-cigarette devices for smoking marijuana or other substances. At least 215 possible cases of severe pulmonary disease linked to the use of e-cigarettes have been reported in 25 states as of August 27. An adult in Illinois died of severe respiratory illness following…

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FDA OKs Field Trial of Genetically Engineered Mosquitoes to Stop Zika Virus

The United States will soon control the local population of Aedes aegypti mosquito, a vector of disease-causing microorganisms such the Zika virus, yellow fever virus, dengue virus, and chikungunya virus. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) pushed the greenlight for Oxitec to conduct a field trial of genetically engineered mosquitoes to stop the population of Aedes aegypti mosquito in Key Haven, Florida. Field trial will not have significant environment impact Today, the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine (FDA-CVM) published its final findings of no significant impact (FONSI) and final environment assessment…

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Zika Virus Prevention: Republicans Approve $1.1 Billion Funding

The United States House of Representatives— controlled by Republicans, approved a legislation that provides $1.1 billion funding for Zika virus prevention. The amount fell short of the $1.9 billion funding requested by the White House, which upsets Democrats. Republican Congressman Hal Rogers of Kentucky and Chairman of the Appropriations Committee pushed for the passage of the legislation to prevent the spread of Zika virus. In a statement, Rogers described the legislation as “responsible approach to addressing the Zika crisis.” He added, “It will get money out the door immediately to…

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Ackman: Pershing Square to Cooperate with Senate’s Probe on Drug Pricing

Bill Ackman

Bill Ackman revealed that Pershing Square Holdings received a request for cooperation from a Senate Committee conducting an investigation on the pricing of off-patent drugs. In a letter and annual report to shareholders, Ackman said his firm will fully cooperate with the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging, which is seeking to have an understanding of the pharmaceutical industry and related regulatory and public policy concerns. The Special Committee started an investigation due to the sudden and significant increase in drug prices last year. Some of the pharmaceutical companies under…

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PhilHealth Denies Reports Claiming it is on the Brink of Bankruptcy

The Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) denied reports that it is on the brink of bankruptcy and its operating funds were only good for about six to ten months. According to PhilHealth President and CEO Alexander Padilla, the media misquoted or misunderstood Board member Eddie Dorotan, who disclosed that the corporation lost one billion pesos in 2015. During the inauguration of the Local Health Insurance Office (LHIO) in Legazpi City on Tuesday, Dorotan said PhilHealth earned 96 billion pesos and paid 97 billion pesos in health insurance coverage to its…

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FDA Philippines Warns Against Six Unregistered Drugs

FDA Philippines

The Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) of the Philippines is warning the public and all healthcare professionals regarding the presence of six unregistered drugs in the market. According to the FDA, these unregistered drugs include Norfloxacin Capsules, Baineting Eye Drops, Santen Daigaku Eye Drugs, Advanced Relief Eye Drops, Ranitidine Hydrochloride Capsules and Hawthorn Fat-Reducing Tablets. The FDA Advisory No. 2016-012-A indicated that the above unregistered drugs may be harmful to the health of the consuming public. Anyone caught selling or dispensing unregistered drugs will be penalized The importation and sale…

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Microsoft, Novartis Partner in Developing a System to Assess Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple Sclerosis

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Novartis (NYSE:NVS) partnered to develop a system that would precisely measure the symptoms of multiple sclerosis. The system could potentially allow the development of better, cheaper and faster treatments for patients. The researchers of Microsoft and Novartis are working on a project called Assess MS. The project utilizes the tech giant’s Kinect motion camera, machine learning software to track movements to analyze a patient’s movement from a step to his/her ability to touch one’s nose with a finger. Novartis has been trying to find a more…

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