As U.S approves booster shots, under 3.5% vaccinated in Africa

Of the nearly 6 billion doses administered globally, only 2% have been in Africa; about 80% have been administered in high- and upper-middle income countries. Less than 3.5% of people in Africa have been fully vaccinated so far compared with 54% of the total population in the U.S. Unkept promises of supplying vaccines to COVAX, … Continue reading As U.S approves booster shots, under 3.5% vaccinated in Africa

WHO supported Solidarity trial finds remdesivir ineffective but WHO prequalifies it anyway

Even as WHO supported Solidarity Therapeutics Trial found remdesivir to be ineffective in reducing mortality and duration of hospital stay, the global body prequalified the drug the same day the results of the trial were posted on the preprint server. And Gilead Sciences, which was aware of the Solidarity trial results, signed a $1 billion … Continue reading WHO supported Solidarity trial finds remdesivir ineffective but WHO prequalifies it anyway

Pandemic causes 25% dip in TB notifications in India

While India accounts for 26% of TB cases in the world, the TB notifications during the period January-June 2020 in India reduced by 25% compared to the same period in 2019. The COVID-19 pandemic combined with impacts on care-seeking behaviour threatens to reverse recent progress in reducing the global burden of TB disease, the World … Continue reading Pandemic causes 25% dip in TB notifications in India

Remdesivir, other repurposed drugs ineffective, says WHO’s Solidarity trial

WHO's Solidarity Therapeutics Trial, the largest randomised control trial carried out in the world during the pandemic, has found that four repurposed drugs — remdesivir, interferon, hydroxychloroquine and lopinavir/ritonavir regimes — for the treatment of COVID-19 are not effective. WHO's Solidarity Therapeutics Trial, the largest randomised control trial carried out in the world during the … Continue reading Remdesivir, other repurposed drugs ineffective, says WHO’s Solidarity trial

To enslave youth, E-cigarettes use time-tested machinations of big tobacco

The e-cigarettes makers have been following the time-tested machinations of the big tobacco companies to a tee. Using flavours is just one of the many strategies that e-cigarette makers have resorted to. The tide is now slowly turning. Lack of vaping-related illness during the last 10 years that electronic cigarettes have increasingly been used has … Continue reading To enslave youth, E-cigarettes use time-tested machinations of big tobacco

Pictorial warning: Will public health override free speech in the U.S?

It is an irony that a country that introduced text health warnings in 1966 and updated it in 1984 to include the Surgeon General’s warning, cigarettes packages in the U.S still do not carry pictorial warnings. Ten years after the Congress passed the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, on August 15 this year, … Continue reading Pictorial warning: Will public health override free speech in the U.S?

Merck’s unlicensed Ebola vaccine shows 97.5% efficacy in Congo

Merck's Ebola vaccine, which underwent phase-3 trial during the 2014-2015 Ebola epidemic in west Africa, has shown 97.5% efficacy in preventing Ebola disease when used during the current epidemic in Congo. Due to vaccine shortage and increasing outbreaks, the dosage will be halved to match the dose tested in phase-3 trial. The efficacy of lower … Continue reading Merck’s unlicensed Ebola vaccine shows 97.5% efficacy in Congo

India should soon introduce plain packaging

Besides Australia, France, UK. Norway, Ireland, New Zealand and Hungary have introduced plain packaging of tobacco products. Plain packaging was will be introduced in Uruguay and Slovenia in 2019 and 2020 respectively, and is under process or being considered in 14 more countries. With the WTO clearing the last hurdle by favouring plain packaging, India should … Continue reading India should soon introduce plain packaging

‘Unethical to withhold bedaquiline treatment while waiting for Phase III results’

In a Phase IIb trail, bedaquiline drug for MDR-TB treatment was found to be cardiotoxic and hepatotoxic, and it also caused more deaths. Review of evidence in 2015 showed a reduction in mortality but there were unexplained serious adverse events of respiratory origin. While Phase III trial results are yet to become available, data from … Continue reading ‘Unethical to withhold bedaquiline treatment while waiting for Phase III results’

MDR-TB treatment gets a boost with the inclusion of bedaquiline in the fully-oral regimen

In a “rapid communication”, WHO has informed all member States to take “immediate steps” to ensure that all injectables are replaced with a fully-oral regimen that includes bedaquiline to treat all MDR-TB patients. The guidelines, to be published later this year, are based on assessment of new evidence on the safety and efficacy of bedaquiline … Continue reading MDR-TB treatment gets a boost with the inclusion of bedaquiline in the fully-oral regimen