Slaoui expects COVID-19 vaccine to be highly effective | Mich., Pa. bills would ban drugmaker gifts to docs | HHS COVID-19 tracking contract raises questions
July 31, 2020
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Moncef Slaoui, chief adviser of the administration's Operation Warp Speed COVID-19 vaccine program, said he expects a vaccine to be highly effective against the disease, potentially with efficacy of at least 90%. Eight vaccines are being funded by the initiative, and five have started or will have started late-stage trials by the end of September, putting the US on track to have some vaccine by January, though there won't be sufficient doses for all Americans until the middle or end of 2021, Slaoui said.
Full Story: CNN (7/31) 
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Legislative & Regulatory News
Bills introduced in the Pennsylvania and Michigan legislatures would prohibit pharmaceutical firms from giving gifts or incentives to doctors. The Pennsylvania bill would ban gifts that exceed a $50 value, while the Michigan legislation would prohibit gifts worth more than $63.
Full Story: Becker's Hospital Review (7/29) 
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TeleTracking Technologies was awarded a multi-million-dollar contract from HHS to gather COVID-19 data that hospitals had been sending to the CDC. The firm's owner previously founded a real estate investment and development company.
Full Story: National Public Radio (7/29) 
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Drug Industry Spotlight
A poll conducted by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists showed that 33% of 131 respondents reported that their supply of remdesivir was insufficient to treat all patients with COVID-19 infections eligible for the drug. The survey also found that 16% said they still had supplies of dexamethasone but these were only sufficient for less than seven days.
Full Story: Physician's Briefing/HealthDay News (7/30) 
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Johnson & Johnson has launched its human safety trials to assess its COVID-19 vaccine after it unveiled details of its animal study, which showed that a single dose of the vaccine candidate completely protected all six animals from lung disease and five of six from infection. Details of the animal study were published in the journal Nature.
Full Story: Reuters (7/30) 
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Two of the 12 companies that won FDA approval for new antibiotics over the past decade are out of business, at a time when the need for "a robust and renewable pipeline of antibiotics has really never been greater," says infectious disease specialist Helen Boucher. The US hasn't invested in research on bacterial and fungal infections, and the result is a dry antibiotics pipeline, says economics correspondent Paul Solman.
Full Story: PBS (7/29) 
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