With the economy and public health on the line, U.S. President Donald Trump thumped his Made in America pulpit again Thursday on a campaign swing through Ohio, in which he vowed to bring the pharmaceutical supply chain home over the next four years.
Citing the limited supplies and the pricing of the COVID-19 therapy, nearly three dozen U.S. states and territories are clamoring for the federal government to march in on Gilead Sciences Inc.’s patents for remdesivir. And if the feds won’t, then states should be given that authority, according to a letter sent Tuesday to the Department of Health and Human Services, the NIH and the FDA.
The issue of the U.S. federal government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic was revisited yet again in a hearing in the House of Representatives. While partisanship was on full display, Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said he is “cautiously optimistic” about the prospects for a vaccine and that the development of candidates has not compromised scientific principles.
The U.S. Senate Finance Committee held the first of its two hearings on the supply chains for a variety of products vital to the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. While electoral politics were on full display during the hearing, a recurrent theme was the need to bring supply chains back to the Western Hemisphere as a solution to the fraudulent products shipped to the U.S. from Hong Kong and China.
CYBERSPACE – Data presented at the virtual 2020 Alzheimer's Association International Conference (AAIC) and reported in the July 28, 2020, online issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) demonstrated that blood levels of phosphorylated tau-217 (Ptau-217) did as well as cerebrospinal (CSF)- and PET-based biomarkers, and significantly better than other blood-based biomarkers, at discriminating individuals with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) from those with other neurodegenerative disorders.
“Nothing to see here” seems to be the general reaction to the four executive orders President Donald Trump signed Friday in an effort to reduce U.S. prescription drug prices. Two of the orders – one on importing drugs from Canada and the other on kicking the safe harbor out from under the rebates pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) get from drug companies – instruct Health and Human Services (HHS) to continue, or resume, rulemaking on those measures.
The U.S. government has charged two citizens of China with cybercrime in connection with purported hacking of research into vaccines for the SARS-CoV-2 virus, but more than one speaker on a July 22 webinar said scientists involved in basic life science research at universities fail to appreciate the need for cybersecurity, a problem they may take with them to the private sector.
The U.S. government will pay $1.95 billion to Pfizer Inc. and Biontech SE for the first 100 million doses of their jointly developed mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccine once Pfizer manufactures it and receives the FDA’s approval or emergency use authorization. The two companies agreed, as part of Operation Warp Speed, to begin delivering 300 million doses of a COVID-19 vaccine in 2021.
The alleged activities of two Chinese hackers outlined in a federal indictment unsealed Tuesday offer “concrete examples of two concerning trends,” U.S. Assistant Attorney General John Demers said, as U.S.-China relations further soured with the news of the charges.