A lot of eyes are on the World Trade Organization (WTO) Ministerial Conference taking place in Geneva June 12-15, as member countries try to reach a consensus on a proposal that would allow certain members to waive intellectual property (IP) rights on COVID-19 vaccines for at least three to five years.
The cost of providing COVID-19 vaccines and therapies for a possible fall surge in the U.S. is coming at the expense of testing and personal protection equipment. While other countries are planning for the expected surge by placing their orders for vaccines and therapies, “we are starting to lose our place in line,” White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator Ashish Jha said during a June 9 media briefing.
News that the U.S. FTC is finally going to reexamine the role of pharmaceutical benefit managers (PBMs) and their impact on prescription drug prices and availability is playing to applause from several sectors that have been complaining for years about PBM practices.
The U.S. FDA’s accelerated approval path is front burner these days, what with Congress looking to modernize the path through provisions added to the must-pass user fee legislation, the controversy still boiling over the FDA’s accelerated approval last year of Biogen Inc.’s Alzheimer’s drug, Aduhelm (aducanumab), and a number of recent withdrawals of drugs granted accelerated approval years ago.
Given the safety and efficacy data presented June 7 for Novavax Inc.’s COVID-19 vaccine, NVX-CoV2373, it came as no surprise when the U.S. FDA’s Vaccines and Related Biologic Products Advisory Committee voted 21-0, with one abstention, to support an emergency use authorization for the vaccine, which is already approved and being used in many other countries, including the EU and Canada.
Following an investigation into Leadiant Group’s pricing of a rare disease drug, the Italian Competition Authority fined the privately held company about €3.5 million (US$3.76 million) May 31 for charging the Italian National Health Service excessive prices since 2017 for Chenodeoxycholic Acid Leadiant.
Pivotal in killing the Biden administration’s Build Back Better budget legislation, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) is now working to revive parts of it, including the provision that would require Medicare to directly negotiate prescription drug prices.
About $1.7 trillion in securities of China-based issuers listed on U.S. exchanges could face trading prohibitions in as little as two years, Y.J. Fischer, director of the U.S. SEC’s Office of International Affairs, warned during remarks at the May 24 annual meeting of the International Council of Securities Associations.
Facing the global threat of antimicrobial resistance (AMR), the EMA issued a final revised guideline on the evaluation of new antibiotics. In accordance with an agreement with the U.S. FDA and Japan’s Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices Agency, the EMA’s guideline aligns as much as possible with the data requirements of those regulators so drug developers can design clinical trials that meet the evidence needs of all three agencies, the EMA said.