Following is a summary of current health news briefs.
Sanofi ordered to compensate French family for epilepsy drug side effects
A French court has ordered Sanofi to pay more than 400,000 euros ($416,440) in damages to a family whose child suffered from a form of autism caused by its epilepsy drug Valproate, saying the drugmaker failed to inform about known side effects. The link, alongside physical malformation, had also been recognized in a landmark class-action ruling in January, which could potentially lead to hundreds of millions of euros in compensation, though Sanofi said it would file an appeal.
Britain delays ban on promotion of high-sugar foods
Britain will delay by a new year rules banning multi-buy deals on foods and drinks high in fat, salt, or sugar (HFSS), with the government saying on Saturday it needed more time given the cost of living crisis. The ban on the deals, including “buy one get one free” (BOGOF), “3 for 2”, and restrictions on free refills for soft drinks, had been due to come into force in October.
Two more cases of monkeypox infection reported in England
Two more cases of rare viral monkeypox infection have been diagnosed in England, health authorities said on Saturday, adding that they are not linked to one reported a week ago. The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) said the latest infections involved people living in the same household and an investigation was underway into how they contracted the virus.
Shanghai aims to defeat COVID over next week as Beijing hunkers down
Locked-down Shanghai aims to ringfence its COVID outbreak over the next week, officials said on Friday, while residents in China’s capital Beijing largely heeded the advice of authorities to work from home to stem the virus’ spread. Easing weeks of punishing restrictions in the commercial hub would bring relief to China’s battered economy, although there is a growing concern that Beijing may yet take a similar course of action if it fails to get a nascent outbreak under control.
US FDA approves Eli Lilly’s treatment for type 2 diabetes
The US Food & Drug Administration said on Friday it had approved Eli Lilly’s injected drug tirzepatide, which has the brand name Moonjaro, to help improve blood sugar control in adults with type 2 diabetes. The FDA said Moonjaro, along with diet and exercise, improved blood sugar levels and was more effective than the other diabetes therapies with which it was compared in clinical studies.
Biden says baby formula shortages to ease in weeks as US imports more
The US baby formula shortage should improve in coming weeks, President Joe Biden and top officials said on Friday as the administration scrambled to reverse a shortfall that hits lower-income Americans particularly hard. The United States is working with manufacturers to allow more import of baby formula, Biden told reporters in the Rose Garden. “We’re going to be, in a matter of weeks or less, getting significantly more formula on shelves,” he said.
Pfizer, EU push back COVID vaccine delivery to help booster campaign
Pfizer Inc and its German partner BioNTech SE said on Friday they had agreed to push back deliveries of their COVID-19 vaccines to the European Union by three months as the bloc prepares for a potential booster campaign in the fall. The companies amended their supply agreement with the European Commission to push back delivery of doses scheduled for June through August until September through the fourth quarter of this year.
Abbott says shipped millions of cans of infant formula from Ireland
Abbott Laboratories said on Friday it has air-shipped millions of cans of infant formula powder into the United States from its facility in Ireland to address shortages here as it tries to reopen its Michigan manufacturing plant. The company said in a blog https://www.abbott.com/corpnewsroom/nutrition-health-and-wellness/abbott-update-on-powder-formula-recall.html it was a shipping infant formula produced at its Cootehill, Ireland facility to be used by consumers eligible for the US government’s Women, Infants and Children (WIC) nutrition assistance program for low-income families.
Blood marker identified for babies at risk of SIDS hailed as ‘breakthrough’
A team of Australian researchers have identified a biochemical marker in the blood that could help identify newborn babies at risk for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), a breakthrough they said creates an avenue to future tragedy-preventing interventions. In their study, babies who died of SIDS had lower levels of an enzyme called butyrylcholinesterase (BChE) shortly after birth, the researchers said. BChE plays a major role in the brain’s arousal pathway, and low levels would reduce a sleeping infant’s ability to wake up or respond to its environment.
N.Korea reports more deaths, says taking ‘swift measures’ against COVID outbreak
North Korea said on Sunday a total of 42 people had died as the country began its fourth day under a nationwide lockdown aimed at stopping the impoverished country’s first confirmed COVID-19 outbreak. North Korea’s admission on Thursday that it is battling an “explosive” COVID-19 outbreak has raised concerns that the virus could devastate a country with an under-resourced health system, limited testing capabilities and no vaccine program.
(With inputs from agencies.)