Following is a summary of current health news briefs.
Alzheimer’s drugmakers seek accelerated FDA review despite U.S. coverage decision
Eisai Co Ltd and Eli Lilly and Co on Friday said they still plan to seek accelerated U.S. approval for experimental Alzheimer’s drugs even after the Medicare health plan decided to severely limit coverage of medicines approved in that manner. On Thursday, after a months-long review and a pressure campaign from patient advocacy groups, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) said it would only pay for Biogen Inc’s Aduhelm, and other drugs that work in a similar fashion, for patients enrolled in valid clinical studies, unless the treatments demonstrate clear evidence of patient benefit.
Alabama governor signs law criminalizing some trans youth care
Alabama’s Republican governor on Friday signed into law a bill passed by the legislature just a day earlier that would criminalize gender-affirming healthcare for transgender youth. The measure makes it a felony punishable with up to 10 years in prison to provide medical care including hormone treatment, puberty blockers and surgery to help align physical characteristics to the gender identity of a minor.
China reports 1,351 new confirmed COVID cases on April 9 vs 1,350 a day earlier
China reported 1,351 new confirmed coronavirus cases on April 9, the national health authority said, compared with 1,350 the day before. Of the new cases, 1,318 were locally transmitted, the National Health Commission said, compared with 1,334 on April 8.
Italy reports 53,253 coronavirus cases, 90 deaths on Sunday
Italy reported 53,253 COVID-19 related cases on Sunday, down from 63,992 the day before, the health ministry said, while the number of deaths fell to 90 from 112. Italy has registered 160,748 deaths linked to COVID-19 since its outbreak emerged in February 2020, the second-highest toll in Europe after Britain and the eighth highest in the world.
India’s COVID-19 vaccine prices cut as booster program is extended
Serum Institute of India (SII) and Bharat Biotech have cut the prices of their COVID-19 vaccines as the country plans to offer booster doses to all adults from Sunday. The cost of SII’s Covishield will drop to 225 rupees ($2.96) a dose from 600 rupees for private hospitals, chief executive Adar Poonawalla said in a Tweet on Saturday.
Shanghai seeks to reassure residents over COVID-hit supplies
Shanghai reported nearly 25,000 locally transmitted COVID-19 infections on Sunday and sought to assure locked-down residents of China’s most populous city that supply bottlenecks affecting availability of food and other items would ease. Streets remained largely silent in the city of 26 million people as curbs under its “zero tolerance” policy allow only healthcare workers, volunteers, delivery personnel or those with special permission to move freely.
(With inputs from agencies.)