Following is a summary of current health news briefs.
Juul’s checkered e-cigarette journey cut short by FDA ban
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration ordered Juul Labs Inc to stop selling its e-cigarettes in the United States on Thursday, saying the company’s data “lacked sufficient evidence” to show its products would be appropriate for the protection of public health. The following are significant events in the checkered history of Juul Labs, which started under the name of Ploom Inc.
WHO says monkeypox is not yet a health emergency
Monkeypox is not yet a global health emergency, the World Health Organization (WHO) ruled on Saturday, although WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said he was deeply concerned about the outbreak. “I am deeply concerned about the monkeypox outbreak, this is clearly an evolving health threat that my colleagues and I in the WHO Secretariat are following extremely closely,” Tedros said in a statement.
Factbox-Latest on the worldwide spread of the coronavirus
COVID-19 vaccines this fall are likely to be based on the Omicron variant of the coronavirus rather than the original strain, although some experts suggest they may only offer significant benefits for older and immunocompromised people. DEATHS AND INFECTIONS
Federal appeals court puts FDA ban on Juul e-cigarette sales on hold
A U.S. federal appeals court on Friday put on hold the Food and Drug Administration’s ban on sales of Juul Labs Inc’s e-cigarettes after the company appealed the health agency’s order and said the ban would cause it “irreparable harm”. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District Of Columbia Circuit said the purpose of the stay was to allow the court sufficient time to consider Juul’s briefing for an emergency review and not a ruling on the merits of that motion.
Beijing to reopen schools, Shanghai declares victory over COVID
Beijing on Saturday said it would allow primary and secondary schools to resume in-person classes and Shanghai’s top party boss declared victory over COVID-19 after the city reported zero new local cases for the first time in two months. The two major cities were among several places in China that implemented curbs to stop the spread of the Omicron wave from March to May, with Shanghai imposing a two-month-long city-wide lockdown that lifted on June 1.
Pfizer/BioNTech say Omicron-based COVID shots improve response vs that variant
Pfizer Inc and BioNTech SE said on Saturday that a booster dose of updated versions of their COVID-19 vaccine, modified specifically to combat the Omicron coronavirus variant, generated a higher immune response against that variant. Advisors to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration are scheduled to meet on Tuesday to discuss whether to update COVID-19 vaccines for the fall. The updated shots are likely to be redesigned to combat the Omicron variant of the coronavirus, experts say.
Sinovac’s COVID-19 vaccine is conditionally registered in South Africa
China’s Sinovac Biotech said on Saturday that South Africa’s health products regulator has granted conditional registration to its coronavirus vaccine CoronaVac for people aged 18 and above.
Bristol Myers must face $6.4 billion lawsuits over delayed cancer drug
A U.S. judge on Friday refused to dismiss a $6.4 billion lawsuit accusing Bristol Myers Squibb Co of delaying its Breyanzi cancer drug to avoid payments to shareholders of the former Celgene Corp, which the drugmaker bought for $80.3 billion in 2019. U.S. District Judge Jesse Furman in Manhattan rejected Bristol Myers’ claim that it was never properly notified about its alleged default on its merger obligations by UMB Bank NA, the trustee representing the former Celgene shareholders.
WHO says over 900 probable cases of acute hepatitis reported in children
Thirty-three countries have reported 920 probable cases of severe acute hepatitis in children so far, a jump of 270 from May, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday. The WHO said that the European Region accounted for half the probable cases, including 267 from the United Kingdom, while a third of the probable cases were from the United States.
Biden administration signals fight over medication abortion
President Joe Biden’s administration indicated it will seek to prevent states from banning a pill used for medication abortion in light of the Supreme Court ruling overturning the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling, signaling a major new legal fight. The administration could argue in court that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) approval of mifepristone, one of the pills used for medication abortions, pre-empts state restrictions, meaning federal authority outweighs any state action.
(With inputs from agencies.)