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Megyn Kelly Says She Regrets Getting COVID Vax, Opens Up About Autoimmune Issue After Booster
Kelly, 52, has long been outspoken about her opposition to vaccine requirements for children, but she decided it would be best to get the shot herself. The conservative commentator said Wednesday that she realized it was a mistake to get the COVID shots after talking to her doctor when she tested positive for an autoimmune issue at her annual physical.
“I went to the best Rheumatologist in New York, and I asked her, do you think this could have to do with the fact that I got the damn booster and then got COVID within three weeks? And she said ‘yes.’ Yes,” Kelly continued. “I wasn’t the only one she’d seen that with.”
The former Fox News host said last year that she initially believed the vaccine “was a miracle,” but she was “upset” by government overreach and wanted more information about any health risks associated with getting the COVID vaccine.
FDA Could Greenlight New COVID Boosters as Early as Friday
The latest shots are designed to target the XBB.1.5 Omicron subvariant. Though that strain is no longer dominant, the boosters should still protect against current circulating subvariants, which are closely related, the drugmakers and experts say.
Two sources indicated the FDA is exploring the possibility of granting the boosters a full approval license instead of an emergency use authorization, a departure from the approach used for previous COVID vaccine authorizations. However, it remains uncertain whether that is still the intended course of action.
Politicians Are at War With the Pharma Industry. And Patient-Consumers Will Be the Losers
The pharmaceutical industry has long anticipated the dreaded day that finally arrived last week. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released a list of the first 10 drugs selected for price negotiation by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).
By invoking the “nuclear option,” Congress and the Biden Administration achieved through the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) what they have long been after politically: to rein in the pharmaceutical industry as a means to try and reduce the high cost of prescription drugs and lower healthcare costs.
On finally “beating” big pharma, President Biden triumphantly said, “Well, we did it.”
We did not arrive at this ill-conceived legislative outcome overnight, and the government’s regulatory war against big pharma is far from over. Like many open conflicts, this battle is likely to be protracted, counterproductive and result in significant collateral damage for the foreseeable future. And unfortunately, patient-consumers will be caught in the crossfire.
Exclusive: CDC Hopes New ‘Wild to Mild’ Ad Campaign Will Tame Skepticism About Flu Vaccines
Some Americans have given up on flu shots because almost everyone remembers a season when they got one and then got sick anyway. Now the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention wants to reset expectations about what these annual vaccines can and can’t do.
It’s rolling out new ads it hopes will increase confidence in the vaccines with a clear, straightforward message: The flu vaccine won’t keep a person from getting sick, but it will tame that infection, taking it from “Wild to Mild” — the tagline for the new campaign.
The campaign shows a ferocious animal, like a tiger, juxtaposed against something that’s not scary, like a kitten.
Annual flu shots are available now and recommended for everyone 6 months of age and older in September and October. The new ads and radio spots will run on social media channels and social audio starting this week. They are targeted at pregnant women and parents of young children because vaccination rates are down in both of those high-risk groups.
Pfizer, Valneva Say ‘Positive’ Result for Lyme Disease Vaccine Candidate Booster
Pfizer (PFE.N) and French pharmaceutical peer Valneva (VLS.PA) announced on Thursday that a phase 2 study for its VLA15 Lyme disease vaccine candidate showed a “strong immune response” in both children and adolescents a month after a booster shoot.
“The Phase 2 booster results emphasize the vaccine candidate’s potential to provide immunity against Lyme disease in pediatric and adolescent populations,” the two companies said in a statement.
Pfizer says it intends to submit regulatory applications for VLA15, which Valneva presents as being “the most advanced Lyme disease vaccine candidate currently in clinical development”, to both the European Medicines Agency and U.S. Food and Drug Administration by 2026 if the phase 3 clinical trial, launched last year, gives positive results.
Blockbuster Weight Loss Drugs Wegovy and Ozempic Are Being Tested to Treat Addiction and Dementia
Scientists have begun investigating whether so-called miracle obesity drugs could be used to treat conditions such as dementia and alcohol addiction after recent trials pointed to the drugs’ efficacy in treating serious health issues.
Christian Hendershot, director of the clinical and translational addiction research program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, is one researcher investigating whether the appetite-regulating mechanisms at play in weight loss drugs could be used to treat other conditions such as alcohol and drug addiction.
Pre-clinical trial data has for several years pointed to the efficacy of GLP-1 medication in reducing drug and alcohol intake among animals. Hendershot is now testing Ozempic — Wegovy’s predecessor used to treat type 2 diabetes — to see whether those trends apply to humans, too.
South Africa Was Forced Into ‘One-Sided’ Deals With COVID Vaccine Suppliers, Contracts Reveal
South Africa was “bullied” into signing one-sided contracts with COVID-19 vaccine suppliers that forced the government to pay more than the European Union but offered little protection against delivery failures, according to an advocacy group.
For instance, Johnson & Johnson charged South Africa $10 a dose, 15% more than the company charged the European Union, while the government was required to pay a non-refundable down payment of $27.5 million. Pfizer also charged $10 a dose, which was 33% more than the $6.75 charged the African Union. South Africa was required to pay $40 million in advance, only half of which was refundable.
Meanwhile, the Serum Institute of India planned to charge South Africa $5.35 a dose for Covishield, its generic version of a COVID-19 vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University, which was 2.5 times more than it charged the European Union. However, South Africa subsequently suspended its order over safety concerns.
L.A. County Sues Pharmacy Benefit Firms, Alleging They Helped Fuel Opioid Crisis
Los Angeles County has become the latest local government to accuse pharmacy benefit managers — the little-known middlemen of the prescription drug industry — of stoking the opioid crisis by helping flood the nation with highly addictive pills.
In a lawsuit filed Wednesday in Los Angeles County Superior Court, the county alleged that Express Scripts Inc. and OptumRx Inc. colluded with drug manufacturers to promote dangerously addictive opioids as a safe and moderate pain treatment option.
The 59-page filing describes the havoc that the opioid crisis has wreaked inside the county’s emergency rooms, schools and child welfare system: Children are raised by relatives or put in foster care due to parents’ addictions. Overdose patients are increasingly common in the county’s emergency rooms. And at least six students overdosed at the start of the 2022-23 school year, according to the suit.
The lawsuit alleges that pharmacy benefit managers, or PBMs — which act as the middleman between drug manufacturers and insurance companies — bear some of the blame for this rise in addiction. Behind the scenes, the companies effectively determine what drugs get covered by insurance companies and how much a patient will pay for them. Many also run their own mail-service pharmacies.
Talcum Powder Cancer Lawsuits Moving Forward Against J&J After Lengthy Litigation Stay
Following the recent dismissal of Johnson & Johnson’s second attempt to force all talcum powder cancer lawsuits through the U.S. bankruptcy system, the federal judge now presiding over the litigation has issued a series of orders that will get the cases moving again, including establishing new deadlines for parties to file Plaintiff Profile Forms and requiring attorneys to update complaints where any plaintiff has died while waiting for their day in court.
Johnson & Johnson faces more than 60,000 Baby powder lawsuits and Shower-to-Shower lawsuits filed throughout the federal court system, each involving similar allegations that asbestos particles in the talc-based products caused users to develop ovarian cancer, mesothelioma, and other injuries.
Medicare Negotiations Won’t Keep Pharma From Making a Fortune
The prescription drug provisions of the Inflation Reduction Act have generated a deluge of doomsday predictions from the pharmaceutical industry regarding drug innovation.
Big Pharma has focused on the provision requiring the federal government to negotiate prices for selected eligible drugs covered under Medicare Part B and Part D with the highest total spending, beginning in 2026. On Tuesday, we got the list of the first 10 medications that will be up for negotiation.
The industry claims the process will make those drugs unprofitable and that, as a result, it will have little impetus to invest in drug development. The chief executive officer of the trade group PhRMA predicted “a nuclear winter for innovation” prior to the passage of the law.
However, such forecasts are unfounded. To understand the extent to which decreased returns may impact innovation, we analyzed how much it costs on average to bring a drug to market and how much these companies have earned from the selected drugs since their launch.
Not only are revenues enough to justify the investment in these particular drugs, but they are enough to fund several more generations of pharmaceutical development. Lower negotiated prices are unlikely to deter further investment in similar medications.