Health News: South Korea to send military doctors to hospitals amid doctors' protest; Republican Alabama state senator introduces bill to protect IVF and more

Devdiscourse News Desk | Updated: 28-02-2024 18:32 IST | Created: 28-02-2024 18:25 IST
Health News: South Korea to send military doctors to hospitals amid doctors' protest; Republican Alabama state senator introduces bill to protect IVF and more
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Following is a summary of current health news briefs.

South Korea to send military doctors to hospitals amid doctors' protest

South Korea will send its military and community doctors to hospitals within the next few days as part of emergency measures to support the healthcare system after a mass walkout by trainee doctors, Prime Minister Han Duck-soo said on Wednesday. Han also pleaded with the young doctors to return to work by a Thursday deadline set by the government, and said the authorities would listen to their concerns.

Japan's Takeda in regulatory talks to launch dengue vaccine in India

Japan's Takeda Pharmaceutical is holding talks with Indian regulators to make its dengue vaccine available in the country, the drugmaker's global head of vaccines, Gary Dubin, told Reuters on Tuesday. "We are in talks with regulators and plan to start a clinical trial very soon," said Dubin.

US Senate Democrats to try to pass bill protecting in vitro fertilization

Democrats on Wednesday will try rushing legislation through the U.S. Senate guaranteeing Americans' access to in vitro fertilization and other assisted reproductive technologies, after an Alabama court designated frozen embryos as children. The state Supreme Court ruling on Feb. 16 that frozen embryos should be considered children prompted at least three Alabama providers to halt the IVF procedure that involves combining eggs and sperm in a laboratory dish for couples having difficulty conceiving.

China's Xian to give lottery tickets to newlyweds in bid to spur births

Authorities in China's city of Xian will spend 700,000 yuan ($97,000) on lottery tickets to give as prizes to newlyweds who present a marriage certificate, in an effort to encourage weddings at a time of fewer births. China's population fell for a second consecutive year in 2023, with new births dropping to about half those in 2016, while marriages hit a record low in 2022.With marriage rates closely tied to birth rates as unmarried mothers are often denied child-raising benefits, Xian promised a lottery ticket to any couple presenting a marriage certificate from March 1, as "a double surprise".

Exclusive-Eli Lilly could launch obesity drug in India next year, CEO says

U.S. drugmaker Eli Lilly expects to launch Mounjaro, its blockbuster diabetes drug and wildly popular obesity treatment, in India as early as next year after it clears an ongoing regulatory review, CEO David Ricks told Reuters on Wednesday. The market opportunity is huge in the world's most populous country, which has high obesity rates, especially among women, and the second-highest number of people with type-2 diabetes globally. Indian drugmakers are testing their own versions of weight-loss drugs, while illegal versions are also sold online.

Republican Alabama state senator introduces bill to protect IVF

A Republican Alabama state senator on Tuesday filed a bill aimed at protecting the IVF industry after the state Supreme Court ruled that frozen embryos should be considered children, prompting at least three Alabama providers to halt the fertility procedure. State Senator Tim Melson has said he hopes the bill to protect IVF providers from both criminal charges and civil lawsuits will pass the Senate and move to the state House by Thursday, according to local news reports. A Senate committee must first review the bill.

Reckitt's quarterly sales disappoint after investigation into Middle East business

Consumer goods group Reckitt on Wednesday missed fourth-quarter like-for-like net sales expectations as an investigation showed some employees had under-reported liabilities in the Middle East, sending shares down 10%. Some investors criticised the company's "vague" outlook for this year, as Reckitt shares slumped to their lowest point since March 2020, early in the COVID-19 pandemic.

Florida lawmakers pause 'unborn child' bill in wake of Alabama ruling

Florida lawmakers have paused efforts to pass a bill that would have provided protections to an "unborn child," but which some worry could expose the state's in vitro fertilization (IVF) clinics to lawsuits like one that happened this month in Alabama. Florida state Senator Erin Grall said in an emailed statement on Tuesday that she had requested her bill "be temporarily postponed at this time."

In South Korea, world's lowest fertility rate plunges again in 2023

South Korea's fertility rate, already the world's lowest, continued its dramatic decline in 2023, as women concerned about their career advancement and the financial cost of raising children decided to delay childbirth or to not have babies. The average number of expected babies for a South Korean woman during her reproductive life fell to a record low of 0.72 from 0.78 in 2022, data from Statistics Korea showed on Wednesday.

US FDA to boost inspections of drug manufacturing units in India

The U.S. drug regulator is set to increase the number of inspections at Indian drug manufacturing units in 2024 amid growing concerns over the quality of drugs, a top executive for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) told Reuters. The FDA conducted more than 200 inspections in 2023 in India, picking up after a lull in unannounced inspections during the pandemic.

(With inputs from agencies.)

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