Health News Roundup: Biotech company bets on GMO mosquitoes to fight dengue in Brazil as cases surge; In delicate China play, Reckitt turns to livestreaming to sell condoms; US FDA chief very concerned about fake weight loss drugs and more

Consumers seeking these medicines are attracted to compounded versions that are sold without proper controls to ensure they get the right active drug, Califf said in a Reuters Newsmaker interview. US CDC recommends older Americans should get another COVID shot this spring The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) director on Wednesday signed off on the use of updated COVID vaccines as a second annual shot for adults aged 65 and older.


Devdisocurse News Desk | Updated: 29-02-2024 10:52 IST | Created: 29-02-2024 10:31 IST
Health News  Roundup: Biotech company bets on GMO mosquitoes to fight dengue in Brazil as cases surge; In delicate China play, Reckitt turns to livestreaming to sell condoms; US FDA chief very concerned about fake weight loss drugs and more
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Following is a summary of current health news briefs.

Biotech company bets on GMO mosquitoes to fight dengue in Brazil as cases surge

British biotechnology company Oxitec is betting on a solution to Brazil's surging dengue cases, involving the release of genetically modified mosquitoes in an effort to reduce the viral infection's spread. The firm has developed a version of the male Aedes aegypti mosquito which carries a gene that kills female offspring before they reach maturity, suppressing the population. Only female mosquitoes bite and transmit diseases.

US Senate Republicans block Democrats' bill assuring right to IVF

Democrats on Wednesday failed in an attempt to rush 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.

Thailand to ban recreational cannabis use by year-end, says health minister

Thailand will ban the recreational use of marijuana by the end of this year, but continue allowing its use for medical purposes, the health minister told Reuters in an interview. Thailand became the first country in Southeast Asia to decriminalise cannabis, initially for medicinal use and research in 2018, then for general growing and consumption in 2022.

Novavax says still faces strong headwinds, 2024 sales flat to lower

COVID-19 vaccine maker Novavax on Wednesday said it still faces significant financial difficulties and expects revenue this year to be flat or lower as it works to pick up U.S. market share from its much larger rivals, Pfizer and Moderna. The company posted a larger-than-expected fourth-quarter loss as revenue lagged analysts' estimates, sending its shares down 26.3% to $4.44 in early trading.

In delicate China play, Reckitt turns to livestreaming to sell condoms

Durex-owner Reckitt is hoping that Chinese consumers' penchant for livestream shopping will also extend to purchases of condoms, but the company will have to toe a "delicate line" as it looks to grow its slice of the $5-billion-plus condom market. The hype around livestreaming, which has become a major driving force of an e-commerce boom that has been sweeping China since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, could help the British consumer goods group in its quest to drive growth in the world's second-biggest economy.

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.

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.

Most South Korea trainee doctors defying pressure to end walkout

Thousands of South Korean trainee doctors are refusing to return to work on Thursday, the day the government set as a deadline to end their mass walk out, warning that their medical licences could be suspended if they do not return to hospitals. Two-thirds of the country's residents and intern doctors have walked off the job to protest a plan to raise the number of students admitted to medical school each year by 2,000 in a bid to address what the government says is a shortage of doctors.

US FDA chief very concerned about fake weight loss drugs

U.S. Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Dr. Robert Califf said on Wednesday that he is very concerned about the prevalence of compounded and fake versions of highly in demand new weight loss drugs online. Consumers seeking these medicines are attracted to compounded versions that are sold without proper controls to ensure they get the right active drug, Califf said in a Reuters Newsmaker interview.

US CDC recommends older Americans should get another COVID shot this spring

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) director on Wednesday signed off on the use of updated COVID vaccines as a second annual shot for adults aged 65 and older. The final recommendation from director Mandy Cohen comes after an expert advisory group to the CDC on Wednesday said U.S. adults aged 65 and older should get a second annual COVID-19 shot this spring, strengthening their recommendations from last year.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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