06 Aug 2009
Pharmaceutical firm Baxter International says it has produced its first commercial batches of a [deadly] human swine flu vaccine called Celvapan A/H1N1. The development comes as the World Health Organisation warned that the current outbreak is the fastest pandemic and could eventually affect two billion people. [See: Baxter working on vaccine to stop swine flu, though admitted sending live pandemic flu viruses to subcontractor 26 Apr 2009.] http://www.rte.ie/news/2009/0806/swineflu.html
FDA never inspected China maker of Baxter's heparin 13 Feb 2008 U.S. regulators have never inspected the Chinese plant that makes Baxter International's [deadly] heparin, regulators disclosed a day after Baxter halted sales of some versions after four patients died and hundreds became ill. On Tuesday, the Food and Drug Administration reported that it received about 350 reports of health problems associated with Baxter's injectable heparin, a blood thinner, since the end of 2007.
Swine flu vaccine on track for September, WHO says --Larger deliveries are expected in October, an official says. Human trials of the new vaccine against H1N1 have also begun. 07 Aug 2009 Manufacturers are on track to deliver the first doses of a vaccine for pandemic H1N1 influenza in September, World Health Organization officials said Thursday. The first batches will be limited, but larger deliveries are expected in October, Dr. Marie-Paule Kieny, director of the organization's Initiative for Vaccine Research said at a news conference in Geneva.
Rapid tests often wrong about swine flu --CDC's first study finds cases missed at least half the time 06 Aug 2009 Current quick tests for flu miss many cases of the new pandemic H1N1 strain, researchers at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported on Thursday. The accuracy of the tests ranged from just 40 percent to 69 percent in detecting swine flu, the CDC team reported. The findings confirm the CDC's warnings that instant tests performed on the spot in doctor's offices and clinics are not
highly worthwhile for diagnosing H1N1 infections.
Barack Opharma strikes again: White House Affirms Deal on Drug Cost 06 Aug 2009 Pressed by industry lobbyists, White House officials on Wednesday assured drug makers that the administration stood by a behind-the-scenes deal to block any Congressional effort to extract cost savings from them beyond an agreed-upon $80 billion. Drug industry lobbyists reacted with alarm this week to a House health care overhaul measure that would allow the government to negotiate drug prices and demand additional rebates from drug manufacturers. In response, the industry successfully demanded that the White House explicitly acknowledge for the first time that it had committed to protect drug makers from bearing further costs in the overhaul.