Sunday, October 17News That Matters

Tag: Drugs (Pharmaceuticals)

Elizabeth Holmes Trial: Key Moments From Week 6

Technology
SAN JOSE, Calif. — Was Theranos a small start-up struggling to meet the demands of working with big, sophisticated and powerful corporations? Or was Elizabeth Holmes, the former chief executive of the blood testing company, misleading and deceiving those corporations to get money?That debate was at the heart of testimony in the sixth week of Ms. Holmes’s fraud trial in San Jose. She is charged with 12 counts of fraud and conspiracy to commit fraud. Her partner in business and romance, Ramesh Balwani, was also charged and will be tried separately next year. Both have pleaded not guilty.Here are the takeaways from this week’s proceedings:‘Discouraged’ retail partnersSteve Burd, a former chief executive of Safeway, testified that Ms. Holmes had led him to believe that Theranos’s machines coul...
Moderna, Racing for Profits, Keeps Covid Vaccine Out of Reach of Poor

Moderna, Racing for Profits, Keeps Covid Vaccine Out of Reach of Poor

Business
Moderna’s market value has nearly tripled this year to more than $120 billion. Two of its founders, as well as an early investor, this month made Forbes magazine’s list of the 400 richest people in the United States.As the coronavirus spread in early 2020, Moderna raced to design its vaccine — which uses a new technology known as messenger RNA — and to plan a safety study. To manufacture the doses for that trial, the company received $900,000 from the nonprofit Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations.The nonprofit group said Moderna had agreed to its “equitable access principles.” That meant, according to the coalition, that the vaccine would be “first available to populations when and where they are needed and at prices that are affordable to the populations at risk, especially lo...
Fauci: Americans Should Get Vaccinated Even if Merck’s Covid Pill Cuts Deaths

Fauci: Americans Should Get Vaccinated Even if Merck’s Covid Pill Cuts Deaths

Technology
As the nation’s death toll climbed above 700,000 in October, Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, an adviser on the pandemic to President Biden, emphasized the need for the 70 million Americans who are eligible for a vaccine to get immunized during interviews on Sunday morning talk shows.“Many of those deaths were unavoidable but many, many are avoidable, were avoidable and will in the future be avoidable,” Dr. Fauci, who is also director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”Dr. Fauci was enthusiastic about the development of the new Merck anti-viral pill, describing it as “extremely important.” In announcing the results of its clinical trial last Friday, Merck said the pill was able to cut the risk of hospitalization and death from the virus by...

How Covid Misinformation Created a Run on Animal Medicine

Technology
Ruth Jeffers, who owns Jeffers, the animal supplies retailer, said she had sold out of ivermectin paste on her website this year. After she restocked with more expensive versions, those tubes sold out, too.So this spring, she limited new customers to five tubes. Partly driven by the demand, she raised prices for Jeffers-branded ivermectin, her cheapest option, to $4.99 a tube from $2.99 — and then to $6.99.“It’s hard having your No. 1 product turn into a circus,” Ms. Jeffers said.At the Horsey Haven Retirement Home in Newcastle, Calif., a boarding stable for retired horses, the lack of affordable ivermectin recently caused a debate about costs. Laura Beeman, Horsey Haven’s owner, said she had long used the drug to kill worms in the stable’s 28 horses. The treatments take place four times a...
Study of Covid Booster Shot Benefits Fans Debate Over Extra Doses

Study of Covid Booster Shot Benefits Fans Debate Over Extra Doses

Technology
Wading into an acrimonious debate over booster doses, researchers in Israel reported on Wednesday that a third dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine can prevent both infections and severe illness in adults older than 60 for at least 12 days.The study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, is the latest salvo in the conflict over whether booster doses are needed for healthy adults and whether they should be given out, as the Biden administration plans to do, when so much of the world remains unvaccinated.Several independent scientists said the cumulative data so far suggest that only older adults will need boosters — and maybe not even them.Vaccination remains powerfully protective against severe illness and hospitalization in the vast majority of people in all of the ...
Phony Diagnoses Hide High Rates of Drugging at Nursing Homes

Phony Diagnoses Hide High Rates of Drugging at Nursing Homes

Business
The handwritten doctor’s order was just eight words long, but it solved a problem for Dundee Manor, a nursing home in rural South Carolina struggling to handle a new resident with severe dementia.David Blakeney, 63, was restless and agitated. The home’s doctor wanted him on an antipsychotic medication called Haldol, a powerful sedative.“Add Dx of schizophrenia for use of Haldol,” read the doctor’s order, using the medical shorthand for “diagnosis.”But there was no evidence that Mr. Blakeney actually had schizophrenia.Antipsychotic drugs — which for decades have faced criticism as “chemical straitjackets” — are dangerous for older people with dementia, nearly doubling their chance of death from heart problems, infections, falls and other ailments. But understaffed nursing homes have often u...
‘Nos complica la vida’: muchas empresarias deben soportar las comparaciones con Elizabeth Holmes, la fundadora de Theranos

‘Nos complica la vida’: muchas empresarias deben soportar las comparaciones con Elizabeth Holmes, la fundadora de Theranos

Technology
Beth Esponnette, fundadora de Unspun, empresa de pantalones jeans hechos a la medida, comentó que los inversionistas muchas veces la han alentado a ser más agresiva, a optar por acciones que bien podrían rayar en la deshonestidad. En una ocasión, un inversionista le recomendó inflar sus perspectivas de beneficios por un múltiplo de 10, un nivel de lo más irreal.El mes pasado, Esponnette publicó un ensayo titulado “I Get It, Elizabeth Holmes”, en el que describe este tira y afloja. Muchas de las acciones de Holmes fueron inexcusables, escribió Esponnette, de 33 años de edad. “Pero de cualquier forma pienso que estaba convencida de que hacía lo correcto y solo seguía la recomendación universal de Silicon Valley: ‘Finge hasta conseguir el éxito’”.Varias mujeres que trabajan en empresas emerge...
They Still Live in the Shadow of Theranos’s Elizabeth Holmes

They Still Live in the Shadow of Theranos’s Elizabeth Holmes

Technology
Women at tech start-ups wrote to her thanking her for saying what they had been feeling, Ms. Esponnette said.Lola Priego, 30, the founder of Base, which offers at-home blood and saliva tests that are processed at traditional labs, hears a Theranos comparison at least once a week, she said. The references come directly or indirectly from potential partners, advisers, investors, customers and reporters, she said.She said she understood the need for skepticism, since new health care companies should be looked at critically to prevent malpractice. Often the comparisons stopped after people learned that Base works with Quest Diagnostics, a multinational company, for analysis of its tests.“But the additional bias and skepticism is challenging to overcome,” Ms. Priego said.The biggest blow came f...
What to Know About Boosters if You Got the Johnson & Johnson Vaccine

What to Know About Boosters if You Got the Johnson & Johnson Vaccine

Technology
Without robust data on the long-term effectiveness of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, it is hard for health officials to recommend boosters, said John Moore, a virologist at Weill Cornell Medicine. “If you’re doing data-driven decisions and you don’t have the data, what can you do?” he said. “This is sort of the dilemma. Public confidence in vaccines generally depends on seeing how the sausage is made, seeing that it is a data-driven, transparent process.”How effective is the Johnson & Johnson vaccine?Clinical trials, conducted before the Delta variant was widespread, found that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine had 72 percent efficacy overall in the United States, lower than the roughly 95 percent efficacy of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. However, it is hard to make direct compa...
Covid Vaccines Produced in Africa Are Being Exported to Europe

Covid Vaccines Produced in Africa Are Being Exported to Europe

Business
Johnson & Johnson’s Covid vaccine was supposed to be one of Africa’s most important weapons against the coronavirus.The New Jersey-based company agreed to sell enough of its inexpensive single-shot vaccine to eventually inoculate a third of the continent’s residents. And the vaccine would be produced in part by a South African manufacturer, raising hopes that those doses would quickly go to Africans.That has not happened.South Africa is still waiting to receive the overwhelming majority of the 31 million vaccine doses it ordered from Johnson & Johnson. It has administered only about two million Johnson & Johnson shots. That is a key reason that fewer than 7 percent of South Africans are fully vaccinated — and that the country was devastated by the Delta variant.At the same time...