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Weekly Roundups

New Treatments for COVID-19, Heart Failure

By Miriam Bello | Thu, 07/08/2021 - 15:42

This week brought non-COVID-19 matters to the spotlight, as abortion laws move forward and drug trials disrupt global medicine. However, Mexico saw an increase in COVID-19 cases but it is ramping up its vaccination efforts.

Here is the Week in Health!

NATIONAL

-Those over 18 years old can now register to receive the COVID-19 vaccine in Mexico on this link. 

-COVID-19 cases in Mexico increased by 24 percent in one week, reported the Ministry of Health.

-The Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation (SCJN) endorsed abortion in cases of rape after the first months of pregnancy, but it is still punishable in at least a dozen states. According to the SCJN, “the limitation for legal abortion in cases of rape constitutes an act of violence against women that violates their rights to the free development of the personality and harms their mental health.” In Mexico City, Congress expanded the time limit for abortion in case of rape to 20 weeks of gestation.

-Deputy Minister of Health Hugo López-Gatell announced that Pfizer will reduce their vaccine deliveries for two weeks as it reconverts a manufacturing plant in the US. Mexico received 1 million doses from Sinovac to compensate for the delay.

-Sanofi Mexico recently inaugurated a new cold storage unit to handle medicines and vaccines that need to be kept at low temperatures. This new cold storage unit, “Maya,” is located at Sanofi’s distribution center in Ocoyoacac, State of Mexico. The unit will double the storage capacity for vaccines and high-specialty medicines to guarantee their optimal conservation.

-The Mexican pharmaceutical company Laboratorios de Biológicos y Reactivos de México (BIRMEX) packaged a test batch of the Russian Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine, announced the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF).

-Traditional working models evolved during the COVID-19 pandemic, leading Mexico’s government to pass new labor laws that would allow companies to meet their workers’ needs. To discuss the effects of this reform and the impact of the shift in working modalities in employees’ mental and physical health, experts met during the webinar “Health Regulation for Home Office Spaces Inspiring a Thriving Culture,” held on July 7, 2021. The webinar was hosted by Mexico Business News and sponsored by Ergotron. Read the full coverage here.

INTERNATIONAL

-A group of WHO evaluators has recommended the use of Roche’s Actemra and Sanofi’s Kevzara to treat COVID-19 patients after data from 11,000 patients showed that these medications cut the risk of death. As a result, the FDA issued emergency use approval for Actemra to treat COVID-19. In 2020, the off-label use of this drug to treat COVID-19 cases drove up sales to US$3 billion. Sales of Sanofi’s Kevzara also rose last year by 30 percent. 

-About 25 percent of the world's population, 2 billion people, still do not have access to safe drinking water, according to a new report on Water, Sanitation and Hygiene by the World Health Organization (WHO). Read more here.

-Two weeks before the start of the Tokyo Olympic Games, Japan is set to declare state of emergency to contain the new wave of COVID-19 infections sweeping through the country. Read more about it here.

-Eli Lilly announced breakthrough results of its EMPEROR-Preserved trials, the first and only successful trial for heart failure with preserved ejection fraction. During trials, Jardiance (empagliflozin) significantly reduced the risk of composite cardiovascular death or hospitalization for heart failure in adults with or without diabetes. According to Eli Lilly, these results add to previous findings from the EMPEROR-Reduced phase III trial, which showed that Jardiance significantly reduced the combined relative risk of cardiovascular death or hospitalization for heart failure by 25 percent compared to placebo.

-The pandemic showed how human health is closely tied to the environment and animal health. The One Health approach describes how zoonotic diseases have caused worldwide pandemics. Read more about the subject here.

Miriam Bello Miriam Bello Journalist and Industry Analyst