Reuters Health News Summary

25 Sep 2020 / 04:59 H.

    Following is a summary of current health news briefs.

    U.S. appeals court rejects novel opioid settlement framework

    A federal appeals court on Thursday overturned a judge's approval of a novel plan by lawyers representing cities and counties suing drug companies over the U.S. opioid crisis that would bring every community nationally into their settlement talks. The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals by a 2-1 vote declined to approve an unprecedented "negotiation class" of 33,000 cities, towns and counties which could have a vote on whether to accept any settlements proposed with drug manufacturers and distributors.

    AstraZeneca still waiting for FDA go-ahead to resume U.S. trial

    AstraZeneca is still waiting for the U.S. drug regulator to approve the restart of the clinical trial of its potential COVID-19 vaccine in the United States almost three weeks after it was paused due to safety concerns. The U.S. trial of AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine candidate, initially developed by the University of Oxford, remains on hold while regulators investigate an illness in one of the participants, even after a British study and other programmes outside of the United States have resumed.

    Pfizer partner BioNTech sees no role for its vaccine in UK challenge trial

    Pfizer's German development partner BioNTech on Thursday joined other leading COVID-19 vaccine developers in ruling out participation in British plans to test experimental inoculations by deliberately infecting trial volunteers. "BioNTech's vaccine candidate is not part of this study," a spokeswoman said.

    Trump to sign executive orders to burnish healthcare credentials

    U.S. President Donald Trump plans to sign two executive orders on Thursday to improve healthcare coverage for Americans, Health and Human Services Secretary Azar said, as he seeks to boost his flagging credibility with voters on the hot-button issue ahead of the Nov. 3 presidential election. Trump will sign an executive order aimed at ensuring Americans with pre-existing conditions retain healthcare coverage, Azar said on Thursday, even as his own administration seeks to strike down the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, which protects the same right.

    Three U.S. states report record one-day increases in new COVID-19 cases

    Three U.S. states reported record one-day increases in new COVID-19 cases on Thursday, according to state data. Montana reported 330 new coronavirus cases and South Dakota recorded 463 new cases, according to the state websites. Utah's governor said the state set a one-day record with 1,198 new cases on Thursday.

    UK hits highest daily COVID-19 cases at 6,634, partly due to more tests

    Britain recorded its highest number of daily cases of COVID-19 on Thursday at 6,634, according to government data, reflecting a second wave of infections sweeping through the country but also a much higher level of testing than during the first wave. Thursday's number was up from 6,178 on Wednesday, itself a jump from 4,926 the previous day.

    Trump says may block stricter FDA guidelines for COVID-19 vaccine

    U.S. President Donald Trump said on Wednesday he may or may not approve any new, more stringent FDA standards for an emergency authorization of a COVID-19 vaccine, saying such a proposal would appear political. Trump has repeatedly said a vaccine for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, could be ready for distribution ahead of the Nov. 3 presidential election.

    Cuomo says New York to review any COVID-19 vaccine authorized by federal government

    New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on Thursday said the state will carry out its own review of coronavirus vaccines authorized or approved by the federal government due to concerns of politicization of the approval process. Cuomo, a Democrat who has repeatedly criticized President Donald Trump and his Republican administration's handling of the coronavirus pandemic, told reporters at a briefing he was going to form a review committee to advise the state on the safety of a vaccine.

    U.S. vaccine program chief backs stricter rules for emergency use of COVID-19 shot

    The scientific head of the U.S. government program designed to speed development of COVID-19 vaccines said on Thursday he supports stricter rules to grant emergency use of new inoculations against the novel coronavirus. Speaking at a virtual Town Hall with Black physicians and community leaders, Operation Warp Speed scientific lead Dr. Moncef Slaoui said he supports recommendations being drafted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration that companies wait two months after the last administration of their vaccine before seeking emergency use authorization (EUA) of their products.

    FDA flags health risks from 'Benadryl Challenge'

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Thursday warned of serious health problems from higher consumption of the common over-the-counter allergy medicine Benadryl following a social media challenge on TikTok. The higher intake could lead to serious heart problems, seizures, coma, or even death, the agency said. (

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