India to spend $79.6 million to strengthen drug regulatory system, Health News, ET HealthWorld

New Delhi: India will spend $79.6 million on strengthening its drug regulatory system, said the health minister, after the World Health Organization, raised concerns about domestically produced cough syrups being linked to the death of 89 children in two countries. India is known as the “pharmacy of the world” and its pharmaceuticals exports have more than doubled over the past decade to $24.5 billion in 2021-22. The death of at least 70 children in Gambia and 19 children in Uzbekistan last year have dented that image. Government data shared by…

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Covid 19: Draft WHO pandemic deal pushes for equity to avoid COVID ‘failure’ , Health News, ET HealthWorld

Geneva: Governments may have to reserve drugs and vaccines for the World Health Organization to distribute in poorer countries to avoid a repeat of the “catastrophic failure” during COVID-19, according to an early draft of a global pandemic agreement. One of the most concrete proposals in the draft accord reviewed by Reuters on Wednesday includes a measure to reserve 20 per cent of any tests, vaccines, or treatments developed for use in poorer countries. The draft also looks set to continue a long-running argument by calling for intellectual property rights…

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World ‘dangerously unprepared’ for next crisis: Red Cross, Health News, ET HealthWorld

Geneva: All countries remain “dangerously unprepared” for the next pandemic, the Red Cross warned on Monday, saying future health crises could also collide with increasingly likely climate-related disasters. Despite three “brutal” years of the Covid-19 pandemic, strong preparedness systems are “severely lacking”, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) said. The world’s largest humanitarian network said building trust, equity and local action networks were vital to get ready for the next crisis. “All countries remain dangerously unprepared for future outbreaks,” the IFRC said, concluding that governments…

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Covid-19: WHO panel debates COVID’s emergency status, Health News, ET HealthWorld

Geneva: The World Health Organization‘s emergency committee on Covid-19 was meeting Friday to discuss whether the pandemic still merits the highest level of global alert. WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus suggested the emergency phase of the pandemic is not over, pointing to surging numbers of deaths and warning that the global response to the crisis “remains hobbled”. “As we enter the fourth year of the pandemic, we are certainly in a much better position now than we were a year ago, when the Omicron wave was at its peak, and…

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WHO investigating links among cough syrup deaths, considers advice for parents, Health News, ET HealthWorld

New Delhi: The World Health Organization (WHO) is investigating whether there is any connection between manufacturers whose contaminated cough syrups it has linked to the deaths of more than 300 children in three countries. Citing “unacceptable levels” of toxins in the products, the WHO is seeking more information about the specific raw materials used by six manufacturers in India and Indonesia to produce medicines linked to the recent deaths, as well as whether the companies obtained them from some of the same suppliers, the person said. The WHO has not…

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Cooperation needed among multilateral organisations to deal with future outbreaks: Poonawalla, Health News, ET HealthWorld

Davos: Vaccine maker Serum Institute of India CEO Adar Poonawalla has called for global harmonisation or regulatory standards and said that cooperation among multilateral organisations is a must for dealing with future outbreaks. Speaking during the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2023, he said he is optimistic about the cooperation. As several leaders here warned against any complacency on the Covid front, Poonawalla said, “We need to keep educating people and dispel vaccine hesitancy”. Serum Institute of India (SII) emerged as one of the largest vaccine makers in the world…

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Strong supporter of global health agenda set under India’s G20 Presidency, says WHO envoy, Health News, ET HealthWorld

Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala): The World Health Organization envoy for multilateral affairs at the G20, Stephanie Seydoux called the global health body a very strong supporter of the health agenda set by India in its G20 Presidency and said that it is indeed very ambitious. Calling it well-focused, Seydoux said that the agenda speaks about the priorities of the day. “WHO is a very strong supporter of the global health agenda which is set by India’s presidency and which is also supported by G20 members and participants,” the WHO envoy told reporters…

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Vaccine death case: Bombay High Court may hear plea soon, Health News, ET HealthWorld

The Bombay High Court is likely to take up this week a petition filed by a man who has blamed side effects of Covid-19 vaccine for his daughter’s death two years ago and sought a ₹1,000 crore compensation from the vaccine’s manufacturer. “The matter will be heard on January 20,” Shubham Lunawat, the brother of the deceased woman, told ET. The court had in September sought a response to the petition from vaccine manufacturer Serum Institute of India, the government and Bill Gates, whose Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation had…

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Bill: ‘Not right’ for us to be key global health funder -Gates CEO, Health News, ET HealthWorld

London: It is not right for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to play such a big role in global health funding, but the group will not back away until others step up, its chief executive said. The Gates Foundation has faced criticism that it has too much power and influence in the global health realm, including within the World Health Organization, without the requisite accountability. In his annual letter released on Tuesday, chief executive Mark Suzman hit back at the criticism as he revealed that the foundation would spend…

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Marion cough syrup not sold in any other country: WHO, Health News, ET HealthWorld

Marion cough syrup not sold in any other country: WHO, Health News, ET HealthWorld

The World Health Organization (WHO) on Friday told ET that so far it has not identified any other country where India’s Marion Biotech could have sold the paediatric cough syrups that have been linked to deaths in Uzbekistan. “This is still under review with no further countries formally identified,” the WHO said in an email response to ET. The WHO also said that it is waiting for the results of investigations by the Indian regulatory authority to have a better understanding of the scope, potential public, and risk to the…

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