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Month: November 2020

Pharmacist Council Moves to Facilitate Development of COVID-19 Remedies

Pharmacist Council Moves to Facilitate Development of COVID-19 Remedies

NEWS
The Pharmacist Council of Nigeria (PCN) has said that it is taking measures to assist members in getting their products certified. The Chairman of the Council, Prof. Ahmed Tijani Mora said that as healthcare practitioners, pharmacists are licensed to manufacture drugs and to distribute them across the country. Mora who briefed journalists on the outcome of the meeting of the council held recently, said that efforts are on to increase the production of hand sanitizers and other medical remedies for checking COVID-19 spread. “We have received report from our members in various university faculties and firms on challenges they are facing in getting certification from NAFDAC,” he said. According to him, the council has resolved to intensify its regulatory activities, adding that si
Non-Compliance: PCN Threatens to Shut Down Open Drug Markets

Non-Compliance: PCN Threatens to Shut Down Open Drug Markets

NEWS
The Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN), says it would shut down open drug markets in Onitsha, Aba and others across the country for non-compliance to the National Drug Distribution Guidelines (NDDG) policy. Dr Elijah Mohammed, PCN Registrar said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja on Tuesday. Mohammed noted that the closure of the drug markets became necessary following violations of drug distribution policy. He explained that the policy provided for the relocation of the open drug markets to a Coordinated Wholesale Centres (CWCs). The PCN boss said that a lot of emphasis was placed on operators of open drug markets being the biggest players in the NDDG framework. He said so far, PCN has registered several Mega Wholesale centres and they have al...
WHO Recommends against Using Remdesivir to Treat Covid-19

WHO Recommends against Using Remdesivir to Treat Covid-19

NEWS
The World Health Organization has updated its on-going guidance on Covid-19 medications to advice against using the antiviral drug remdesivir to treat hospitalized patients, no matter how severe their illness may be. According to the update, published in the medical journal the BMJ on Thursday, current evidence does not suggest remdesivir affects the risk of dying from Covid-19 or needing mechanical ventilation, among other important outcomes. WHO's new update comes about a month after the company Gilead Sciences, the maker of remdesivir, announced that the US Food and Drug Administration approved remdesivir for the treatment of coronavirus infection. The drug became the first coronavirus treatment to receive FDA approval. On Thursday, FDA gave emergency use authorization to a combin
WHO Identifies 48 ‘Candidate Vaccines’ as Front-Runners Emerge

WHO Identifies 48 ‘Candidate Vaccines’ as Front-Runners Emerge

NEWS
The World Health Organisation has identified 48 “candidate vaccines” at the stage of clinical trials in humans, up from 11 in mid-June. Twelve of them are at the most advanced “phase 3” stage, in which a vaccine’s effectiveness is tested on a large scale, generally tens of thousands of people across several continents. Dozens of companies, from biotech start-ups to Big Pharma, are racing to develop a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine, both to meet the urgent medical need and for the potential payday. Earlier this month, a US-German collaboration between Pfizer and BioNTech scored a breakthrough by announcing the results of its phase 3 trial for its mRNA vaccine. It said the vaccine had proven 90 per cent effective in preventing COVID-19 symptoms and did not produce
Taking Over-the-Counter Vitamin D Drug without Doctor’s Supervision Dangerous -Study

Taking Over-the-Counter Vitamin D Drug without Doctor’s Supervision Dangerous -Study

NEWS
Researchers say though Vitamin D could be bought over the counter at many pharmacies, taking the medication without the supervision of a physician is extremely dangerous. They warn that vitamin D is not beneficial in all its forms because vitamin D2, one of the forms of vitamin D, can be toxic to the body, though vitamin D3 is good for the body. They say this is because vitamin D is more complex than many people realize, though it is needed by the human body in order to grow and develop. Writing in Online portal Difference Between, clinical instructor of medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California Los Angeles, Dr. Soram Khalsa, says vitamin D is actually available in two forms — cholecalciferol and Ergocalciferol — better known as vitamin D3 and
$60 Experimental COVID-19 Vaccine Rolled out in China

$60 Experimental COVID-19 Vaccine Rolled out in China

NEWS
A $60 double-dose experimental COVID-19 vaccine is being made available to some residents in an eastern Chinese city, health officials have said, the first details of a mass rollout for an as-yet unproven vaccine. Officials in Jiaxing city said on Thursday that residents aged between 18 and 59 with “urgent needs” can seek consultations at clinics for a Sinovac Biotech vaccine that authorities have been giving to groups such as medical workers. The statement from Jiaxing’s centre for disease control and prevention, however, did not specify what constituted “urgent needs”. Authorities did not say how many people in the city had been given the vaccine, which comes in two doses, administered up to 28 days apart and costing a total of 400 yuan ($59). China has alre
Pfizer and BioNtech COVID-19 Vaccine sets the World in Comfort Mood

Pfizer and BioNtech COVID-19 Vaccine sets the World in Comfort Mood

Cover Stories, NEWS
After over eight months of COVID-19 induced trepidation across the world, humanity can now heave a sigh of relief as global pharmaceutical giants Pfizer and BioNTech announced on November 9 a major breakthrough in vaccine candidate against the deadly disease. The announcement provoked instantaneous waves of reactions from world leaders, scientists, and health experts though with a mixture of sentiments. United States President Donald Trump welcomed the development in an all caps tweet declaring “STOCK MARKET UP BIG, VACCINE IS COMING.”  “SUCH GREAT NEWS!” The vaccine breakthrough coincides with Trump’s assurances in September during a White House Press Briefing that a vaccine for effective prevention of the virus would be approved late October. Meanwhile, United States President-elect,
Making CBN’s Credit Support Fund Work

Making CBN’s Credit Support Fund Work

Editorial Opinion, NEWS
Recent reports affirming the receipt of the Central Bank of Nigeria credit support facility by a number of pharmaceutical industry operators raises the hope of a brighter future for the critical sector of the nation’s economy.  As at the last count about 15 operators have so far accessed the facility while another 15 are currently waiting for the apex bank’s approvals. The reports have also put paid to earlier speculations that the intervention may go the way of many developmental initiatives inaugurated by government that never went beyond paper work. CBN deserves commendation for the commitment in rolling the policy off the ground. As part of proactive measures to cushion the negative impact of coronavirus pandemic, the CBN had in March introduced a N100 billion credit support interven
UN Hails New Therapy to Prevent HIV in Women

UN Hails New Therapy to Prevent HIV in Women

NEWS, Women's health
The new anti-retroviral therapy cabotegravir could be a “game-changer” as a study shows it is many times more effective in preventing HIV in women as PrEP, the UNAIDS body said Monday. Injected in women every two months, cabotegravir is 89 per cent more effective in preventing HIV than daily pills of PrEP, pre-exposure prophylaxis, the UNAIDS body said. “UNAIDS has long been calling for additional, acceptable and effective HIV prevention options for women, and this could be a real game-changer,” its chief Winnie Byanyima said in a statement. “If donors and countries invest in rolling out access of injectable PrEP to women at higher risk of HIV, new infections could be dramatically reduced.” The trial involved more than 3,200 women between 18 and 45 years old who were at higher
Type 2 Diabetes Drug Metformin Recalled Due to Contamination with Possible Carcinogen

Type 2 Diabetes Drug Metformin Recalled Due to Contamination with Possible Carcinogen

NEWS
Two lots of a widely used type 2 diabetes medication, metformin, are being recalled due to possible contamination with a potentially cancer-causing compound. Metformin is designed to lower glucose levels. Nostrum Laboratories Inc, based in Kansas City, Missouri, announced Monday that it is voluntarily recalling its metformin HCl extended release tablets, USP 750 mg, according to a recall posted by the US Drug & Food Administration Testing revealed levels of nitrosamine, or NDMA, above acceptable limits in the recalled tablets. The chemical NDMA is considered a possible carcinogen by the US Environmental Protection Agency. It's an organic chemical used to make liquid rocket fuel and it can be a by-product of manufacturing, including pharmaceutical manufacturing. It's also found...