Category: US news

  • Martin Shkreli barred from drug industry and fined $64.6m by US court

    Friday ruling came after FTC and seven states brought a case against Shkreli, nicknamed the ‘Pharma Bro’ Martin Shkreli, the pharmaceutical entrepreneur vilified for astronomically hiking the price of a life-saving drug, has been barred for life from the pharmaceutical industry and fined $64.6m by a US court. The Friday ruling came after the Federal […]

  • Covid pills are ‘very promising’ – but what are the challenges in using them?

    Paxlovid and molnupiravir were authorized by the US FDA last week, but supplies of Paxlovid are limited while molnupiravir is less effective than hoped An effective and widely available treatment for Covid would be a major breakthrough for managing the pandemic, but two antivirals recently authorized in the US come with some significant caveats, including […]

  • More options for Covid treatments in January as FDA approves two antiviral pills

    The approval comes as reports of shortages in monoclonal antibody treatment arise and cases spike People at greater risk of becoming seriously ill from Covid-19 will likely have more treatment options in January. That’s the forecast in the wake of the US Food and Drug Administration’s approval this week of the first two antiviral pills […]

  • UK, EU and US ‘get more Covid vaccines in six weeks than Africa has all year’

    Analysis from People’s Vaccine Alliance highlights gulf as it calls for dose recipes to be shared Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage The UK, European Union and the US have received more doses of Covid-19 vaccines in the past six weeks than African countries have all year, according to analysis from the […]

  • FDA expected to approve Covid treatment pills within days

    Agency will give go-ahead for Pfizer and Merck to launch groundbreaking oral treatments perhaps this week US federal regulators are expected to approve the first pills to treat Covid-19 as early as this week, it was reported on Tuesday. According to sources quoted by Bloomberg News, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will give the […]

  • US sanctions Chinese drugmakers amid addiction epidemic

    Biden administration targets four chemical companies and man said to be world’s leading producer of anabolic steroids The US has imposed sanctions on Chinese painkiller makers – including one man described as the biggest producer of anabolic steroids in the world – as it vowed to step up action to curb the addiction epidemic that […]

  • Don’t strip the Sackler name from museums. It’s a visceral reminder of human greed

    New York’s Metropolitan Museum has cut public ties with the Purdue Pharma opioid-crisis family. But its name is now as thought-provoking as much of the world’s art A moment of silence, so we can all appreciate how gracious the Sackler family is. Yes, the family business, Purdue Pharma, is infamous for aggressively marketing the prescription […]

  • US author to give away £10,000 prize cash over role of sponsor in opioid crisis

    Investigative reporter Patrick Radden Keefe will give money from business book of the year shortlisting to charity over involvement of McKinsey firm The American writer Patrick Radden Keefe has said he will give away the £10,000 he was awarded by a book prize whose sponsor helped to sell the opioid painkiller OxyContin. Radden Keefe’s damning […]

  • Johnson & Johnson to spin off consumer arm to focus on medical division

    Shake-up is the biggest in healthcare company’s 135-year history and follows similar moves by rivals Healthcare giant Johnson & Johnson is to spin off its consumer arm, known for its Band-Aid plasters, baby shampoo and Listerine mouthwash, to focus on developing medicines and medical devices. The New Jersey-headquartered firm, which employs 136,000 people worldwide, said […]

  • Pfizer Covid pills highly effective at preventing deaths, trial suggests

    Antiviral pill taken at home can cut rate of hospital admission and death by nearly 90%, says drugmaker Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage Pfizer has said that its experimental antiviral pill for Covid-19 cut rates of hospital admission and death by nearly 90%, as the drugmaker joins the race to bring […]

  • Pfizer asks US to allow Covid vaccines for children ages five to 11

    Jabs could begin within weeks if US government approves request, with children getting a third of dose given to adults Pfizer asked the US government Thursday to allow use of its Covid-19 vaccine in children ages five to 11 – and if regulators agree, shots could begin within a matter of weeks. Many parents and […]

  • Henrietta Lacks’ estate sues drug company that sold her cells

    Lacks’s estate is asking Thermo Fisher to pay back the full profits gained over 70 years of using her cells without consent The estate of Henrietta Lacks sued a pharmaceutical company on Monday, accusing it of selling cells that doctors at Johns Hopkins hospital took in 1951 without her knowledge or consent. The cells taken […]

  • Coronavirus treatments: the potential ‘game-changers’ in development

    After positive clinical trials for antiviral drug Molnupiravir, it joins other medicines that have shown promise Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage The first clinical trial results showing a positive effect for a pill that can be taken at home has been hailed as a potential gamechanger that could provide a new […]

  • Welsh scientist makes potential $539m fortune from biotech flotation in US

    Value of Andrew Hopkins’ Exscientia firm reaches market value of $2.9bn in Nasdaq IPO A Welsh scientist who dreamed up his artificial intelligence biotech company while walking home from the laboratory is sitting on a potential $539m (£400m) paper fortune after its $2.9bn stock market float. The idea for Exscientia, an Oxford-based firm that uses […]

  • Covid-19 vaccines: the contracts, prices and profits

    Raised charges and Covax deals on order books of Pfizer, BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage Two US companies, Pfizer and Moderna, have raised the prices of their Covid-19 vaccines after data from clinical trials showed their mRNA formula was more effective than cheaper vaccines from Britain’s AstraZeneca […]

  • Carlyle ups bid for inhaler firm Vectura, trumping tobacco giant Philip Morris

    Offer for UK company from Marlboro cigarettes maker had alarmed medical experts US private equity firm Carlyle has made an improved £958m takeover offer for British inhaler maker Vectura, trumping an earlier bid from tobacco company Philip Morris International that had alarmed medical experts. Carlyle said on Friday it would offer 155p a share for […]

  • US officials call for more data on vaccine boosters as Pfizer pushes for third shot

    • Pharma company presses case with senior health officials • WHO urges priority for nations with low Covid vaccination rates Pfizer, the pharmaceutical company that created one of the first Covid-19 vaccines to be approved, has been making a hard sell for emergency approval of boosters – additional doses given to those already vaccinated, especially […]

  • Pfizer pushes for booster shots as WHO says greed is driving vaccine disparities

    • Pharmaceutical company seeks FDA approval for third dose • Companies urged to instead prioritise less wealthy countries After a sharp increase in US Covid cases and amid fears of a surge of the Delta variant, Pfizer on Monday said it was seeking federal authorisation for third doses of its Covid-19 vaccine to be delivered […]

  • FDA calls for investigation into its contacts with Alzheimer’s drug maker

    • Acting commissioner refers agency to inspector general • Biogen Inc’s drug Aduhelm controversially approved last month The US drug regulator has called for an independent federal investigation into the interactions between its representatives and Biogen Inc that led to the approval of the company’s Alzheimer’s disease drug last month. The drugmaker’s shares fell 3% […]

  • US drugmaker Regeneron under fire for ‘excessive’ payouts to executives

    Advisory groups questioned whether the upfront payouts were in the best interests of shareholders The US drugmaker Regeneron, whose Covid treatment was hailed as a “cure” by Donald Trump last year, has come under fire from two influential shareholder advisory groups over “excessive” payouts made to its top executives ahead of its annual meeting on […]

  • Ronald Cresswell obituary

    Pharmaceutical researcher with a flair for business who brought a string of vital drugs to market In 1960 the chemist Ronald Cresswell, who has died aged 86, had a lucky break. As a result of travelling from Glasgow to take up a post in New York he attended a conference of the American Chemical Society, […]

  • Helen Murray Free obituary

    Chemist who transformed medical screening by developing glucose dipsticks In the 1950s the US chemist Helen Murray Free, who has died aged 98, was responsible for developing glucose dipsticks. Their use led to much simpler medical screening methods that are still widely used today for pregnancy tests, the diagnosis and monitoring of diabetes, and to […]

  • Moderna jab stops Covid transmission in people aged 12 to 18, trial finds

    Moderna becomes second manufacturer to announce successful trial results in younger people Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage Mass vaccination of children against Covid-19 moved a step closer as Moderna became the second manufacturer to announce successful trial results, showing its vaccine can stop transmission in people aged 12 to 18. Pfizer/BioNTech’s […]

  • Delay in giving second jabs of Pfizer vaccine improves immunity

    Study finds antibodies against Sars-CoV-2 three-and-a-half times higher in people vaccinated again after 12 weeks rather than three Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage The UK’s decision to delay second doses of coronavirus vaccines has received fresh support from research on the over-80s which found that giving the Pfizer/BioNTech booster after 12 […]

  • How US companies could use patients’ data from Covid vaccine drive

    Privacy advocates warn retail pharmacies in particular are blurring the line between public health and commerce Data rights organizations have warned that patients lack a clear understanding of how information about their health, employment, contact or location details may be used if it is collected by private entities during the Covid-19 vaccine drive. Some advocates […]

  • US support for Covid vaccine patent waivers puts pressure on EU and UK

    Analysis: Joe Biden’s support for idea is vital but it won’t happen without backing of other rich nations Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage It was a “seismic decision” by Joe Biden, the US president, say campaigners who have fought for the demolition of patent protection on vaccines and drugs for decades. […]

  • Pfizer forecasts $26bn from annual sales of Covid-19 vaccine

    Vaccine will generate 73% more than forecast based on contracts signed until mid-April Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage US drugmaker Pfizer expects to make $26bn (£19bn) in revenues from sales of its Covid-19 vaccine this year, with its soaraway product accounting for more than a third of the company’s annual income. […]

  • AstraZeneca revenues up as it delivers jab to 120 countries via Covax

    Quarterly results from Anglo-Swedish producer of Covid vaccine show better-than-expected 15% rise Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage AstraZeneca has generated $275m (£197m) in revenues from its Covid vaccine in the first three months of the year and shipped 48m doses to 120 countries through the global vaccine-sharing initiative Covax. Most of […]

  • Emergent chief sold $10m in stock before company ruined 15m Covid vaccines

    Stock unloaded by Robert G Kramer would now be worth only $5.5m while FDA report found unsanitary conditions at plant Coronavirus – live news The chief executive of the pharmaceutical giant Emergent BioSolutions sold $10m in company stock weeks before the publication of the company’s financial results and a production error that ruined 15m Covid-19 […]

  • Pfizer finds Covid vaccine safe and effective for children 12 to 15

    Drug firm in partnership with BioNTech to seek US approval after trials found vaccine ‘well-tolerated’ in school-age children Pfizer plans to seek emergency approval for its Covid vaccine in younger people after a US trial found the jab prevented the disease and was “well-tolerated” in 12- to 15-year-olds. Related: Germany restricts use of AstraZeneca jab […]

  • GSK fires former US vaccine chief Moncef Slaoui over harassment allegation

    Drugmaker dismisses former research boss from role at Galvani Bioelectronics GSK has dismissed its former research boss Moncef Slaoui, who became US national vaccine chief under Donald Trump, after an independent investigation found that he sexually harassed one of its female employees. GSK said it had terminated Slaoui’s role at Galvani Bioelectronics, a joint venture […]

  • US agency questions AstraZeneca’s Covid vaccine trial data

    Drug firm may have provided incomplete view of efficacy data from US trial, says safety monitor Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage The Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine against Covid has been dealt another blow within hours of AstraZeneca posting excellent results from its long-awaited big trial in the US. Questions have been raised in […]

  • Purdue Pharma unveils $10bn opioid settlement plan to exit from bankruptcy

    Plan is backed by $4bn from Sackler family Most parties onboard but Democratic attorneys general oppose Purdue Pharma is proposing a $10bn plan to emerge from bankruptcy that calls for it to be transformed into a company funnelling profits into the fight against the opioid crisis. Those efforts would include a significant boost – more […]

  • Purdue Pharma unveils $10bn opioid settlement plan to exit from bankruptcy

    Plan is backed by $4bn from Sackler family Most parties onboard but Democratic attorneys general oppose Purdue Pharma is proposing a $10bn plan to emerge from bankruptcy that calls for it to be transformed into a company funnelling profits into the fight against the opioid crisis. Those efforts would include a significant boost – more […]

  • Johnson & Johnson one-shot Covid vaccine gets nod from FDA advisory panel

    Vaccine, along with those from Pfizer and Moderna, should provide US with more than enough supply to vaccinate every person The battle against Covid-19 took a major step forward on Friday as the US moved closer to distributing its first one-shot Covid-19 vaccine, after an independent expert advisory panel recommended drug regulators authorize the Johnson […]

  • Moderna forecasts $18bn in sales of Covid vaccine this year

    Better than expected revenues will push US firm founded in 2010 into profit for first time Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage Moderna expects to rake in $18.4bn (£13bn) of sales from its coronavirus vaccine this year, marking a huge turnaround in the fortunes of the US biotech firm. The expected revenue […]

  • Pharmaceutical giants not ready for next pandemic, report warns

    Ten of the world’s most infectious diseases identified by the WHO not being catered for by drug firms The world’s biggest pharmaceutical firms are little prepared for the next pandemic despite a mounting response to the Covid-19 outbreak, an independent report has warned. Jayasree K Iyer, executive director of the Netherlands-based Access to Medicine Foundation, […]

  • EU’s Covid vaccination debacle is down to institutional inflexibility

    Supply delays underline there was no legal or economic justification for central planning A storm is raging over the EU’s failure to have ordered more of the approved Covid-19 vaccines ahead of time. Stéphane Bancel, the CEO of the US pharmaceutical company Moderna, which gained approval for its vaccine shortly after Pfizer/BioNTech, claims that the […]

  • Analysis: is it wise for England to mix and match Covid vaccines?

    US experts warn against plan to give different second jab if supplies run low Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage The UK is setting the pace around the world in the approval and use of Covid vaccines but, while other countries watch intently, not all are yet prepared to embrace what looks […]

  • British American Tobacco wins approval to test Covid vaccine on humans

    Treatment grown on tobacco plants gets US backing for clinical study Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage British American Tobacco has moved a step closer to producing a vaccine for coronavirus using tobacco plants, as it won approval in the US to begin testing on humans. The company behind cigarette brands including […]

  • AstraZeneca shares slump after it agrees $39bn Alexion buyout

    Britain’s biggest drugmaker offers 45% premium for shares of US rare diseases specialist AstraZeneca shares fell sharply after it agreed to a $39bn (£29bn) takeover of the US rare diseases specialist Alexion, the biggest deal in its history if it goes ahead. Investors sold off shares in the Anglo-Swedish drugmaker over fears it was paying […]

  • Covid vaccines: US regulator sceptical over AstraZeneca model

    Vaccine developed in Oxford criticised by FDA with efficacy rates and trials delaying official take-up Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage For a man presenting landmark results from trials of a vaccine that it is hoped will save the world from a devastating pandemic, Sir Menelas Pangalos did not look cheerful on […]

  • FDA: Pfizer Covid vaccine data fits with guidance on emergency authorization

    Comments raise hopes that the vaccine could soon be available to Americans aged 16 and above US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) staff said on Tuesday that data on Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine was in line with its guidance on emergency use authorization, raising hopes it could soon be available to Americans aged 16 and above. […]

  • BioNTech’s Covid vaccine is a triumph of innovation and immigration | Hans-Werner Sinn

    Pioneered by a Turkish-German couple, its significance exceeds its practical value The world took note when the German startup BioNTech announced its breakthrough in the development of a new type of vaccine to combat Covid-19. After testing tens of thousands of people, BioNTech’s vaccine has been shown to be 95% effective in providing protection for […]

  • Will everyone in the world have access to a Covid vaccine? – video explainer

    The hunt for a coronavirus vaccine is showing promise but it is premature to say the end of the pandemic is nigh. Several rich countries have signed a ‘frenzy of deals’ that could prevent many poor nations from getting access to immunisation until at least 2024. Also, many drug firms are potentially refusing to waive patents and other intellectual property rights […]

  • Purdue Pharma pleads guilty to criminal charges related to US opioid crisis

    OxyContin maker admits to actions aimed at boosting opioid prescriptions, including conspiring to defraud officials and offering illegal kickbacks Purdue Pharma pleaded guilty to criminal charges over the handling of its addictive prescription painkiller OxyContin, capping a deal with federal prosecutors to resolve an investigation into the drugmaker’s role in the US opioid crisis. During […]

  • First Americans may get Covid vaccine in December if US approves Pfizer request

    Pharmaceutical partners submitted bid to the FDA for vaccine to be reviewed and emergency authorization may occur within weeks It could take as little as three weeks for US regulators to approve Pfizer and partner BioNTech’s emergency authorization request for their Covid-19 vaccine – with the first Americans being offered the first inoculation outside clinical […]

  • Moderna Covid vaccine candidate almost 95% effective, trials show

    US-based biotech firm is latest to reveal impressive results from phase 3 trials of jab Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage The race for a coronavirus vaccine has received another shot in the arm with the US biotech firm Moderna becoming the latest to reveal impressive results from phase 3 trials of […]

  • BioNTech vaccine scientist says jab could halve Covid transmission

    Uğur Şahin ‘very confident’ vaccine candidate developed with Pfizer will cause big reduction in cases Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage The scientist behind the first potential Covid-19 vaccine to clear interim clinical trials says he is “very confident” the jab will reduce transmission of the disease, perhaps by 50%, resulting in […]

  • FTSE 100 recovers to highest level since June after vaccine unveiled

    Promising clinical data from Pfizer and BioNTech help the index to a £28bn one-day gain Optimism that a mass rollout of Covid-19 vaccines will lead to an economic recovery lifted stocks in London again on Tuesday, to their highest closing level in over four months. London’s FTSE 100 index of blue-chip shares rallied by nearly […]

  • Global markets: winners and losers as Covid vaccine hopes send shares surging

    But the news highlighted divergences in fortunes across sectors during the pandemic Global stock markets surge after Pfizer Covid vaccine news Nils Pratley: ‘A great day for humanity’ – and not bad for markets The FTSE 100 posted its biggest one-day gain since March on Monday after the drug companies Pfizer and BioNTech said their […]

  • Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine announcement is cause for cautious celebration

    Interim trial results are encouraging as scientists welcome news Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage It is not yet the end of the pandemic, but the announcement by Pfizer/BioNTech that their vaccine has been 90% successful in the vital large-scale trials has got even the soberest of scientists excited. These are interim […]

  • Johnson & Johnson pauses Covid vaccine trial over participant’s ‘unexplained illness’

    Company is unclear about whether patient was receiving vaccine or placebo in 60,000-patient study Johnson & Johnson has paused its Covid-19 vaccine trial due to an “unexplained illness” in a participant, the company confirmed. The pharmaceutical giant was unclear if the patient was administered a placebo or the experimental vaccine, and it’s not remarkable for […]

  • Demand surges for Regeneron drug that Trump claims ‘cures’ Covid-19

    Doctors say patients are seeking to participate in drug’s trials as Regeneron’s stock soar after president touts treatment Doctors are reporting a spike in enquiries by patients for an experimental Covid-19 drug cocktail after Donald Trump called the Regeneron Pharmaceuticals drug “a blessing from God” that is a “cure” for the virus. Two doctors involved […]

  • Provider of Trump Covid drug is president’s golf friend

    Link to drug company boss raises questions about ‘cure’ claims and exclusive access Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage New questions have emerged over the circumstances in which Donald Trump was given an experimental antibody drug cocktail produced by a golfing acquaintance to treat his coronavirus infection. As Trump wrongly hailed his […]

  • Trump’s steroid Covid treatment adds to confusion over health

    Dexamethasone ‘normally reserved for people going into respiratory failure’, says expert Trump coronavirus treatment – live updates The latest intervention from Donald Trump’s medical team has been to put the president on dexamethasone, a steroid that is proven, thanks to the UK’s Recovery trial, to benefit Covid-19 patients who are having breathing difficulties. But the […]

  • Anti-Covid treatments being given to Trump are still unproven, say experts

    Neither remdesivir nor REGN-COV2 have completed large-scale randomised trials, say UK scientists Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage Scientists still lack conclusive proof that the two anti-Covid drugs given to Donald Trump are clinically effective. UK researchers point out that both medicines – remdesivir and REGN-COV2 – have still to complete the […]

  • Katie Porter lambasts big pharma over cancer drug price hike using whiteboard calculations – video

    US representative Katie Porter used her now-signature whiteboard as she questioned former Celgene CEO Mark Alles over the connection between the significant price hike for Revlimid, a common cancer drug, and his personal bonus. The Democratic congresswoman for California presented her argument during a House oversight and reform committee hearing that centred on an 18-month investigation into […]

  • Oleandrin: Trump allies pitch extract from poisonous plant to fight Covid

    Experts raise concern over compound that has not been proven safe but could reach public as dietary supplement Allies of Donald Trump have promoted a plant extract called oleandrin to people seeking to ward off Covid-19. The plant the extract is derived from, oleander, is poisonous and there is no proof the compound is either […]

  • Oxford University Covid-19 vaccine firm denies Trump talks

    AstraZeneca says it has not discussed ‘emergency use authorisation’ with the US Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage The company manufacturing the Oxford University coronavirus vaccine has denied it is in talks with the Trump administration about fast-tracking its vaccine for emergency use ahead of November’s presidential elections. With both Russia and […]

  • Purdue Pharma escaped serious charges over opioid in 2006, memo shows

    A justice department document shows prosecutors recommended the OxyContin face wire fraud and money-laundering charges A Department of Justice internal memorandum obtained by the Guardian shows that government prosecutors found evidence that executives at the drugs giant Purdue Pharma may have committed multiple crimes, including wire fraud and money laundering, to boost sales of its […]

  • Trump has no problem letting billionaires profit off the pandemic | Robert Reich

    The president thinks that as long as they buoy the stock market, they’re helping the US economy – and that’s pure rubbish Since the start of the pandemic, American billionaires have been cleaning up. As more than 50 million Americans filed for unemployment insurance, billionaires became $637bn richer. Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg’s wealth has ballooned 59%. […]

  • Covid-19: Gilead Sciences urged to study drug that showed promise with cats

    Activists accuse company of pushing remdesivir to boost profit GS-441524 has been used to treat a coronavirus in cats Coronavirus – latest global updates Activists are calling on the pharmaceutical firm Gilead Sciences to study a drug for the treatment of Covid-19 that showed promise in curing cats of a coronavirus. The drug, called GS-441524, […]

  • Activists see Purdue bankruptcy case as last chance to call Sacklers to account

    The family behind the firm that made OxyContin denies wrongdoing – but numerous cases against them have been halted while a court deliberates With most Americans transfixed for months by the election, Donald Trump’s impeachment, the coronavirus and economic catastrophes and anti-racism protests, the nation’s opioids crisis risks becoming “the forgotten epidemic”. But millions of […]

  • Jonathan Sackler, joint owner of opioid maker Purdue Pharma, dies aged 65

    Former pharmaceutical executive died of cancer on 30 June Sackler was named as defendant in key opioid lawsuits Jonathan Sackler, one of the owners of Purdue Pharma, the maker of the controversial opioid prescription painkiller OxyContin has died, the company confirmed on Monday. Sackler died on 30 June, according to a court filing. He was […]

  • WHO says trials show malaria and HIV drugs don’t cut Covid-19 hospital deaths

    Hydroxychloroquine and lopinavir/ritonavir not found to help patients in hospital Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage The World Health Organization (WHO) said on Saturday that it was discontinuing its trials of the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine and combination HIV drug lopinavir/ritonavir for patients in hospital with Covid-19 after they failed to reduce mortality. […]

  • US secures world stock of key Covid-19 drug remdesivir

    No other country will be able to buy remdesivir, which can help recovery from Covid-19, for next three months at least Coronavirus – latest US updates Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage The US has bought up virtually all the stocks for the next three months of one of the two drugs […]