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infectious diseases

Drug resistant malaria spreads in South East Asia

Drug resistant malaria parasites are spreading rapidly in South East Asia, according to researchers from Thailand and the United Kingdom.

The drug resistant parasites have spread from Cambodia into Thailand, Laos and Vietnam, according to a study published in the journal The Lancet Infectious Diseases.

Between 2008 and 2013, a multidrug resistant strain of malaria spread across Cambodia causing high rates of treatment failure with the frontline combination therapy dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock says he will not rule out 'compulsory vaccination'

Health Secretary Matt Hancock has said he would not rule out ‘compulsory vaccination,’ as he argued that those spreading anti-vaccine myths had “blood on their hands”.

The Health Secretary suggested that “we need to consider all options" when it comes to increasing vaccine coverage.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4, Hancock said: “I do think we need to consider all options. Failure to vaccinate when there isn’t a good reason is wrong. Those people who campaign against vaccination are campaigning against science. The science is settled.”  

HIV cannot be transmitted when viral load is undetectable, study shows

The risk of transmitting HIV through gay sex when the infected partner’s HIV load has been fully supressed by antiretroviral drugs is effectively zero, according to a study published in The Lancet.

 The findings support the message of the U=U (undetectable equals untransmittable) campaign in confirming that HIV cannot be transmitted via homosexual sex when the infected partner’s viral load is undetectable.

Funding to fight malaria falls $2 billion short of WHO target, study shows

Global spending on the fight against malaria has stalled, falling $2 billion short of World Health Organization (WHO) targets, according to a study from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME).

Total spending on the fight against malaria reached $4.3 billion in 2016. However the figure falls far short of the goal of $6.6 billion set by the WHO.

New Yorkers must be vaccinated or face a fine

A public health emergency has been declared in New York following an outbreak of measles. Residents of certain postcodes in Brooklyn have thus been told to get vaccinated or face a fine.

There have been 285 cases of measles in the particular Brooklyn postcodes since the 30 September, 246 of which were in children, according to New York health commissioner Oxiris Barbot.

Of the 285 people who were infected with measles 21 were hospitalised while five were admitted into intensive care. However no-one has, as of yet, died.

Indian measles vaccination campaign saved tens of thousands of lives

Image Credit: CDC Global

A measles vaccination campaign saved tens of thousands of children’s lives in India between 2010 and 2013, according to a report published in the journal eLife.

The findings instil new hope that with continued diligence and high rates of immunisation, measles could be eliminated in India.

However the infection still remains a significant cause of mortality in children under five years old, with much of the burden of mortality and transmission carried in Asia and Africa.

Reformulated OxyContin led to spike in Hepatitis C infections

Efforts to create an “abuse deterrent” OxyContin pill inadvertently led to an increase in the number of Hepatitis C infections, according to a report from the US think-tank, RAND Corporation.

In 2010, Purdue Pharma reformulated its signature pain drug OxyContin, with the aim of making it harder to crush or ingest nasally. The move was intended to make the opioid drug harder to abuse.

Takeda's dengue vaccine proves efficacious in massive Phase 3 trial

Takeda’s dengue vaccine candidate TAK-003, has proved efficacious in preventing dengue fever in healthy children and adolescents in an ongoing Phase 3 trial.

The tetravalent vaccine, which was found to be well tolerated, met its primary efficacy endpoint in a pivotal Phase 3 trial.

“We are very encouraged by the performance of our dengue vaccine candidate in the study. This brings us one step closer to helping the world tackle the massive burden of dengue,” said Dr Rajeev Venkayya, President of the Global Vaccine Business Unit at Takeda.

Global Fund seeks £11bn as progress slows in fight against malaria, TB and HIV

The Global Fund is seeking £11 billion worth of investment in an attempt to save 16 million lives in the fight against malaria, tuberculosis (TB) and HIV. The fund aims to cut the number of deaths from malaria, TB and HIV in half, by 2023.

The Autumn 2018 edition of Pharmafile is available to read online now!

The Autumn 2018 edition of Pharmafile, our long-running bi-annual guide to the latest trends, projections and thought leadership positions in the pharmaceutical and life sciences industries, is now available to read online.

In this new edition of our revamped format, Pharmafile centres on three specially selected therapeutic areas: infectious diseases, rare diseases, and immunology.

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