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Media Monitoring: 25 – 31 January

By January 31, 2024No Comments

Warnings of bare R+D pipeline for top pathogens with pandemic potential, as latest 100 Days Mission report launched

  • New analysis reveals limited approved tests, treatments and vaccines for WHO priority pathogens, except COVID-19 and Ebola Zaire.
  • Progress made in vaccines R&D in 2023, but diagnostics and therapeutics underfunded and lagging.
  • Partners come together in Rome as Italy’s G7 Presidency gets underway to urge leaders to break cycle of ‘panic and neglect’ and keep pandemic preparedness on the agenda in 2024.

 

New laws to introduce digital labelling for businesses and reduce regulation costs

  • New legislation to introduce digital labelling for British businesses to cut red tape and save millions in unnecessary regulation costs.
  • Recognition of CE marking continued for products such as toys and machinery, easing burdens to businesses.
  • Digital labelling reforms made possible by Brexit and ensures the UK’s regulatory requirements are fit for the modern world.

 

COVID and beyond: labs unite to boost genomic surveillance globally

  • Two laboratories in Britain and South Africa, which were at the forefront of tracking new coronavirus variants during the pandemic, have teamed up to keep the focus on genomic surveillance globally as the COVID emergency recedes.
  • The teams said they were worried governments and funders may pull back from such surveillance, despite its potential to better monitor many infectious diseases, from malaria to cholera.

 

Antimicrobial resistance and the great divide: inequity in priorities and agendas between the Global North and the Global South threatens global mitigation of antimicrobial resistance

  • In this Viewpoint, we argue that the diverging resource availabilities, needs, and priorities of the Global North and the Global South in terms of the actions required to mitigate the antimicrobial resistance pandemic are a direct threat to success.
  • We argue that evidence suggests a need to prioritise and support infection prevention interventions (ie, clean water and safe sanitation, increased vaccine coverage, and enhanced infection prevention measures for food production in the Global South contrary to the focus on research and development of new antibiotics in the Global North) and to recalibrate global funding resources to address this need.
  • We call on global leaders to redress the current response, which threatens mitigation of the antimicrobial resistance pandemic.

 

Blair and Hague report: Sell NHS data to fund medical advances

  • Former Labour Prime Minister Tony Blair and former Conservative Leader William Hague have written an op-ed for The Times arguing that the NHS should sell access to anonymised medical records to help develop cutting-edge treatments.
  • The two old sparring partners say that harnessing the upcoming revolution in biotechnology and AI should become “a new national purpose,” as it will be central to future economic growth.
  • In their joint report, Blair and Hague say that Britain’s leading role in life sciences and other technology is “at risk of complacency.” The report on biotechnology is the third published by Mr Blair and Lord Hague after addressing innovation and artificial intelligence last year.

 

The ongoing saga of the in vitro diagnostics regulation

  • The In Vitro Diagnostics Devices Regulation follows the path of its “sister” regulation on medical devices as the European Commission has extended the implementation guidelines for both legislations due to delays in compliance.
  • The Commission released on Tuesday (23 January) a proposal to review the timelines for companies to comply with the regulation to ensure availability and avoid shortages. While EU institutions and stakeholders agree with the extension the reasons for the difficulties in adherence to the rules create disagreements.
  • The medical devices and in vitro diagnostics regulations entered into force in 2017 and applied in May 2021 and 2022, respectively. However, the transition is taking longer than expected, forcing the Commission to propose new timelines.

 

‘Landmark moment’: UK’s first regular drug testing service to open in Bristol

  • The UK’s first regular drug testing service is to open on Saturday in Bristol with a Home Office licence, marking a significant progressive shift in government policy.
  • The testing will allow people who are frequent or dependent users of drugs including heroin, crack, benzos and spice to check they are not contaminated with harmful cutting agents or adulterated with high-strength synthetic opioids such as nitazines or fentanyl.

 

Alzheimer’s blood test detects risk 15 years before symptoms (paywall)

 

NHS expands use of world-first test to detect serious illness in hours (paywall)

Dawn