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KAPI WEEKLY BRIEF: 18TH – 22ND JAN. 2021

Executive Summary

The Kenya Association of Pharmaceutical Industry (KAPI) is a membership organization, established in the late 1960s, representing biopharmaceutical manufacturers (or their local representatives) that through research invent and develop medicines and technologies (e.g., Biopharmaceuticals, Vaccine Healthcare, Medical devices, Diagnostics) that significantly improve people’s lives. KAPI represents the industry voice and promotes efficiency in the pharmaceutical industry to ensure that medical products and healthcare technologies of the highest quality can be readily available for diagnosis, prevention and treatment of diseases.

Weekly Brief:

This is a roundup of news allied to the biopharmaceutical industry with a bearing on our mission to improve access to lifesaving health products and technologies for positive health outcomes.

  • Larger trials needed to assess efficacy of tocilizumab in managing COVID-19. This follows conflicting findings from a study done in Brazil on the same drug published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ). (Reuters)
  • The US Government under President Biden and VP Kamala Harris recommits to WHO and plans to engage in supporting COVAX platform to support access to COVID-19 vaccines by poor countries. (AP News | AP News)
  • The World Health Organization (WHO) welcomes proposal by the European Commission to establish a treaty on Pandemic Preparedness keen on mobilizing political commitment at such critical times. (Reuters)
  • Three COVID-19 vaccines under final review by WHO for emergency use approval (Reuters)
  • “Equal access” to coronavirus vaccines is failing poor countries (POLITICO)
  • With emergence of new COVID-19 variants, vaccine efficacy against the new variants have been a concern. A study by Pfizer/BioNTech confirms efficacy of their vaccine against the UK variant of the virus. (Financial Times | STAT)
  • Global leaders make calls to rethink global public health governance for research and development on the backdrop of a raging pandemic. (South Center)
  • African children are consistently excluded from cancer clinical trials leading to high burden of cancer with no established therapies for this population. They are the unseen and the unheard. (BMJ Global Health)
  • WHO Executive Board discusses for the first time the importance of implementing mental health and psychosocial support services and activities. This will be expedited by endorsing the updated mental health action plan 2013 – 2030. (Relief Web)
  • Antibiotics overuse among pediatric patients which is rampant is driving the spike in antibiotic-resistant ‘superbugs’ in children’s hospitals. (Business Insider | Infectious Disease Society of America)
  • Drop in vaccination causes surge in global measles cases and deaths (JAMA)
  • Monthly Malaria Prophylaxis cuts child deaths in Sub-Saharan Africa (JAMA)
  • Progress towards ending TB at risk (Development Policy Center)
  • Gritstone Oncology a biotech company working on cancer vaccines adds COVID-19 vaccine to its pipeline with the hope of developing a vaccine effective against the entire family of viruses. (Fierce Biotech)
  • Single COVID-19 vaccine doses not as effective as earlier hoped. Study in Israel finds out. (Guardian)
  • COVID-19 vaccine shots to cost $3 to $ 10 under the African Union vaccine plan (Reuters)
  • COVAX is ready to deliver vaccines, WHO officials tell WHO Executive Board – but Regulatory Approvals still lagging for key COVAX products (Health Policy Watch)
  • Independent panel on pandemic preparedness and response presented a report on WHO with findings showing the agency is powerless with need for more funding and reforms. (France 24 | WSJ)
  • Executive Board members of the WHO call for diversification and reform of the agencies funding mechanisms to avoid budget crisis as was witnessed when US withdrew. (Health Policy Watch)
  • Nations propose strengthening of local manufacture of medicines and other health technologies to improve access to medicines during 148th Session of the WHO Executive Board Meeting. (WHO)
  • Africa CDC opens up COVID-19 vaccines pre-order programme for 55 AU countries (CGTN)
  • FDA approves first monthly injectable to treat HIV infection (STAT)

Thank You!!!