News & Perspective

Dec 23, 2011

Dec 23, 2011

Fears about mutant H5N1 hinge on ferrets as flu model

(CIDRAP News) – In the influenza literature, it's a given that ferrets are the best animal model for influenza in humans. They show similar clinical signs of disease, such as fever, coughing, and sneezing, and flu viruses that spread among humans usually spread in ferrets as well.

Dec 20, 2011

Dec 20, 2011

US government urges journals to omit details of two H5N1 studies

(CIDRAP News) – In an unprecedented move, the US government, following an advisory panel's advice, has asked the journals Science and Nature to omit key details of two studies on the transmissibility of dangerous mutant strains of H5N1 influenza viruses in ferrets on grounds that the information could be misused by bioterrorists.

Dec 16, 2011

Dec 16, 2011

Auditor faults FDA oversight of food inspections by states

(CIDRAP News) – A federal auditor has found that the US Food and Drug Administration's (FDA's) management of food inspections by state officials on the FDA's behalf has a number of weaknesses, including a failure in several states to ensure that inspections are completed and problems corrected.

Dec 15, 2011

Dec 15, 2011

GAO report, executive rule target drug shortages

(CIDRAP News) – The US Government Accountability Office (GAO) today said drug shortages tripled over the past decade while in related news the Obama administration announced steps to address the problem.

Marcia Crosse, PhD, the GAO's director of healthcare, presented a GAO report today during testimony on prescription drug shortages before the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP).

Dec 13, 2011

Dec 13, 2011

Novartis says cell-based flu vaccine facility ready to produce

(CIDRAP News) – Novartis's new cell-culture based influenza vaccine factory in North Carolina has begun making a prepandemic H5N1 flu vaccine and is ready to start producing vaccines for a real pandemic when needed, the company and federal health officials announced yesterday.

The facility in Holly Springs, N.C., billed as the first of its kind in the United States, was dedicated yesterday after a long testing process.

Dec 05, 2011

Dec 05, 2011

CDC sees improving flu vaccine uptake in kids, health workers

(CIDRAP News) – Officials from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said today they see promising signs of increased flu vaccine uptake in children and healthcare workers so far this year, adding that they hope to boost less impressive numbers in adults and those with chronic medical conditions.

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