African Medicines Agency set in motion following 15 enactments from member states

GABON – The Republic of Gabon has become the 14th member state to deposit the instrument of ratification of the African Medicines Agency (AMA) to the AU Commission  after endorsing it on the 1st October 2021. The African Medicines Agency (AMA) is a proposed specialized agency of the African Union (AU) intended to facilitate the harmonization of medical regulation throughout the African Union. AMA aims to provide support for the improvement of weak regulatory systems. AMA will, among other functions, coordinate and strengthen ongoing initiatives to harmonize medical products regulation…

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Nordic countries halt Moderna vaccine use in males 30 years and below

FINLAND – Government authorities from the Nordic countries have announced that they will pause the use of Moderna’s mRNA COVID-19 vaccine for men born in 1991 and later due to reports of increased risk of rare cardiovascular side effects. This pronouncement comes a day after Swedish and Danish health officials announced a moratorium on the use of the Moderna vaccine for all young adults and children, citing concerns over rare side effects to the heart. “A Nordic study involving Finland, Sweden, Norway and Denmark found that men under the age…

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Goodlife Pharmacy partners Glovo for online sales, delivery of medical products

KENYA – Goodlife Pharmacy has listed its products on the Glovo Kenya app to enable customers to conveniently purchase over-the-counter medication, personal care, and beauty products. The pharmacy has announced partnering with the quick-commerce startup as part of a drive to encourage people to embrace online shopping, as the world continues to fight Covid-19. “This partnership with Goodlife has come at an important time for the country. As we continue to follow Government’s guidelines on combating Covid-19. Customers will be able to order their essentials through the Glovo app from…

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Merck in agreement with Singapore to supply molnupiravir for COVID-19 treatment

USA – Merck has announced a supply and purchase agreement to give Singapore access to its experimental oral Covid-19 antiviral drug, making Singapore the latest Asian country to try to secure supplies. The medication, known as molnupiravir, was shown in a phase three trial to reduce the risk of hospitalization or death by around 50 percent in adults with mild to moderate Covid. Molnupiravir is designed to introduce mutations into the genetic code of the virus to prevent the virus from replicating within the body and would be the first…

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Apex Health Ghana Inks tactical Insurance deal with SA’s Liberty Health

GHANA – South Africa’s Liberty Health has entered into a strategic partnership with Apex Health Insurance in Ghana where Liberty Health Cover products will be made available through Apex Health Insurance in Ghana. This will enable Apex Health Insurance to provide a comprehensive range of products, all approved by Ghanaian regulatory authorities, meeting multinational, corporate and SME client needs. According to Andrew Schwulst, CEO of Liberty Health, the strategic partnership has been some time in the making and the joint teams will have a values-driven and positive impact on the…

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AstraZeneca delivers first batch of Covid-19 in Antarctica

ANTARCTICA – The AstraZeneca Covid vaccine has finally reached the Antarctic, nine months after it was introduced. This week, it was flown in to immunize the 23 staff members who have been keeping the British Rothera research station operational throughout the polar winter. The AZ vaccine was delivered to Rothera via a nearly 10,000-mile journey that began with an RAF Voyager flight from Brize Norton and included stops in Senegal and the Falkland Islands. All the while, the doses had to be kept in a special transport container at the…

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Abbott Laboratories to avail more rapid COVID-19 test kits by end October

USA – Abbott Laboratories has announced that its rapid test device, BinaxNOW COVID-19 antigen Card, will be widely available again by the end of October. The FDA had granted emergency use authorization (EUA) to Abbott’s widely used BinaxNOW rapid test for use at home with a prescription via a virtually guided online service. Because of its small size can be used in less traditional settings where people can get results in minutes, bringing an alternate testing technology to combat the novel coronavirus. The BinaxNOW COVID-19 Ag Card can be used…

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Tanzania commits to publish Covid-19 reports weekly amid pressure from IMF

TANZANIA – Tanzania’s Health Minister Dorothy Gwajima, has said the country will publish Covid-19 numbers weekly, as a confirmation that the virus is a public health concern in the country. Tanzania submitted its last report on the virus to the World Health Organization (WHO) on January 3, 2021, when the country indicated there were 25,846 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and 719 deaths. However, the country has come under pressure to publish data on the spread of coronavirus as part of conditional approval of a US$574 million emergency loan from the…

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Nigeria’s pharma market battling recession despite being the continental manufacturing hub

NIGERIA – Nigeria, the country which hosts 60 percent of the pharmaceutical production capacity in Africa, is reported to experience a recess in growth, with the market currently estimated at US$1.5 billion to US$2.5 billion. The African pharmaceutical market is projected to grow between US$60 billion to US$70 billion after COVID-19, this is according to researchers under the Pharmaceutical Subsector Thematic Group of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund, TETFund, Research and Development Standing Committee, RDSC. Lead Presenter of the group and Director General of the National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research…

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Moderna throws its weight behind Africa’s pharma manufacturing with US$500M plant

AFRICA – Moderna has made known its intentions to put up a messenger RNA manufacturing plant in Africa to produce its Covid-19 vaccine and other jabs as the pharmaceutical industry fends off criticism it has not done enough to immunize the developing world. The company said it would spend up to US$500m to build a state-of-the-art facility in the continent within two to four years with the goal of eventually producing up to 500 million doses of vaccine each year. However, Moderna’s plans appeared to be at a relatively early…

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