21. September 2011 12:47
Sanofi Pasteur is donating a vaccine strain used for polio eradication to the World Health Organization (WHO) to produce oral polio vaccines (OPV).
The vaccines division of Sanofi is providing the original viral seed which is used to produce large volumes of OPV against the type 3 virus.
Olivier Charmeil, President and CEO of Sanofi Pasteur, says the donation is a “logical next step” in the division’s “unconditional support to OPV producers”.
Since its inception in 1988 by WHO, Rotary International, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and UNICEF, the Global Polio Eradication Initiative reduced the number of polio cases across the globe by 99%.
Sanofi Pasteur has supported the Initiative for the last three decades and recently responded to a request from UNICEF by committing to provide 400 million doses of OPV for use in developing countries. The donation saw the amount of doses provided by Sanofi Pasteur exceed five billion doses of OPV to UNICEF.
“Sanofi Pasteur is a leading contributor to the fight against polio and committed supporter of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative," added Sanofi Pasteur’s President.
WHO will now be in full control of the storage of the vaccine strain and its distribution to vaccine producers across the globe.
1. August 2011 16:35
The Government has denied claims that deprived areas of England will lose out to affluent locations under NHS reforms.
The accusations come from Labour, highlighting figures suggesting that funding changes to primary care trusts will result in Manchester suffering cuts of £42million and Liverpool losing £33million.
This was contrasted with Surrey, who will receive an extra £61million, and Hampshire set to receive an increase of £52million.
Health Secretary Andrew Lansley rejected these claims, stating “We’re not taking money away from any parts of England, we’re increasing the budget for the health service in England.
“The average increase in each PCT is 3% compared to the provision the previous year. The minimum increase is 2.5%.”
Shadow Health Secretary John Healey said that the figures reveal that the Tories’ NHS plans will make inequality worse, not better: “The plans will hit services that help people stop smoking, promote healthy eating and exercise and raise awareness about the risks of sexually transmitted diseases.”
The Government stated that the funding changes were based on independent advice and that Labour's figures are misleading.
The DH said that a greater emphasis on the prevention of illness would assist those living in poorer parts of England in the future.
1. August 2011 11:23
Between 12,000 and 13,000 jobs are expected to go at Merck – despite the company posting $2bn profits last quarter.
Layoffs will be made at the company’s US headquarters in administrative functions and from the sale and closure of manufacturing plants.
Kenneth Frazier, Merck CEO, claims the “realities of our environment dictate the need to operate more flexibly and nimbly from a lower cost base”.
The reduction plan would save the company another $1.5bn from its annual cost base.
The new restructuring programme would add cuts related to the Schering-Plough merger in 2009, bringing overall savings to more than $4.5bn.
The job losses will mean that Merck will have cut almost a third (30%) of the workforce it had in 2009. The company said it had already cut more than 12,000 jobs last year, but net workforce reduction was less due to hiring in other areas.
Despite the job cuts, Merck aims to continue recruiting in emerging markets that have been targeted for growth after sales fell in the US and Europe following the loss of exclusivity of blockbuster allergy-and-asthma drug Singulair.