Novartis to deliver flu vaccine weeks ahead of schedule
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. Worries over the influenza A (H1N1) virus have prompted one drug maker to deliver its seasonal flu vaccine weeks ahead of schedule.
Novartis announced Wednesday that it had started shipping its Fluvirin vaccine to healthcare facilities for the 2009-2010 flu season. The delivery began weeks ahead of schedule due to increased demand created by the A (H1N1) pandemic, though Fluvirin does not protect against the A (H1N1) strain.
“With the A (H1N1) influenza pandemic underway, it is important that we take every possible precaution to help protect U.S. citizens from all circulating strains of influenza,” Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics CEO Andrin Oswald said in a statement. “By receiving the seasonal influenza vaccine early, physicians and public health officials can better prepare for the upcoming flu season.”
Seasonal influenza results in the deaths of an estimated 36,000 people and hospitalization of 200,000 in the United States every year, mostly among the elderly and infirm.
Generex appoints Rubinfeld as chief scientific adviser
WORCESTER, Mass. One of the original founders of biotech giant Amgen has accepted an advisory position at a company that develops drugs delivered through the inner lining of the mouth.
Generex Biotechnology Corp. announced Tuesday the appointment of Joseph Rubinfeld as chief scientific adviser. The company said Rubinfeld would help the company develop and implement product commercialization plans for its drug delivery platform and synthetic vaccine platform technology programs.
Rubinfeld has worked in pharmaceutical and consumer product development for 50 years. His work has included helping develop the antibiotic amoxicillin and the first synthetic biodegradable detergent.
Becton, Dickinson and Co. to donate insulin injections through Direct Relief
FRANKLIN LAKES, N.J. A company that develops medical devices and technology plans to donate 5 million insulin syringes and pen needles to diabetes patients struggling to manage their disease because of the economic crisis.
Becton, Dickinson and Co. announced a nationwide program Tuesday to distribute the supplies through Direct Relief to more than 1,000 community health centers and free clinics.
“To avoid the debilitating and costly complications of diabetes, patients must effectively manage their conditions,” BD Medical – Diabetes Care president Linda Tharby said in a statement. “Insulin injections often play a vital role in this daily effort, and BD believes that patients who have fallen on tough times should not forego this critical part of their treatment regimen.”