Pharma News for the week of February 15, 2021

The United Kingdom will begin “human trial” studies, the first in the world, to discover how much Covid-19 virus it takes to infect a healthy individual. This study will also attempt to understand how the Covid-19 virus impacts people. (CNBC)

In the continued attempt by the Biden administration to rebuild relationships with international agencies, the United States will be paying the World Health Organization (WHO) $200 millions in back owed dues. This will significantly help the WHO in its mission to expand the distribution of the vaccine and to combat misinformation regarding Covid-19. (CNBC)

With the continued shortage of medical supplies for frontline healthcare workers, it has been found out that millions of N95 masks are counterfeit. 3M, the largest U.S. manufacturer of the N95 mask, has seized more than 10 million fraudulent masks in the past year. The interesting thing about the most recent seizures of the fake N95 masks, is that they work almost as well as legitimate masks which is confusing to the people tasked with stopping the influx of these fakes. (NBC)

With the recent rollout of the vaccine for Covid-19, it has come out that North Korean hackers tried to steal vaccine information from Pfizer. As of now it’s not known if the hack was successful and this isn’t the first time North Korea has tried this. In 2020 they hacked into nine pharma companies that were in the process of developing a vaccine for the pandemic. This latest attempt highlights the lack of transparency regarding North Korea in general and the impact that Covid-19 might be having on that country specifically. (FORBES)