Pharma News for the week of January 18, 2021

Now that the vaccine for Covid-19 is being administered, the issue of an inconsistent supply of the vaccine has arisen. The Trump administration stated that there were plenty of doses of the vaccine available, but it has become apparent that is incorrect. California and New York, to name just two states, are warning that they could run out of the vaccine by this weekend. (CNBC)

In another move designed to bolster confidence in the scientific community and get actionable news out to the public by the Biden administration, the new incoming CDC director, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, says that the CDC will work to regain the public’s trust after the CDC’s image was badly tarnished to the point of being ignored during the Trump administration. (CNBC)

The WHO (World Health Organization) has been consistently raising the alarm that poorer countries are running the real risk of not being to afford (or even obtain) the Covid-19 vaccine due to the fact that richer countries are buying current and future doses at a price that the poor countries can’t afford. The moral implication of millions of people not being vaccinated (and running the real risk of dying) simply because of where they live or their governments inability to get them help through reasons that, in many cases, are out of their control needs to be addressed either by individual countries that have the vaccine or the United Nations. (CNBC)

While health insurers’ profits were up during 2020 because many people cancelled elective procedures, amongst other things, hospitals took a financial beating due to the same reason. However, in possibly a sign of things returning to normal, UnitedHealthcare reported 15 billion dollars in profit in the 4th quarter of 2020. Now with the Covid-19 vaccine becoming more available, the expectation is that hospital profits will begin to return to pre-virus levels as more people receive the vaccine. (CNBC)