Pharma News for the week of July 27, 2020

While minorities have been impacted in disproportionately high numbers by COVID-19, a recent poll has shown that amongst Blacks and Hispanics, nearly half of the respondents would stay home even if they were experiencing symptoms of a stroke or heart attack due to their fear of going to a hospital during the pandemic. (Drugs)

The FDA has issued a warning about using hand sanitizers that contain menthol (or wood alcohol) since it is used in fuel and antifreeze and could, at a minimum, cause illness and in a worst case scenario, death. The FDA is working towards banning the importation of hand sanitizers containing menthol and having any that have already been placed in stores to be removed. (Drugs)

Many scientists and research facilities around the world have focused on developing a vaccine to fight COVID-19. Scientists at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have gone in a different direction. They believe that they have discovered a way to “fool” the COVID-19 virus into attaching to herapin, a drug that has been around for a long time. Their hope is that this would keep the virus from attacking healthy cells. (Fiercebiotech)

While AstraZeneca is preparing to enter late stage vaccine trials, the CEO of AstraZeneca has recently said that due to the unpredictability of COVID-19, a vaccine shot might be required every 12 months. (CNBC)

Quest, a testing lab, has received clearance from the FDA to start implementing a new lab method that would effectively cut the turn-around-time from testing for COVID-19 to one day for essential personnel and 2-3 days for all other people who have been tested. (CNBC)