Pharma News for the week of Sept. 21, 2020

The FDA has announced that they will be taking a hard line in approving any COVID-19 vaccine, including an emergency one until sufficient testing has been done, pushing back the hope that there would be a vaccine before the election in November. (Fiercebiotech)

Policy makers in Washington, D.C. have been deciding who would be getting the first round of vaccine doses when they become available. Initial estimates are that there will be 10 -15 million doses available, which is 10 – 15% of the population. The first round will most likely go to people who have a higher risk of contracting COVID-19 and dying from it and the parts of the workforce that keep the economy going. (NPR)

Primary care doctors are calling for federal aid as they continue to face significantly lower levels of income as patients continue to stay away due to fears about COVID-19. (Healthcaredive)

European pharmaceutical companies are watching the upcoming US elections with great interest. Given that the Democrats are lading in the polls, analysts have warned that prices for pharmaceutical drugs will likely go down, thus impacting profits. There has been much discussion in allowing Medicare to negotiate drugs prices directly with the drug companies thus creating a one buyer system for the United States with a lot of power to influence prices. (Fiercepharma)

Dr. Anthony Fauci says the U.S. is nowhere near herd immunity despite that assertion from Senator Rand Paul when Senator Paul was referring to New York City. Currently the U.S. is at 2 -3% immunity but to achieve herd immunity the population has to be at 70% either through infection or vaccination. (Forbes)