Press review

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Arrests of drug mafias in Poland have increased four-fold since Pharmaceutical Act was amended

WARSAW, 10 Jul (APM) - Poland's police have quadrupled the number of arrests of illegal exporters of Polish drugs through reverse distribution chains since the latest amendment to the Pharmaceutical Act came into force in June 2019, compared with the previous four years, reported Dziennik Gazeta Prawna (pA1, pB4) on Thursday.
During that period, the prosecutors found dubious transactions of a total value of 180 million zlotys (€40 million), seized assets worth over 5 million zlotys (€1.1 million) and drugs prepared for export worth four million zlotys (€890,000).

Polish pharmacists cannot advertise prescription drugs with free samples

According to the Chief Pharmaceutical Inspectorate's interpretation of the judgements of the Court of Justice of the European Union, only doctors who are eligible to write out prescriptions and not pharmacists, can obtain and advertise prescription drugs with free samples, even in the current situation, when, according to the Special Covid-19 Act, they are entitled to write out prescriptions for patients in sudden life- and health-threatening situations, reported Dziennik Gazeta Prawna (pB4) on Wednesday.

Biomed will export Onko BCG 100 to Turkey

Biomed Lublin, a Polish tuberculosis (BCG) vaccine producer, has unveiled details of its contract with Turkish company, Valentis Laboratuvarlari, for the supply and distribution of Onko BCG 100 for treating non-invasive bladder tumours, reported Parkiet Gazeta Gieldy (p7) on Tuesday and (p3) on Thursday.
According to the agreement, the order for Onko BCG 100 in the first five years is estimated at a minimum of €9.8 million, while the agreement has been signed for 10 years.
The company has also decided to issue new shares for three purposes: to develop investments related to the production of the BCG vaccine and Onko BCG, to repay liabilities to the Polish Agency for Enterprise Development and to repay other liabilities from the company's arrangement with its creditors, added Parkiet on Thursday.

Selvita starts work with a European pharma

Polish biotech Selvita has entered into a new framework cooperation agreement worth 2.3 million zlotys (€515,000) with a European pharma, reported Parkiet Gazeta Gieldy (p6) on Tuesday.

Biomed collecting plasma for immunoglobulin drug from Covid-19 survivors

Biomed Lublin has started negotiating and signing contracts with Regional Blood Centres (RCKiK) to acquire plasma from Covid-19 survivors to start production of its own anti-Sars-CoV-2 immunoglobulin drug, reported Parkiet Gazeta Gieldy (p1, p3) on Saturday and (p3) on Thursday.
Biomed will produce the drug in cooperation with Independent Public Clinical Hospital No. 1 in Lublin, Institute of Haematology and Transfusion Medicine, which will be financed by the Polish Medical Research Agency (ABM). The company plans to produce the drug candidate within six weeks and register drug in early 2021.
Biomed needs 160-200 litres of plasma to start production and is therefore appealing to Polish miners to donate their plasma, as there is a large number of Covid-19 survivors among this group, reported Parkiet on Saturday.

U.S. and China compete to develop first Covid-19 vaccine

In its efforts to be the first country to produce 300 million doses of an effective and safe Covid-19 vaccine, the U.S. White House has announced the start of Operation Warp Speed, incentivising both public and private businesses, while China has incentivised private and state companies, as well as the army, to win this race, reported Dziennik Gazeta Prawna (pA1, pA2, pA3) on Thursday.
The companies that received subsidies for developing a vaccine include Johnson & Johnson ($456 million), Moderna ($483 million), AstraZeneca ($1.2 billion) and Novavax ($1.6 billion).
The Chinese companies competing for the development of the first working Covid-19 vaccine are the state company Sinopharm, which will test its vaccine-candidate in the United Arab Emirates and the private company Sinovac, which will start clinical trials on Brazilian healthcare employees shortly. The difference between the vaccines is that most candidates being developed in China are based on inactive coronaviruses, whereas the U.S. vaccine-candidates are genetic vaccines.
Research is currently being conducted into an estimated 180 vaccine candidates globally, 20 of which have entered clinical trials.

Polish President looking for support from anti-vax electorate in his presidential campaign

During a recent campaign speech, the Polish President, Andrzej Duda, admitted he is not an enthusiast of any compulsory vaccines and that he does not take flu jabs, thereby looking for support from the anti-vax electorate in his presidential campaign, reported Gazeta Wyborcza (p2, p3, p4) and Rzeczpospolita (pA3) on Wednesday.
President Duda's words caused outrage among experts and doctors, as well as the Regional Medical Chamber in Warsaw, as the head of state should not declare his harmful views to reinforce and legitimise the growing anti-vax movement in Poland.
Later, the President wrote on Twitter that the media misstated him and what he meant was that the future Covid-19 vaccine should not be compulsory, reported both newspapers.
Poland had 49,609 cases of patients refusing compulsory vaccines in 2019, concluded Rzeczpospolita.
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