WARSAW, 28 Aug (APM) - Despite unusual peaks and troughs in Polish pharmacy sales as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, annual revenues this year are still very similar to those of 2019, reported Parkiet Gazeta Gieldy (p6) and Rzeczpospolita (pA16) on Wednesday.
The article - which cites consulting and research company PEX PharmaSequence for the information - notes there has been a sudden increase in sales at the beginning of the lockdown caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and the recent slow-down on the Polish pharma market.
Still, PEX PharmaSequence notes that sales of Polish pharmacies will likely have reached 37.2 billion zlotys (8.43 billion euros) by the end of 2020, and sales of reimbursable drugs will be 9.4 billion zlotys (2.13 billion euros), roughly in-line with 2019.
The predictions also account for the expected "multidemic" in the autumn, when in addition to Covid-19, demand is expected to increase for OTC medications for flu and other infections.
Poland's senior citizens to receive free flu jabs
The Ministry of Health (MoH) plans to vaccinate 2 million Polish patients from 1 September because of changes in the reimbursement policy regarding flu vaccines, reported Gazeta Wyborcza (p7) on Wednesday.
Patients aged over 75 will receive Vaxigrip for free, while patients aged between 18 and 65 with specific risks, and pregnant patients will receive the full reimbursement for Influvac Tetra.
Additionally, children aged between three and five will receive the full reimbursement for the nasal vaccine, Fluenz Tetra. The National Health Fund (NFZ) will also finance vaccinations for medical staff.
These changes are the first amendments to the reimbursement lists since the outbreak of the pandemic and will include the first batch of 114 fully-reimbursable drugs for pregnant patients, including heparins, insulins, thyroid hormones and progesterone vaginal drugs.
Pharmena researches its molecule for use in Covid-19
Pharmena, a cosmetics and pharmaceuticals producer, has prepared a research plan for its 1-MNA molecule in the battle against viral infections including SARS-Cov-2, the infection behind Covid-19.
The project is being tested in preclinical and clinical trials, resulting in a 14.8% increase in the company’s stock price, reported Parkiet Gazeta Gieldy (p4) on Tuesday.
Prsident Trump targeting Covid-19 vaccine and plasma treatment before elections
U.S. President Donald Trump is allegedly trying to bypass some of the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) procedures for approving new drugs to get a Covid-19 vaccine and plasma-based treatment onto the market before the elections on 3 November, reported Dziennik Gazeta Prawna (pA16) on Thursday and Gazeta Wyborcza (p24) on Friday.
His goal is to get Oxford University and AstraZeneca’s vaccine-candidate approved, beside a treatment based on the plasma of those recovered from Covid-19, they noted.
The FDA issued an emergency approval last Sunday for using a convalescent plasma therapy in the battle against the virus. The treatment is based on plasma collected from Covid-19 survivors by the U.S. Mayo Clinic, which, in trials on over 35,000 patients after 1 month of use, reduced the mortality rate from 26.7% to 21.6%.
Experts appealed to the FDA to withdraw the approval, as the Mayo Clinic’s testing did not include randomised clinical trials with a placebo. Such an approval would create a precedent which could be claimed by other pharma companies to push their drug candidates to the U.S. market prematurely, reported Gazeta Wyborcza.
For a vaccine, experts argue that, even if the registration procedure is shortened, there is still insufficient time to properly test the candidate before the elections. Even in the best-case scenario, it would be ready no sooner than on 20 January, reported Dziennik Gazeta Prawna.
Launch before the elections is expected to close the gap between Donald Trump (42.1%) and Joe Biden (50.6%) in the opinion polls or even give the incumbent president an advantage, according to media reports.
Another vaccine-candidate from Moderna in collaboration with the U.S. National Institute of Health (NIH) entered Phase III at the beginning of the month on 30,000 volunteers throughout the country. Professor Anthony Fauci said several hundred million Covid-19 vaccine shots would be ready by the spring of 2021, while up to a billion should be ready by the end of next year, Dziennik Gazeta Prawna added.
An immunoglobulin therapy based on plasma from Covid-19 survivors is now also being produced by Biomed Lublin in Poland, but, before its registration on the Polish market, it will need to undergo a complete set of clinical trials, Gazeta Wyborcza reported.