WARSAW, 11 Sep (APM) - Two million doses of flu vaccines which were promised by the Polish Ministry of Health (MoH) to be supplied to pharmacies by the end of the year, will cover the needs of just 5% of the Polish population, while patients are looking for vaccines in pharmacies throughout the country, reported Dziennik Gazeta Prawna (pA4) and Rzeczpospolita (pA12) on Wednesday.
The MoH promised 1.8 million doses by the end of October and the last batch of 200,000 doses by the end of December, although even with the additional supplies, there may not be enough vaccines for patients.
The 600,000 fully reimbursable vaccines for the medical staff promised by the government in August are claimed to be additional to the two million doses reserved for regular patients.
No more vaccines can be ordered for this year, as orders are placed at the beginning of the year based on demand from prior years and, given that only 4% of the Polish population takes flu jabs, current demand substantially exceeds the earlier orders.
Local production is a guarantee of pharma safety
During the discussion on healthcare systems and economics at the European Economic Congress in Katowice, the experts agreed that pharma safety is currently as important as military safety and only local production of drugs can guarantee uninterrupted supplies for Polish patients, reported Dziennik Gazeta Prawna (pA10) on Monday.
Barbara Misiewicz-Jagielak, director of external relations of the Polpharma Group and deputy chairperson of the Association of Pharmaceutical Employers PharmaNET, emphasised that, at the peak of the drugs' crisis caused by the pandemic, Poplharma's diversification of imports of active pharmaceutical ingredients, while increasing both supplies and production, meant that it managed to prevent the shortage of over 40 medicines without substitutes in Poland.
Barbara Misiewicz-Jagielak also emphasised the importance of introducing the reimbursement incentives system (RTR) to support pharmas investing and manufacturing in Poland.
Obligatory rotavirus vaccinations for Polish children
According to the latest draft regulation, after 31 January, all children aged up to 32 weeks will need to receive rotavirus vaccines, although experts say it is too early to apply such changes in the vaccination schedule, as neither the eligibility of patients nor the choice of vaccine have yet been defined, reported Dziennik Gazeta Prawna (pB9) on Thursday.
Bioton continues work on insulin analogues despite the pandemic
Bioton's share price has doubled on the Warsaw Stock Exchange since March and, despite the difficult situation caused by the global pandemic, it is following its strategy of producing insulin analogues with its partner and shareholder, Yifan Pharmaceuticals and is expecting net profits by 2022, reported Parkiet Gazeta Gieldy (p1, p5) on Wednesday.
Leaders in Covid-19 vaccine development face obstacles
While Moderna has started Phase III trials, AstraZeneca and Oxford University have put their clinical trials on hold due to an adverse reaction, Russian citizens are sceptical about the rushed vaccine-candidate, Sputnik V and a third of the U.S. population does not believe in the effectiveness of Covid-19 vaccines, reported Dziennik Gazeta Prawna (pA2, pA3) on Monday and (pA5, pA15) on Thursday, Rzeczpospolita (pA8) on Wednesday, and Gazeta Wyborcza (p10) on Thursday.
Moderna's vaccine candidate has been in Phase III with 30,000 U.S. patients since 27 July. It has already started producing the vaccine in cooperation with the Swiss-based Lonza and the Spanish ROVI, even before ending the clinical trials, to prepare for the global demand.
Moderna expects the vaccine to become available in the U.S. in the emergency registration procedure. Preliminary deals for purchases of the vaccine in Europe were already discussed with European countries at the turn of February and March, reported Dziennik Gazeta Prawna on Monday.
Meanwhile, Oxford University and AstraZeneca stopped Phase III trials with 50,000 patients worldwide because one patient suffered a serious adverse reaction. The matter is unofficially reported to involve myelitis as an effect of a viral infection, reported Dziennik Gazeta Prawna on Monday and Gazeta Wyborcza.
Despite the publication in Lancet on the Russian vaccine-candidate generating 1.5 times more antibodies in volunteers than Covid-19 survivors and the government's assurances, half the Russian population, including selected groups of patients, such as doctors and teachers, who are to receive the vaccine before anyone else, does not want to be vaccinated with a rushed product that has not completed the full cycle of clinical trials. Russian officials claim 27 countries are already interested in purchases, added Rzeczpospolita.
According to a Gallup poll, 25-33% of U.S. citizens would refuse to be vaccinated against Covid-19, primarily because of the political tone of the production of the drug but also due to the rising anti-vax movement, concluded Dziennik Gazeta Prawna on Thursday.
Celon Pharma receives EU grant
The National Centre of Research and Development (NCBiR) granted Celon Pharma 40 million zlotys (€9 million) for developing a Covid-19 drug, reported Puls Biznesu (p5) and Parkiet Gazeta Gieldy (p4) on Thursday.
The whole R&D project regarding an innovative antiviral for Covid-19 and other flu-like infections is estimated at 65 million zlotys (€15 million). The drug candidate, on which the company started work in March, is expected to enter clinical trials on human patients in 2022, added Puls Biznesu.
Biomed Lublin's shares plunge on Polish stock market
Biomed Lublin, a Polish tuberculosis (BCG) vaccine producer and the first producer of an anti-Covid-19 immunoglobulin drug based on the plasma from Covid-19 survivors, has seen its share price dive over the past few weeks, reported Parkiet Gazeta Gieldy (p1, p5) and Rzeczpospolita (pA17) on Tuesday and Parkiet Gazeta Gieldy (p1, p5) and Puls Biznesu (p15) on Wednesday.
Roche and Novartis fined for monopolistic practices
The French competition authority fined Roche and Novartis €444 million for abusing their dominant position on the market of Lucentis at the expense of a cheaper substitute, Avantis, while Novartis announced it would appeal against the decision, reported Puls Biznesu (p7) on Thursday.