Pulse

Anti-malaria campaign

| Updated on April 13, 2019

Do it like Beckham

In a new short film that harnesses Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology, David Beckham launches the world’s first voice petition to end malaria for the campaign “Malaria Must Die, So Millions Can Live”. Instead of collecting signatures, the campaign asks people around the world to use the power of their voice to demand action by visiting malariamustdie.com and recording the message ‘Malaria Must Die’. In the short film, produced by Ridley Scott Associates, David appears to speak nine languages, including Hindi as he invites people to add their voices to help end one of the world’s oldest and deadliest diseases. But the voices are not all his own. Instead, using emerging AI video synthesis technology, we hear David speaking the voices of men and women from around the world, including malaria survivors and doctors fighting the disease.

Apart from David, we hear the voices of eight others, including Subhranil Banerjee, Dr Elvis Eze, Marie Murorunkwere, Hussein Omar and Jean Bosco Niyonzima, who have survived malaria and are using their stories to help raise awareness about malaria’s devastating effects.

India is integral to winning the global fight against malaria. Since the turn of the millennium, India has made rapid strides against malaria. In 2015, India pledged to eliminate malaria by 2030.

Multiple sclerosis

EMA reviews Lemtrada

The European Medicines Agency has started a review of the multiple sclerosis medicine Lemtrada (alemtuzumab) following new reports of immune-mediated conditions (caused by the body’s defence system not working properly) and problems with the heart and blood vessels with the medicine, including fatal cases. As a temporary measure while the review is ongoing, Lemtrada should only be started in adults with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis that is highly active despite treatment with at least two disease-modifying therapies (a type of multiple sclerosis medicine) or where other disease-modifying therapies cannot be used.

Patients being treated with Lemtrada who are benefitting from it may continue treatment in consultation with their doctor, the EMA said.

Safety labelling for Addyi

FDI directive to Sprout Pharma

The US Food and Drug Administration has issued a safety labelling change order to Sprout Pharmaceuticals for their drug, Addyi (flibanserin), that requires the company to revise important safety information that women and their healthcare professionals need to have when considering use of the drug. The changes are the result of the FDA’s review of post-marketing studies, including one required of Sprout when Addyi was approved in August 2015, to treat acquired, generalised hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD) in premenopausal women, as well as other data.

At the time of approval, the FDA reviewed data that included several concerning cases of severe hypotension (low blood pressure) and syncope (passing out) when Addyi and alcohol were taken together. As a result, Addyi’s labelling currently includes a boxed warning (the strongest warning the FDA requires), which states that alcohol must be avoided in women treated with the drug.

Published on April 13, 2019

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