Health is a right, not a privilege
Director-General of the World Health Organisation, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, recently met Pope Francis to discuss ways to ensure that all people can obtain the healthcare they need, whoever they are, wherever they live. Pope Francis and Dr Tedros both reiterated that health is a right, and should not be a privilege and share a commitment to improving the health and well-being of the most vulnerable and marginalised — in both rich and poor countries. Pope Francis and Dr Tedros met in Rome ahead of the Global Conference on Primary Health Care, to take place during October 25-26 in Astana, Kazakhstan. The conference marks the fortieth anniversary of the historic Alma-Ata Declaration and its commitment to achieve Health For All. Delegates in Kazakhstan will endorse a new declaration to revitalise primary healthcare around the world.
The goal is to ensure that healthcare focusses on care for people, rather than simply treatment for specific diseases or conditions — factoring in all aspects of people’s individual lives and situations.
Operation Pangea crackdown
Fake medicines, devices unearthed
A crackdown on fake medicines and medical devices by the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has netted a haul of more than 1 million doses worth in excess of £2 million. The seizures were part of Interpol’s globally coordinated Operation Pangea initiative involving 116 countries. During October 9-17, the MHRA and UK partners found falsified and unlicensed medicines and medical devices in the UK, including diazepam, modafinil and dermal fillers.
Using intelligence, MHRA enforcement officers raided a semi-detached property and a small lock-up unit in connection with the illegal supply online of potentially harmful medicines. This led to one arrest.
Raids on the properties in the north of England involved local police and forms part of an international response coordinated through Interpol to the growing illegal trading in online medicines and medical devices. Worldwide, Operation Pangea led to 859 arrests and yielded items worth in the region of £10.9 million.
New investigational antibiotic to treat UTI
Results from a phase 2 randomised trial suggest that a new investigational antibiotic is as effective as the current standard-of-care antibiotic for the treatment of complicated urinary tract infections (UTIs) caused by several multi-drug resistant Gram-negative bacteria. The findings, published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases , indicated that patients treated with the siderophore-based drug, cefiderocol, had a higher and more sustained level of pathogen eradication and similar clinical outcomes to those treated with the current standard of care, imipenem-cilastatin. “Cefiderocol acts as a trojan horse,” explains Dr Simon Portsmouth, Shionogi Inc, US, who led the research. “The drug uses a novel mechanism of cell entry that takes advantage of the bacteria’s need for iron to survive. During an acute infection, one of our innate immune responses is to create an iron-poor environment. In response, bacteria increase their iron intake. Cefiderocol binds to irons and is transported through the extra outer membrane by the bacterium’s own iron-transport system. These iron channels also enable the drug to bypass the bacteria’s porin channels and gain repeat entry even if the bacterium has evolved efflux pumps,” a note from the journal said.