News

Article

What We’re Reading: FTC Challenges Drugmaker Patents; Testing Ground Beef for Bird Flu; Rural Americans at Higher Early Death Risk

Author(s):

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued letters to 10 companies to warn them that certain drug patents were improperly listed; the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) will begin testing ground beef for bird flu particles; rural Americans are more likely to die early from 1 of the 5 leading causes of death than those who live in urban areas.

FTC Challenges “Junk” Patents Held by 10 Drugmakers

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced Tuesday that it is challenging hundreds of alleged “junk” patents held by drugmakers for 20 brand-name drugs, according to CNBC. Consequently, the FTC issued letters to 10 companies, including Novo Nordisk and AstraZeneca, to warn them that certain drug patents were improperly listed; many of the patents are for type 2 diabetes drugs, like Novo Nordisk’s semaglutide (Ozempic), or inhalers for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Most popular medications are protected by numerous patents, covering manufacturing processes, various ingredients, and intellectual property. Generic drugmakers can only launch cheaper versions of a branded drug if these patents expire or are successfully challenged in court. As a result, FTC Chair Lina Khan explained that “junk” patents block competition and inflate drug costs. By challenging these patents, the FTC is making sure Americans can get timely access to affordable versions of the medications they need.

USDA Begins Testing Ground Beef for Bird Flu

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) will begin testing ground beef for bird flu particles despite officials announcing that they are confident the meat supply is safe, according to the Associated Press. This is the latest effort by the USDA to track and understand how bird flu, also called Type A H5N1, is spreading among livestock; it has so far been identified in nearly 3 dozen dairy herds across 9 states. Two studies will test to see if ground beef for sale in states where dairy cows tested positive, or in states where particles were found in the muscles of dairy cows sent to slaughter, contain bird flu virus particles. Last week, the FDA announced it found noninfectious bird flu virus remnants in pasteurized milk, but scientists have not found evidence to suggest that people can get bird flu by consuming food that has been pasteurized or properly cooked.

Rural Americans Are at a Higher Early Death Risk, CDC Reports

A recent CDC report found that rural Americans are more likely to die early from 1 of the 5 leading causes of death than those who live in urban areas, according to ABC News. To determine this, the researchers looked at the number of potentially preventable deaths from 2010 through 2022. Compared with urbanities, rural Americans were more likely to die from heart disease, stroke, cancer, unintentional injuries, or chronic lower respiratory disease before age 80 years. The report also found that the percentage of preventable deaths, which they defined as those that occurred before age 80 years, was highest in rural counties versus urban ones. More specifically, 44% of premature heart disease deaths in rural areas were potentially preventable compared with 27% in urban areas; additionally, more than half of preventable deaths from unintentional injury and chronic lower respiratory disease in rural areas were preventable. Based on its findings, the CDC said it is trying to improve rural health through funding and guiding public health programs in rural communities, including promoting physical education in schools.

Related Videos
dr mohamad mohty
dr ryan jacobs
Video 2 - 3 KOLs are featured in, "Assessing Limitations, Costs, Mobility and Cognition in Progressive Multiple Sclerosis"
Video 1 - 3 KOLs are featured in, "Multiple Sclerosis: Impact, Types, Pathophysiology, and Progression"
Justin Oldham, MD, MS, an expert on IPF
Justin Oldham, MD, MS, an expert on IPF
Chesahna Kindred, MD, MBA, FAAD, board-certified dermatologist, Kindred Hair & Skin Cente
A panel of experts on Alzheimer's disease
Related Content
CH LogoCenter for Biosimilars Logo