What We're Reading: Pharma Execs Refuse to Attend Trump Meeting; Kodak Lands $765M US Loan; Persistent COVID-19 Symptoms

July 28, 2020

A meeting at the White House with top pharmaceutical executives has been cancelled after the Trump administration’s executive orders signed this past Friday on the topic drew criticism from the drug industry; Kodak has won a $765 million US government loan to assist in expediting domestic production of drugs to treat several medical conditions and reduce US reliance on foreign supplies; more than a third of patients with mild illness from coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) reported related symptoms that lasted for 2 to 3 weeks after testing positive.

Drugmakers Refuse Meeting After Trump Issues Executive Orders on Costs

Today, top pharmaceutical executives were scheduled to meet with President Donald Trump at the White House to discuss drug pricing, but the meeting has been canceled after the Trump administration’s executive orders signed this past Friday on the topic drew criticism from the drug industry. As reported by POLITICO, one of the executive orders would require health officials to release a plan linking Medicare payments for certain medicines to lower costs paid abroad. Some patient groups say the rule, known as the most-favored-nations rule, would curb innovation and reduce drug access, and the drug industry had initially thought the rule would be dropped ahead of Friday’s announcement. Trump additionally said during the briefing that drugmakers have 1 month to present a better alternative to the rule.

Kodak Acquires $765M US Loan to Start Medical Supply Chain Fix

The Wall Street Journal reports that Eastman Kodak Company, the former leader in photography sales, has won a $765 million US government loan to assist in expediting domestic production of drugs to treat several medical conditions and reduce US reliance on foreign countries such as China and India. The loan is the first of its kind provided under the Defense Production Act, which the Trump administration previously invoked to accelerate the production of supplies needed for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Kodak will now produce ingredients for generic drugs that include hydroxychloroquine, an antimalarial drug that the FDA cautioned against due to associated heart rhythm issues.

Study Finds COVID-19 Symptoms Persist in 35% of Outpatients

According to survey results published in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, more than one-third of patients (35%) with mild illness from COVID-19 reported related symptoms that lasted for 2 to 3 weeks after testing positive, with 1 in 5 indicated to be previously healthy adults. Reported by CIDRAP, the survey included 274 interviews that were conducted 14 to 21 days after the first positive test for COVID-19. Based on the results, cough and fatigue were the least likely symptoms to resolve after the interview time frame.