The Daily Dose: WHO declares its HIV drug of choice

The World Health Organization has issued its latest recommendation for first and second line HIV drugs. They chosen dolutegravir (DTG) as the preferred first-line and second-line treatment for all populations. Although there were initial safety concerns, according to the WHO “DTG is a drug that is more effective, easier to take and has fewer side effects than alternative drugs that are currently used.”

Child stunting is a major problem around the developing world. Dietary adjustments have proven to be minimally effective, at best. In light of this, attempts have been made to address the problem. Observational evidence has shown that “water quality, sanitation, and handwashing (WASH) in a household are strongly associated with linear growth of children living in the same household.” Unfortunately, a recent study has shown tepid results for the WASH approach.

In March, the World Health Organization convened its expert advisory committee on governance and oversight of human genome editing in response to reports that a Chinese researcher had genetically modified human embryos. At the time they stated, “WHO Director-general stated that “it would be irresponsible at this time for anyone to proceed with clinical applications of human germline genome editing.” In a recent statement, the organization reiterated the sentiment.

Pharma giant Pfizer has decided to merge its off-patent drug franchise, Upjohn, with generic drug maker, Mylan. According to FiercePharma, “The deal would allow Pfizer and Mylan to combine two under-pressure businesses into a new giant with projected 2020 revenues of $19 billion to $20 billion.” The move also essentially saved Mylan whose stock price was on a perpetual downward spiral.

For some odd reason, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency is dragging its feet approving new cannabis companies to supply scientists with marijuana for research. Cannabis remains a Schedule I substance in a federal level. This means the government views it as having a high potential for abuse and no medical benefits.

IMAGE SOURCE: Creative Commons

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