COVID-19 Blood Test Might Predict Who Will Need a Ventilator

August 27, 2020 The study focused on 57 COVID-19 patients who needed a ventilator to breathe.  Researchers compared samples of their blood to that from patients who did not need a ventilator.  They found that blood levels of a certain cytokine are predictive of the course of COVID-19.  Cytokines are proteins that are central to … Read more

FDA looks to resume domestic (US) inspections soon

August 25, 2020 As a safety measure, FDA will pre-announce all inspections, except for retail tobacco inspections, for the foreseeable future.  The announcement comes nearly two (2) months after the Agency said it will implement a phased approach to restarting surveillance inspections and four (4) months after the agency halted its domestic inspection program. However, … Read more

Abbott’s real-world data show FreeStyle Libre lowered A1c in Type 2 diabetes, with or without insulin

August 20, 2020 The observational study of Abbott’s FreeStyle Libre system, presented at the annual scientific sessions of the American Diabetes Association (ADA), pointed to an 0.8 percentage-point drop — from 8.5% to 7.7% — in overall A1c levels after six months of use.  After one year, that drop came to 0.6 percentage points.  According … Read more

Federal help falters as nursing homes run short of protective equipment

August 18, 2020 Some contain flimsy surgical masks or cloth face coverings that are explicitly not intended for medical use.  Others are missing items or have far less than the full weeks’ worth of protective equipment the government promised to send.  Instead of proper medical gowns, many packages hold large blue plastic ponchos.  “It’s like … Read more

FDA issues blanket COVID-19 authorization for IV infusion pumps

August 11, 2020 The move is similar to a previous Agency authorization issued in late March that broadly covered ventilators and respiratory devices, in a bid to quickly expand their supply against the pandemic.  That policy allowed alternative or modified devices to be used for ventilation, such as anesthesia gas machines, as long as they … Read more

Fitbit launches broad virtual AFib study using all its hear-tracking devices

August 06, 2020 But instead of testing one product, the Fitbit Heart Study plans to use several — including all of its current exercise trackers and smartwatches that can measure heart rate — to potentially enroll hundreds of thousands of people.  The trial’s results will serve as the foundation for the company’s regulatory submissions to … Read more

Hahn says COVID-19 vaccines will be reviewed in ‘real time’

August 04, 2020 Pfizer also announced at the end of July that it would begin a Phase 2/3 study of its COVID-19 vaccine developed in partnership with BioNTech.  Both companies say they plan to enroll 30,000 participants and expect a readout from their studies as early as this fall. Hahn’s remarks come as some observers … Read more