CDC: Measles on the rise
ATLANTA — Despite achieving measles elimination in 2000, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported in its "Morbidity and Morality Weekly Report" that a total of 222 measles cases and 17 measles outbreaks were reported to the CDC last year, compared with a median of 60 cases and four outbreaks reported annually during the 2001-2010 period.
In the United States, the incidence of measles has reached a 15-year high, the CDC said.
"The increase in measles importations and outbreaks during 2011 serves as a reminder that measles remains endemic in many parts of the world and unvaccinated U.S. residents continue to place themselves and others in their communities at risk for measles and its complications," the MMWR said. The report added that the importation of measles is caused by U.S. travelers, particularly to the World Health Organization European Region, which reported more than 30,000 cases of measles, including 27 cases of measles encephalitis, a complication that often results in permanent neurologic sequelae, as well as eight measles-related deaths in 2011.
The CDC also noted that healthcare providers play a critical role in preventing measles and should should encourage vaccination of all eligible patients, including children and adults.
Click here for the full report.
Genzyme to present MS drug trials
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Drug maker Genzyme plans to present data from trial programs of two multiple sclerosis drugs at the American Academy of Neurology’s annual meeting in New Orleans, which starts this Saturday and lasts until next Saturday.
Genzyme, owned by French drug maker Sanofi, will present results of 12 trials of the experimental drugs alemtuzumab and teriflunomide, including the phase-3 "CARE-MS II" trial, which compares alemtuzumab with Rebif (interferon beta-1a), made by Pfizer and Merck KGaA.
"Genzyme’s robust development programs for alemtuzumab and teriflunomide were designed to understand how these therapies can best address significant unmet medical needs of people living with MS," Genzyme president and CEO David Meeker said. "We are committed to becoming a long-term partner to the MS community with the goal of raising the expectation of what life with MS can be."
Generics among fastest-growing industries this decade, report finds
NEW YORK — According to the latest numbers, the country’s economy is slowly growing, while unemployment has been slowly declining. But while growth has been somewhat less than stellar, 10 industries have outpaced the rest of the economy, including generic drugs.
Market research firm IBISWorld recently released a report showing that generic drug manufacturing would be one of the fastest-growing industries in the country over the next five years, with revenues expected to reach $52.8 billion this year and $72.7 billion by 2017, the second highest revenues of all the industries named.
The other industries mentioned in the report were green and sustainable building construction, online eyeglasses and contact lens sales, social network game development, 3D printer manufacturing, for-profit universities, solar-panel manufacturing, pilots and yoga studios, self-tanning product manufacturing and hot sauce production.