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Government report provides the science behind extended allergy season

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON — The Obama Administration on Tuesday unveiled the Third U.S. National Climate Assessment, a scientific report about climate changes that are happening now in the United States and how they are impacting the nation’s health, with longer allergy seasons, for example.

"Climate change, as well as increased CO2 by itself, can contribute to increased production of plant-based allergens," the report noted. "Higher pollen concentrations and longer pollen seasons increase allergic sensitizations and asthma episodes, and diminish productive work and school days. Simultaneous exposure to toxic air pollutants can worsen allergic responses. Extreme rainfall and rising temperatures also can foster indoor air quality problems, including the growth of indoor fungi and molds, with increases in respiratory and asthma-related conditions."

Ragweed pollen season length has increased in central North America between 1995 and 2011 by as much as 11 to 27 days in parts of the United States and Canada in response to rising temperatures, the report suggested. Increases in the length of this allergenic pollen season are correlated with increases in the number of days before the first frost. The largest increases have been observed in northern cities. In 2012, a warm winter leading to early pollen production among trees and plants, followed by hot, dry, low-humidity conditions through the spring and summer contributed to wide circulation of aeroallergens and a severe allergy season, according to reports from physicians. 

 

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Sun Pharmaceuticals to close facility in Detroit

BY Ryan Chavis

MUMBAI, India — Sun Pharmaceutical Industries last week announced that it notified the Workforce Development Agency for the State of Michigan regarding its decision to stop manufacturing operations and close the Detroit facility, which is located at Elijah McCoy, Detroit, Mich.

The company provided advance written notice of the closure to the employee union and all affected employees. Additionally, it has ensured that the affected employees will be compensated with more than the regular entitlement under the severance package. Employees also will receive other support services.

The company plans to ensure business continuity and avoid market shortage by transferring the manufacturing of products at this location to other units.

 

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Teva sees Q1 revenue of $5B

BY Ryan Chavis

JERUSALEM — Teva Pharmaceutical Industries last week announced results for first quarter 2014 ended March 31. The company reported revenues of $5 billion, which is up 2% when compared to first quarter 2013. Additionally, Teva reported Non-GAAP net income of $1 billion, an 8% increase and GAAP net income of $744 million, an increase of 18%. 

The company also cited the launch of Copaxone as a milestone, which is set to achieve 30,000 patients on therapy by the end of the month and 40,000 patients by the end of the year. Generic medicine revenues in the United States increased by 17%.

“We are pleased with the quarter’s results. Patients benefited from several significant generic and specialty medicine launches, most notably our Copaxone 40-mg in the United States. Our global generics business delivered increased profitability, and our U.S. generics revenues were up 17% year-over-year,” said Erez Vigodman, president and CEO of Teva.

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