Intended for healthcare professionals


Seven days in medicine: 9-15 September 2020

BMJ 2020; 370 doi: (Published 17 September 2020) Cite this as: BMJ 2020;370:m3564


Drug companies vow not to rush vaccine

The heads of AstraZeneca, BioNTech, GlaxoSmithKline, Johnson & Johnson, Merck, Moderna, Novavax, Pfizer, and Sanofi, which are all working towards a covid-19 vaccine, issued a joint statement promising to “only submit [a vaccine] for approval or emergency use authorisation after demonstrating safety and efficacy through a Phase 3 clinical study” and “to always make the safety and well-being of vaccinated individuals our top priority.” The statement followed a letter from seven drug industry CEOs last week urging that “political considerations should be put aside” in covid-19 drug and vaccine development and that clinical data should be publicly disclosed. (Full story doi10.1136/bmj.m3512)

Oxford vaccine trials resume after all clear

Clinical trials of the AstraZeneca Oxford coronavirus vaccine, AZD1222, resumed in the UK after confirmation by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency that it was safe to do so. The trials were stopped voluntarily on 9 September after a “single event of an unexplained illness that occurred in the UK phase III trial.” AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford said that they were unable to disclose further medical information about the person affected. (Full story doi:10.1136/bmj.m3525)

US “should end Gilead’s monopoly” on remdesivir

The US government should end the shortage of the antiviral drug remdesivir by eliminating Gilead’s monopoly, said a report from Public Citizen, a consumer interest pressure group. Remdesivir, an …

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