What's new ? - 2005

What's new ? - 2005

Ban on antibiotics as growth promoters in animal feed enters into effect

European Commission - Press Release 23 December, 2005 An EU-wide ban on the use of antibiotics as growth promoters in animal feed enters into effect on January 1, 2006. The last 4 antibiotics which have been permitted as feed additives to help fatten livestock will no longer be allowed to be marketed or used from this date. The ban is the final step in the phasing out of antibiotics used for non-medicinal purposes. It is part of the Commission’s overall strategy to tackle the emergence of bacteria and other microbes resistant to antibiotics, due to their overexploitation or misuse. Read More

European Union: New avian influenza directive:

22 December, 2005 The Directive, which updates an existing document, introduces a number of new powers and disease surveillance measures.
New measures include:-
- Allowing member states to slaughter birds found to have a low pathogenic virus and introduce movement controls around the affected area.
- Boosting surveillance for the disease with programmes for sampling of flocks Read More

Gilead and Roche end Tamiflu dispute

16 November, 2005 Drug firms Roche and Gilead have set aside their differences and struck a deal over the production of Tamiflu, the main weapon against a flu pandemic.
The two companies have been in arbitration after Tamiflu inventor Gilead moved to break up a 1996 licensing agreement earlier this year.
Roche will pay Gilead $62.5 M (£36M) and royalties of between 14% and 22%. Read More

Drug combination: Oseltamivir + Probenecid

Research 4 November, 2005 Doctors think they have hit on a way to effectively double supplies of a drug that fights avian influenza. Administering Tamiflu alongside a second drug (probenecid) that stops it being excreted in urine means that only half doses of the treatment would be needed.
Tamiflu (oseltamivir phosphate) is the main anti-influenza medicine recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO). The WHO suggests that, in anticipation of a flu pandemic, countries should stockpile enough for at least 25% of their population. But although Swiss drugmaker Roche, the sole supplier, has quadrupled its production capacity over the past two years, the current supply is thought to cover just 2% of the world population. Read More

Spain buys avian influenza vaccines

Spain 31 October, 2005 The Spanish Ministry of Agriculture has signed a contract with Fort Dodge to supply 5M doses of avian influenza vaccine, as part of its disease prevention plan. The total cost is: 257,000 euro. Read More

EU bans imports of captive live birds from third countries

27 October, 2005 Member States today endorsed a draft Commission decision to ban imports from third countries of captive live birds other than poultry for commercial purposes, at a meeting of the Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health (SCFCAH). These measures, which follow the detection of highly pathogenic avian influenza in a bird held in quarantine in the UK last week, aim to strengthen further the EU’s defences against avian influenza. The ban covers captive live birds other than poultry imported for commercial purposes. Read More

Generic Tamiflu only by March 1

26 October, 2005 India will get the first generic version of the antiviral drug Tamiflu only by March 1. And even then, it might not come cheap.
Pharmaceutical firm Cipla has started buying the active substance of Tamiflu -- shikimic acid, which is extracted from the Chinese spice Star Anise.
But the price of shikimic acid, which used to cost $40 a kilo just three months back, has soared on the back of heavy demand in the wake of avian influenza threat -- Cipla is paying $700 for every kilo it is buying in China.
This price rise has put in doubt Cipla's original promise of selling its generic version at a cheaper price than Roche, Tamiflu's original makers. Cipla will produce 750 kg of it every month from March. Read More

Indian Co. Plans Generic avian influenza Drug

15 October, 2005 A major Indian pharmaceutical company Cipla said it plans to bring a generic version of the anti-influenza drug Tamiflu into the market early next year, filling any potential shortages in event of an avian influenza epidemic.
The drug is already in short supply following fears of a possible epidemic. But the Swiss pharmaceutical company Roche Holding AG, which makes Tamiflu, has refused to license generic versions of the drug despite pressure from several countries and United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan.
Dr. Yusuf K. Hamied, chairman of Cipla Ltd., said that his company has already developed the generic version, oseltamivir, which would be much cheaper than Tamiflu - the major available drug that is effective in treatment of people infected with avian influenza. Read More

U.S. State Department Hosts Avian influenza Meeting for 80 Nations

10 October, 2005 A major international conference has begun in the United States (06/10/05) in a bid to formulate a coordinated response to the avian influenza epidemic.
The summit in Washington is aimed at developing ways to share information and resources to avert a possible avian influenza pandemic.
Delegates from 80 nations and several international agencies are attending. Read More

Hungary developed a human H5N1 vaccine

27 September, 2005 Hungary, along with some other countries, was given samples of the virus from the WHO to develop the vaccine. It is being produced by the national epidemiology center and a private company.
The vaccine will now be tested on around 100 volunteers, mostly laboratory and health staff, and first results will be available in three weeks. Read More

EC forecasts 1.1 percent rise in 2005 broiler production

20 September, 2005 The European Commission (EC) has forecast a 1.1 percent rise to 7.6 million tonnes (carcass weight equivalent) in the EU's broiler production for 2005, compared with 2004.
Spain, France and the UK as major poultry producers in the EU, were expected to see production growth of little more than one percent this year. However, German production levels were expected to slip by about 1.3 percent. Meanwhile, poultry production in new EU member states was expected to rise this year.
Poultry imports in the EU reportedly registered 710,000 tonnes (carcass weight equivalent) in 2004. Read More

FDA Announces Final Decision About Baytril

30 July, 2005 U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Lester Crawford is announcing the Agency's final decision to no longer allow distribution or use of the antimicrobial drug enrofloxacin for the purpose of treating bacterial infections in poultry. This ruling does not affect other approved uses of the drug. This animal drug belongs to a class of drugs known as fluoroquinolones and is marketed under the name Baytril by Bayer Corporation. The FDA's Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM) began proceedings to withdraw use of this animal drug in poultry because of scientific data that showed that the use of enrofloxacin in poultry caused resistance to emerge in Campylobacter, a bacterium that causes foodborne illness. Chickens and turkeys normally harbor Campylobacter in their digestive tracts without causing poultry to become ill. Read More

Toltrazuril: Health Canada recently reviewed available data for Baycox

21 July, 2005 Health Canada recently reviewed available data for Baycox (Toltrazuril) that has been in use in Canada since 1992 to treat a parasitic infection in newborn piglets. Health Canada scientists concluded that, based on the data provided, they could not rule out the potential for Baycox to cause cancer in humans. After the filing of the Investigational New Drug Submission, Health Canada undertook a thorough review of the scientific data relating to the safety and efficacy of Baycox. At the conclusion of this review, Health Canada determined that the risks associated with the use of Baycox outweigh the benefits. Read More

FDA supports egg industry on label issue

6 May, 2005 The U.S. Food and Drug Administration proposed amending its food labeling rules to allow egg producers to put a safe-handling statement inside egg cartons.
Currently, the safe-handling message must appear on the outside of cartons of eggs.
The FDA said it proposed changing the rule at the request of the egg industry and allowed 75 days for public comment. Read More

Dioxin found in German eggs

17 January, 2005 Germany has called for higher environmental standards on farms after free-range eggs were found to contain the cancer causing chemical dioxin.
Eggs with high dioxin levels were found in several German states because hens were allowed to roam on land contaminated with the chemicals.
The German Agriculture Minister Renate Kuenast has called for tighter controls on free range eggs.
Read More