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Good morning, everyone, and how are you today? We are doing just fine, thank you, despite a heavy blanket of snow that has descended on the Pharmalot campus. After all, what’s a little precipitation? The official mascot, in fact, is thrilled and is bounding about the campus grounds, which leaves us to get on with the tasks ahead. Speaking of which, you have your choice today of interesting events to watch: a congressional hearing where some members of the Sackler family will appear to discuss the role of Purdue Pharma in the opioid crisis, and an FDA panel to review another Covid-19 vaccine. Enjoy. Meanwhile, here are some tidbits. Hope your day goes well, and do stay in touch. …

With the Covid-19 vaccine in short supply, hospital pharmacists found themselves in the unexpected position of throwing away one in every six doses of the first vaccines distributed this week in the U.S., STAT writes. The confusion came over labeling: The vaccine comes in vials labeled as containing enough for five doses. But pharmacists discovered that, after thawing and mixing the contents with a dilutent, each vial contained enough vaccine for six doses. Without explicit approval from the manufacturer, that final dose had to be discarded.


A last-minute snafu this fall threatened to disrupt the smooth rollout of the first Covid-19 vaccine approved in the U.S., STAT reports. At issue was how to monitor the temperature of the ultra-cold storage containers used to distribute vials of the vaccine developed by Pfizer (PFE) and BioNTech (BNTX). Pfizer planned to disconnect temperature-monitoring sensors on the containers once they were delivered to health care providers, though many of the providers needed to use the boxes to store the vials for up to 30 days. Without the monitoring systems, providers would have no way of knowing if the vials had thawed prematurely, rendering the vaccine unusable.

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