Reuters Health News Summary

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Following is a summary of current health news briefs.

China to use drug bulk-buy program to close price gap

China will use its national drug bulk-buy scheme to lower the price of drugs currently sold at higher prices compared with other markets, it said in an official statement. The move could force international drugmakers to further cut prices and enable copycat medicines to replace imported off-patent brands at faster pace.

Samoa measles cases, deaths more than double over past week

The number of suspected cases of measles on the Pacific island of Samoa has more than doubled over the past week to 3,530 and deaths related to the outbreak rose to 48 from 20 a week ago, the country's Ministry of Health said on Sunday. Samoa has become vulnerable to measles outbreaks as the number of people becoming immunized has declined with the World Health Organisation (WHO) saying vaccine coverage is just about 31%.

Bangladesh plans to ban e-cigarettes amid growing health concerns

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Bangladesh plans to prohibit the sale and use of electronic cigarettes and vaporizers, a health official said on Sunday, as countries around the world move to ban devices that have been linked to health risks and teen addiction. "We are actively working to impose a ban on the production, import and sale of e-cigarettes and all vaping tobaccos to prevent health risks," Shaikh Yusuf Harun, Secretary at the health education and family welfare division of the Ministry of Health and Familywelfare, told Reuters.

Morphosys CFO says tafasitamab drug sales potential above $1 billion: magazine

German biotech company Morphosys' tafasitamab, the group's most advanced drug which is currently being tested, has sales potential of significantly more than $1 billion a year, its finance chief said in remarks to a magazine. "Analysts estimate sales at between half a billion to $1 billion per year. If further indications are added, for example additional forms of leukaemia, they might be significantly higher than that," Jens Holstein told Germany's Euro am Sonntag.

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