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Figs, maker of scrubs, apologizes for ‘insensitive’ ad targeting osteopathic doctors

Figs, a medical apparel company known for stylish scrubs, apologized Tuesday for a video advertisement on its website that targeted doctors of osteopathic medicine.

“A lot of you guys have pointed out an insensitive video we had on our site — we are incredibly sorry for any hurt this has caused you, especially our female DOs (who are amazing!),” the company said in a statement. “FIGS is a female founded company whose only mission is to make you guys feel awesome.”

The company also tweeted: “We dropped the ball and and we are so sorry. We love you guys and we’ll always listen to what you have to say!”

The video, which is no longer on the company’s website, features a woman in neon pink scrubs reading a book titled “Medical Terminology for Dummies” while holding it upside down.

The camera zooms in on the woman as she adjusts the waist of her pants, capturing a work identification card that says “DO.”

Doctors of osteopathic medicine, or DOs, are fully licensed physicians, according to the American Osteopathic Association. They are different from traditional medical doctors in that they are trained to take a holistic approach to patient care.

Many people slammed Figs on social media Tuesday, accusing the company of exhibiting gender bias in the ad.

The American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine said in a statement that it was “outraged that in 2020, women physicians and doctors of osteopathic medicine are still attacked in thoughtless and ignorant marketing campaigns.”

“A company like FIGS that asks us to spend money on its product should be ashamed for promoting these stereotypes,” the statement said. “We demand the respect we’ve earned AND a public apology.”

Brenna Hohl, a first-year medical student in Lillington, North Carolina, said “the disrespect for female physicians and DOs exhibited in the ad is unforgivable.” She said she was offended by it.

“Not only did it offend female DOs, but it is also extremely disrespectful toward any woman working in the healthcare field,” she said in an interview.

Marie Thigpen, a neonatologist in North Carolina, said it was “shameful.”

“Female doc here,” she wrote on the company’s Facebook page. “How many execs saw this and no one said a thing? How many in your company thought this would be a good ad? That’s the real problem. You don’t even realize that your ad is trash. Well female docs, nurses and staff have spending power and we will spend elsewhere.”

Cara Norvell, a doctor of osteopathic medicine in Dallas, said she hoped the company’s founders “will gain access to a book called ‘Advertising for Dummies.’”

She said the ad was

Maker of Antibody Cocktail Trump Took Seeks Emergency Use OK | Health News

By Robin Foster and E.J. Mundell
HealthDay Reporters

(HealthDay)

THURSDAY, Oct. 8, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. said Wednesday that it is seeking emergency approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for an experimental antibody cocktail given to President Donald Trump shortly after he was diagnosed with COVID-19.

Hours before the company made the announcement, Trump proclaimed in a video released by the White House that the drug had an “unbelievable” effect on his recovery from coronavirus infection, the Washington Post reported.

“I think this was the key,” Trump said, after acknowledging that the antibody cocktail was one of several drugs he was prescribed by his medical team. While there is no hard evidence yet proving the drug’s effectiveness in humans, it has shown promise in treating mild cases of the new coronavirus, the Post reported.

In his video, Trump said, “I have emergency-use authorization all set, and we’ve got to get it signed now.” However, an FDA spokeswoman told The New York Times Wednesday that the agency does not confirm or deny product applications.

Regeneron said in its statement that it could initially produce doses of the antibody cocktail for 50,000 patients, and then ramp production up to doses for 300,000 patients in the next few months if granted emergency authorization.

The antibody cocktail is now in late-stage testing. The company has granted fewer than 10 “compassionate use” requests allowing people not enrolled in its trials to use the drug, the Associated Press reported.

The U.S. government first inked a contract with Regeneron back in July, and has promised to distribute initial doses of the treatment at no cost if it is approved, the Post reported.

Regeneron isn’t the only company developing an antibody cocktail to battle COVID-19 infection: Eli Lilly and Co. announced earlier on Wednesday that it was seeking emergency-use authorization from the FDA for a similar cocktail. Both treatments use lab-made antibodies to give patients’ immune systems a boost. In both cases, scaling up production to meet demand is expected to be a major challenge, the Post reported.

White House approves tougher vaccine development rules

Following weeks of delay, the White House on Tuesday approved tough new rules for coronavirus vaccine developers that will make it unlikely that a vaccine will be approved before Election Day.

The approval came only after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration published the updated guidelines on its website as part of briefing materials for outside vaccine advisers, the Post reported.

The standards, which would be applied to an emergency-use authorization for a vaccine, are similar to the standards for a traditional approval. But the White House has worried that the criteria would delay authorization of a vaccine beyond Nov. 3 and sat on the guidance, the Post reported.

The delayed clearance by the White House came only after White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows demanded detailed justification from the agency about the tougher criteria, the Post reported. The FDA provided the White House with additional data,

Israeli baby formula maker Else to complete share offering this week

TEL AVIV (Reuters) – Israel’s Else Nutrition BABY.V, which has developed a plant-based infant formula not made from soy, plans to complete a C$25.7 million ($19.3 million) private placement of its shares this week, its chief executive said.

Shareholder H&H International Holding 1112.HK of Hong Kong has bought 11.6% of the shares offered, while Canaccord Genuity CF.TO has taken the rest to sell to investors, Else CEO Hamutal Yitzhak told Reuters.

Else’s formula, made from almonds, buckwheat and tapioca, is organic, vegan and gluten free. Many babies allergic to cow’s milk are also allergic to soy-based formula, Yitzhak said.

“Currently cow’s milk accounts for more than 90% of the market and soy protein for less than 10%,” she said.

Almond is 10 times less allergenic than cow’s milk among babies, according to a 201‮8‬ U.S. allergy prevalence study, said Yitzhak, former head of infant nutrition at Abbott Labs Israel.

Else is seeking a place in the global baby formula market, which is expected to reach nearly $100 billion in 2024 from about $80 billion in 2020, she added.

A month ago Else launched a product online aimed at toddlers in the United States, where it plans this month to start selling its formula through KeHE Distributors, a supplier of chains such as Target and Walmart, and through other distributors.

Else, which is also developing nutrition for adults, will distribute through H&H in China and in Europe, starting in France.

The company need only comply with U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulations to market its product for toddlers, but must complete a clinical trial to sell formula for infants under 12 months.

“We are working on an FDA pathway, which will take us about two years,” Yitzhak said.

($1 = 1.3300 Canadian dollars)

Reporting by Tova Cohen; Editing by Jan Harvey

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