Eight deaths due to ‘seasonal flu’ in Oman, health guidance issued

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Muscat: The number of Influenza cases has dropped by almost a quarter compared to 2016, but the Ministry of Health has warned residents to

be vigilant as flu season approaches.

According to the latest report by the MoH, deaths as a result of influenza have reduced over the past three years, with 2017 season seeing eight cases of deaths so far compared to 2015 which recorded 25 deaths.

As a semi-tropical country, seasonal influenza viruses continue to appear throughout the year in the sultanate. The virus starts in early September and can continue until mid-May.

“In 2017, there were 952 cases until the tenth of October of influenza while 2016 saw 1492 cases of influenza,” the ministry said in a statement.

“The Sultanate has recorded 25 cases of deaths in 2015, six cases of deaths in 2016, and eight deaths in 2017, all linked to the flu and most of those cases were among the groups most at risk of high risk of complications of influenza. Despite the high number of cases, it is still within the normal range compared to previous years,” added the ministry.

 

Read More: http://snip.ly/d2kxu#http://timesofoman.com/article/119152/Oman/Omanisation/Eight-deaths-due-to-%27seasonal-flu%27-in-Oman-health-guidance-issued

8 Tough Questions Every CISO Should Be Ready to Answer

8 Tough Questions Every CISO Should Be Ready to Answer

When a major security incident, such as the recent massive Equifax data breach, grabs headlines, CEOs start asking more questions about data security.

See Also: Addressing the Identity Risk Factor in the Age of ‘Need It Now’

CISOs need to be thinking about their answers to critical questions the CEO is likely to pose.

Information Security Media Group asked seven security experts what questions they believe CEOs should be asking CISOs, and what information CISOs should arm themselves with to be prepared to provide answers. Following are eight questions and the experts’ suggested responses.

We have been investing in cybersecurity for a few years now. Would you say our organization is secure?

Israel Bryski, vice president, technology risk, Goldman Sachs: To pre-empt this question, the CISO should have a conversation early on with the CEO to determine the organization’s risk appetite. This will allow the CISO to align and prioritize security initiatives accordingly.

We are in the business of information and technology risk management, so the “Are we secure?” question is somewhat misguided. The question should be: “Are we managing risk according to our risk profile?” To answer this, the CISO should be able to easily demonstrate, based on a recent risk assessment, how the various cybersecurity initiatives and projects are in fact reducing risk, shrinking the attack surface of the organization and aligning the security program with the firm’s overall risk profile.

We have a board meeting next week. Can you talk about cybersecurity in a way they will understand?

Mischel Kwon, former director of US-CERT and deputy CISO for the Department of Justice; currently CEO of MKACyber: CISOs should be able to confidently say “absolutely” to this question. They should be able to speak with the board in a very businesslike way and articulate what they are doing with the company’s money and how they are protecting the company and its assets.

The key to being able to speak to the board is to base their program on a business-focused model. That business model shows their capability founded on their maturity, and that maturity is based on the probability of detecting specific types of attacks. These are the type of attacks that are most likely to happen to them, and this is the risk to the business, its goals and its reputation that these attacks bring.

Do you have enough money to do what you need to do?

Tim Youngblood, CISO, McDonald’s: Depending on where CISO sits, this can be a hairy topic. That can be a difficult conversation to say “I’m not getting enough.” It’s not easy if the CIO is in the room.

The best way to answer that is, “We may have current risks we are really well-funded to address, but there may be future risks we’ll need to fund and we still have some work to figure that piece out.”

A CEO is not going to write you a blank check. The CEO is going to look at the CFO and CIO and say, “The CISO needs money. You take it out of your budget and make it happen.” There is not an extra pot of money waiting for anyone, so making the clear case for why it is needed is key.

Is this really worth the investment?

Heath Renfrow, CISO at U.S. Army Medicine: The best thing a CISO can do when asked this question is have multiple options they can present to the CEO. Explain to them: Here’s the full issue. This is the total cost to fix this issue. This is what we believe the cost will be if this issue doesn’t go away and how much it will be should the vulnerability be exploited.

As an example, we didn’t know not know where our protected health Information and personal identifying information resided across all systems when I first got to Army Medicine. It would be a huge HIPAA concern if we got hit on that, or if there was a leak or a violation. It could have cost millions of dollars and many jobs. I tied in the overall cost and broke it down to how much it would be per end-user device to address it and it came out to be an about $3.43 per end-user device. Then I tied in all the results of HIPAA violations in the past few years and the fines associated with them. You get your senior leaders attention real quick with that approach.

Rick Howard, CSO, Palo Alto Networks, adds: Questions like this are sure to arise as corporate leadership attempts to understand the business risk associated with a cyberattack. As a result, CIO/CISOs should be prepared to explain the total cost of a potential breach. Everything from business disruption and loss of customers to consequential legal fees and remediation can rack up the bill more quickly than leadership may realize.

Read More: http://snip.ly/q0zie#https://www.bankinfosecurity.com/8-tough-questions-every-ciso-should-be-ready-to-answer-a-10357

Gottlieb Targets Drug Development Costs, Clinical Development Efficiencies

Posted 11 September 2017 By Zachary Brennan

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FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb on Monday explained to attendees of RAPS’ Regulatory Convergence conference some steps FDA is taking to make the clinical end of drug development more efficient and effective.

Opening with a discussion of the ways in which the gap of time between the discovery of the science behind new treatments and the adoption of such treatments has been shrinking, Gottlieb outlined a few of the ways in which the agency is modernizing its approach to collecting and evaluating clinical information.

And on a day when the discussion of how much it costs to develop a new oncology drug is being hotly debated with the release of a new study, Gottlieb also discussed how the costs of drug development “are also high, and growing.

“There’s been criticism of the various estimates of how much it costs to develop a new drug,” he said, according to the transcript of his speech. “Moreover, on a relative basis, in many cases the costs of early stage drug development has grown at a proportionally faster rate than the cost of late stage drug development. In other words, inflation in early stage drug trials is rising faster than inflation in late stage development.

“By front-loading the cost of drug discovery, the broader biomedical community is making it harder to advance new ideas. It’s economically harder to capitalize the cost of an early stage drug program, relative to funding a later stage project. So frontloading the costs are a recipe for reducing the amount of new ideas that can be advanced.”

 

Read More information: http://snip.ly/6ude0#http://www.raps.org/Regulatory-Focus/News/2017/09/11/28442/Gottlieb-Targets-Drug-Development-Costs-Clinical-Development-Efficiencies/

Which universities are pushing the boundaries in life sciences?

If you had to name the branch of university research that has the most tangible impact on mankind’s day-to-day activities, it is likely that the life sciences would be near the top of the list: not many days go by without the announcement of a new drug or gene discovery that has the potential to change lives or tackle disease.

Much of the best research in these fields takes place in the ultra-elite universities that excel in subjects across the board.

But analysis by Times Higher Education of the institutions that make up the World University Rankings reveals that there is a cluster of institutions just below this elite that are particularly strong in the life sciences and in driving forward innovation.

The 120 “life science challengers” tend to pitch much higher in the subject rankings related to clinical research and life sciences, as might be expected, with the bulk of them achieving overall scores in the middle to upper ranges (see below).

Which universities are pushing the boundaries in life sciencesHowever, they also perform very strongly in terms of the citation impact of their research, something that can be credited to their excelling in fields where journal article activity is key. Unlike the “technology challengers” (another cluster in the rankings), they also tend to be older universities, with few having been established less than 50 years ago.

Beyond these similarities though, the factors that drive the individual successes of the institutions are varied. In some cases excellent strategic decisions taken by the university are a factor; in others the local or regional ecosystem for research plays a part.

Sweden, which has five institutions in the list (headed by the medical research specialist Karolinska Institute), is one example where the ecosystem for life sciences appears to be a key factor.

Ulf Landegren, professor of molecular medicine at Uppsala University, another of the Swedish institutions in the list, said that the country had historically excelled in many life science fields, but that it was now taking its performance to another level with the help of collaborative programmes. The Science for Life Laboratory is one such programme – government-funded, it is based in Uppsala and also in Stockholm.

The SciLifeLab, as it is known, allows researchers from across Sweden to use cutting-edge and often expensive technology without paying for the privilege (apart from the costs of “disposables” used in lab work). Companies and scientists based outside Sweden can also use the facilities, but must face the full cost of doing so.

Professor Landegren, who was heavily involved in setting up Uppsala’s SciLifeLab site, said the effect of the scheme “has been that Swedish scientists now have ready access to advanced techniques that they may not themselves have the economy or the skills to set up”.

“Increasingly we see that life science is going the way of physics, in that technology is getting a little too expensive and complicated for individuals to have all the resources they need to answer their research questions so you might as well centralise it,” he explained.

He added that as well as making “generic” technology and techniques available to all Swedish scientists, SciLifeLab went a stage further by also identifying emerging “beyond state-of-the-art” approaches to research and capitalising on them before they spread to other countries and universities.

Access to expensive technology and the latest techniques is a theme carried across to other institutions that make the list.

Ross Coppel, director of research in the Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences at Australia’s Monash University, puts its success down to past strategic decisions to invest properly in the best academic staff and equipment, but also to the skilled technicians who operate facilities.

He said universities’ research strategies “are often very similar and it [success] comes down to your capacity to implement and execute your vision. I think we were in the fortunate position of having the financial resource to do it [and] the determination to do it and it’s worked out for us very well”.

On the role of technicians, he said Monash had focused on their field being a career path in its own right, with good job security and benefits. In return, in terms of testing new techniques and advancing research technology, “we look to them also to be pushing the boundaries of what is achievable”, explained Professor Coppel.

Beyond smaller research nations like Sweden and Australia, the life science challengers cluster is dominated by institutions in the US and UK.

With 35 institutions of the 120 (the UK has 24), the US is out in front, with a number of private institutions excelling in research. Here, the unique position that some American universities occupy – having strong ties to hospitals and the general healthcare system – is an obvious explanation for their success.

Emory University in Atlanta, for instance, is behind the state of Georgia’s biggest healthcare system – not-for-profit Emory Healthcare – while the US’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has its headquarters adjacent to the university’s campus. This geographic proximity between researchers and the practical application of their findings has obvious collaborative benefits.

But the university is also keen to stress the importance of its global reach through its success in spinning out research into the healthcare market and its academic links overseas.

David Stephens, vice-president for research at Emory, said that the institution had “realised its greatest success in commercialising research discoveries in the field of infectious diseases. For example, nine out of 10 US HIV/Aids patients, and thousands more globally, are on life-saving drugs discovered at Emory”.

Meanwhile, an effect of its international collaborations can be seen in the recent joint set-up with the University of Queensland – another life science challenger institution – of a multimillion-dollar biotech company developing cancer treatments.

simon.baker@timeshighereducation.com

Seminar Calendar of Upcoming Courses – June to July – 2017

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GlobalCompliancePanel’s seminars are a wonderful opportunity for professionals in the regulatory compliance areas to understand the latest happenings and updates in the regulatory compliance areas and to implement them, something they need to climb in their professions. GlobalCompliancePanel brings together a few of the best recognized names in the field of regulatory compliance on its panel of experts. The result: Learning that is effective, valuable and helpful.

GlobalCompliancePanel’s experts help you unravel all the knowledge you need in all the areas of regulatory compliance. At these seminars which are held all over the globe, you get to interact with them in person, so that any doubt or clarification you have is sorted out by none other than the honcho. They help professionals like you implement the regulations and stay updated, so that regulatory compliance causes no stress for you.

GlobalCompliancePanel’s experts offer their insightful analysis into the issues that are of consequence to regulatory professionals in their daily work. Their thoughts help you implement the best practices of the industry into your work. They also offer updates on the latest regulatory requirements arising out of a host of the laws and issues related to regulatory compliance, including, but not limited to medical devices, food and beverages, pharmaceuticals, life sciences, biotechnology and pharmaceutical water systems.

Take a look at our upcoming webinars from GlobalCompliancePanel, which will put you on the road to learning about any area that is of importance to your profession. You can plan your learning from GlobalCompliancePanel by looking at our seminars in the next few weeks at locations of convenience to you. You can choose from a whole range of topics. See which among these trainings suit you: Design of Experiments (DOE) for Process Development and Validation, Writing and implementing effective SOP’s, new FSMA rules, risk management and device regulations, data integrity, combination products, and what have you!

Contact us today!
NetZealous LLC DBA GlobalCompliancePanel
john.robinson@globalcompliancepanel.com
Toll free: +1-800-447-9407
FAX : 302 288 6884
Website: http://bit.ly/Courses-June-to-July-2017

Wrong hiring and ways of avoiding it

A perfect hire is a boon to any organization. At the other extreme, a bad hire can bring the inverse result to the organization: It can not only impede productivity; it can even result in drawing the organization into legal issues associated with wrong hiring. Problem employees create employee problems, which is why HR professionals need to be aware of what steps to take and what scenarios to avoid if they have to take hiring decisions that are legally defensible. A hire that is weak from the legal perspective is the stepping stone for troubles for the organization.

As if the legal troubles of wrong hiring are not enough; organizations have to also deal with the financial burden it brings. Many organizations have realized that in the absence of the right precautions, there is a near certainty that could end up hiring someone with a wrong background.

Facing embarrassing lawsuits

If an organization’s HR overlooks areas such as the candidate’s criminal record, or fails to take note of a falsified background, all that it is going to see is workplace violence, not to speak of lawsuits for negligent hiring and all the loss of time spent on finding the unsuited person.

Employers have to also face the prospect of inviting lawsuits for initiating screening methods that either violate the law or fail to take into account the changes in civil rights legislation and the new EEOC Guidance on the use of criminal records. This makes the screening process more complex than it ever was. It adds a new layer of woes for the organization, which has to bear the brunt of a wrong decision in hiring.

Get to understand all the aspects of legally compliant hiring practices

The way out is to gain familiarity with legally compliant best practices. This is the only truly proven antidote to not only keep the business productive; but to also make sure the organization will not be taken to court. Want to explore the ways of putting legally compliant hiring practices in place? Then, you need to enroll for a highly engaging and valuable two-day seminar from GlobalCompliancePanel, a leading provider of professional trainings for the areas of regulatory compliance.

At this seminar, Lester S. Rosen, who is CEO and Attorney at Law at Employment Screening Resources, a national background screening company accredited by the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS), will be the Director. To gain the benefit of the rich experience Lester brings into hiring best practices, please register for this seminar by visiting Wrong hiring and ways of avoiding it .

Touching upon all aspects of legally safe hiring and background checks

Over these two days, which will see a high level of interactivity, Lester will equip the participants with cutting edge tools, the latest legal developments and practical advice on the challenges of recruiting, background screening and hiring the best people for their organization. All those related to hiring practices, such as Human Resources professionals, Employers, Business Owners, Hiring Managers, Staffing Directors, Risk Management and Security Processionals, Staffing Professionals, Recruiters, and Background Screening Professionals will gain immensely from this session.

This seminar will help participants with the ways of obtaining and utilizing criminal records and background information on job applicants. The Director will update them on recent legal developments, and describe a few case studies which will help them understand the steps employers should take and the mistakes they should avoid. He will also familiarize them with the critical issues relating to hiring, such as the use of social networking sites, new technology and the EEOC approach to the use of criminal records and credit reports. Also taken up for discussion is the topic of why class action lawsuits are rising exponentially against employers and how to effectively comply with the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), as well as the many state laws that are in place for regulating background checks.

The Director will help participants understand with the immediate steps they can take to avoid a bad hire by putting in place a screening policy that withstands legal scrutiny. He will also traverse a variety of topics related to background checks such as:

o  The process employers should use in hiring to minimize the chance of a bad hire

o  The ways of adapting a background screening system

o  The ways of selecting the rightly suited screening partner

o  The most judicious ways of using social media, international background checks and drug testing.

GlobalCompliancePanel announces Seasonal offers for Professionals with Flat 50% OFF on all Seminars

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Do celebrations need a cause and a reason? Yes, and GlobalCompliancePanel, a leading provider of professional trainings for the regulatory compliance areas, is having a solid cause and reason for doing so. It is celebrating the many years of its relationship with its customers spread all over the world by offering its trainings at a massive 50% discount!

Yes, that is right. GlobalCompliancePanel’s seminars will be available for a huge 50% discount till April 30. Regulatory professionals who want to augment their knowledge of regulatory compliance can now do so by paying just half the price of these trainings from GlobalCompliancePanel. All that is needed to do walk away with a rare offer such as this is to visit https://www.globalcompliancepanel.com/seminar?wordpress_SEO and use MGCP50 Promo Code.

This offer is valid till April 30, 2017. Regulatory professionals who want to take any of GlobalCompliancePanel’s trainings can book their trainings for an area of their interest by this date. From April 1 onwards, this offer will cease, meaning that the original price will apply from then.

So, why is GlobalCompliancePanel offering this discount? It is for a simple, but profound reason: It wants to thank its huge customer base for the support they have been extending to this company over the many years for which it has been in business. During the course of the 10 years for which GlobalCompliancePanel has been in business, it has trained thousands of regulatory compliance professionals from around the world.

These professionals, belonging to such varied geographies as the US and Japan and India and Canada, have been able to meet their regulatory compliance challenges on account of these trainings. These trainings are relevant, focused and valuable, and are from some of the best known regulatory compliance Experts found anywhere on this planet.

It is these trainings that have been hoping these professionals in the regulatory compliance arena gain more insights into regulations from the FDA, the EMA and other such bodies around the world. These trainings have been consistently helping them to meet these challenges, as they give them a better and sharper understanding of the implementing these requirements.

These regulatory requirements can pose hurdles to the most experienced and brightest of regulatory compliance professionals in the medical devices, pharmaceutical, life sciences and food and biologicals areas, but not to those who undertake professional trainings from GlobalCompliancePanel. GlobalCompliancePanel’s panel of experts is here to help them overcome these challenges and hurdles.

This trend has been being witnessed from the time GlobalCompliancePanel entered the line of professional trainings. Any wonder then, that no fewer than 50,000 professionals have benefited from these trainings? What could be a better way of thanking such a huge base of customers than with this offer? GlobalCompliancePanel believes that a celebration should also be useful, and this is that this offer is!

Hurry up and enroll today. Happy learning!