Vape variant gets US FDA nod; Prime Infra splash

As America goes, so goes the world.

In most instances that is.

This is especially true in the case of breakthrough discoveries and regulatory decisions that impact on public health and the general welfare of citizens.

And since our own public health and safety standards are patterned after the American benchmarks, Ped Xing expects Manila to follow in the enforcement and regulatory footsteps of Washington as far as smoking-cessation tools and protocols are concerned.

Vapes – dubbed as electrically heated tobacco system by a manufacturing giant-- are now U.S. certified smoking transitioning devices.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has confirmed that IQOS, Philip Morris International’s electrically heated tobacco system, is appropriate for the protection of public health and has authorized it for sale in the United States. FDA’s decision follows its comprehensive assessment of PMI’s premarket tobacco product applications filed with the Agency in 2017.

Unlike cigarettes, the IQOS system heats — but does not burn — tobacco. It is the first electrically heated tobacco product to qualify for sale in the U.S. pursuant to the 2009 law that empowers FDA to regulate tobacco products, including through oversight of innovative products.

PMFTC Inc., the local affiliate of PMI in the Philippines, said while this certainly is good news, we continue to evaluate market and regulatory conditions for the introduction of IQOS in the Philippines.

“Our initial research tells us that 6 out of 10 Filipino smokers are already open to trying better alternatives to smoking. The US FDA authorization as well as our research are encouraging indicators for us to work hard to be able to offer IQOS to Filipino consumers,” said Patrick Muttart, PMFTC external affairs and communications director.

Commenting on the FDA’s announcement, André Calantzopoulos, PMI’s Chief Executive Officer, said:

“The FDA’s decision to authorize IQOS in the U.S. is an important step forward for the approximately 40 million American men and women who smoke. Some will quit. Most won’t, and for them IQOS offers a smoke-free alternative to continued smoking. In just two years, 7.3 million people around the world have abandoned cigarettes and switched completely to IQOS. Today’s decision by FDA makes this opportunity available to American adult smokers. All of us at PMI are determined to replace cigarettes with smoke-free alternatives that combine sophisticated technology and intensive scientific validation. FDA’s announcement is a historic milestone.”

He added, “The order sets out clear commercialization guidelines, including marketing requirements, that maximize the opportunity for adults to switch from cigarettes, while minimizing unintended use. We fully support this objective. FDA has set a high standard and we look forward to working with them to implement the order so that IQOS is reaching the right audience—current adult smokers.

PMI will bring IQOS to the U.S. market through an exclusive license with Altria Group, Inc., whose subsidiary Philip Morris USA has the market expertise and infrastructure to ensure a successful launch. PM USA is ready to deploy its initial lead market plans for IQOS.

PMI submitted a comprehensive body of scientific evidence in support of the PMTAs and of the parallel applications for IQOS as a “Modified Risk Tobacco Product”, which FDA continues to review

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It takes three.

Two is a company but can be casually collusive and hopelessly opportunistic. Indeed, it takes two to tangle.

Duopoly is a dubious proposition.

This we have seen in telecommunications, civil aviation, and water utilities.

The entire country is eagerly waiting for the entry of the third telco player to inject much needed competition in the sector virtually sliced in the middle by Globe and Smart; the passenger airline industry has been out of Cloud 9 and experiencing turbulence even as a third major player is finding it hard to fly past state regulatory rigors; and the two private water concessionaires are both awash in operational snafus and resource constraints, leading to supply shortages in Metro Manila and nearby areas early into the start of summer.

Sometimes the solution comes in threes – a triumvirate of forces and resources that are separate and not necessarily coequal.

Ped Xing has vivid childhood memories of card games (tex), rubber bands, bottle caps/soft drink crowns, even cigarette wraps, played in a game where three cards or crowns are tossed into the air.

The third card or battle cap is the tiebreaker.

The same purpose is behind the idea or concept of the third player -- to rouse lethargic participants into action and be responsive, proactive, service providers.

Well summer, is almost over, but certain parts of Metro Manila are still waterless and wilting

Quite thankfully, a third water carrier is entering the barren desolate and dry scene.

The infrastructure company led by Enrique Razon, Prime Infra, has drawn an aggressive plan to accelerate delivery of 80 million liters per day of raw water supply by 2021. This will be further upgraded to over 500 MLD by 2025.

The project is calendared for Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System board of trustees’ approval next week, May 9 (Mark the day, Mother goose).

“The Wawa water supply project is among the priority projects that was presented and submitted already by MWSS Administrator Reynaldo Velasco to President Rodrigo Duterte. We look forward to the endorsement of MWSS to authorize its concessionaire, Manila Water, to move forward with this high priority project.” said Enrique K. Razon Jr., Prime Infra Chairman and CEO.

The results of the joint technical study between WawaJVCO, the joint venture company of Prime Infra and the San Lorenzo Ruiz Builders Group of businessman Oscar Violago, and Manila Water, where MWSS appointed an observer, was presented to Velasco last April 15.

This was subsequently presented to the MWSS trustees during their April 23, 2019 board meeting. It laid down an aggressive plan to (1) ensure water supply security in Manila Water’s service area with the over 500 MLD new water source, (2) accelerate water availability by immediately delivering 80 MLD by 2021, and (3) provide operational flexibility and reliability to bring water where it is needed most.

WawaJVCO would be responsible for the raw water supply source development, while Manila Water, would treat the water and distribute to east zone customers.

Behold God’s glory and seek His mercy.

Pause and pray, people.