Julia Franz

Remote speech therapy now available

PORT TOWNSEND — Julia Franz of Peninsula Speech Therapy has announced she is now providing remote speech therapy as well as office-based care.

Franz typically treats older adults who have experienced a stroke or head injury or who have a neurological condition, such as Parkinson’s disease or dementia.

Teletherapy makes her treatments more accessible to residents of Clallam County.

Franz holds a Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech Language Pathology from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.

Her office is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Fridays.

For more information, call Franz at 360-301-5719, email [email protected] speech.net or visit peninsulaspeech.net.

COVID pill backing

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation said it will spend $120 million to boost access to generic versions of drugmaker Merck’s antiviral COVID-19 pill for lower-income countries, if the drug gets approved by regulators.

The private foundation said in a statement released Wednesday it hasn’t determined how it will allocate the money but will use the funds to “support the range of activities required to develop and manufacture generic versions” of the drug, molnupiravir.

Merck has licensed its technology with generic drug manufacturers in India. Under the agreement, the company said it will provide licenses to manufacturers to supply the drug to India and more than 100 other lower- and middle-income countries. It’s unclear how much of the generic drug could be available for use.

The Gates Foundation said its funding is also intended to help ready regulatory, delivery and other pathways to make the pill more accessible, if it becomes available.

The Food and Drug Administration hasn’t authorized the pill, and its outside experts are expected to meet Nov. 30 to scrutinize the drug. If cleared by regulators, the drug will be the first pill available to treat COVID-19.

Gold, silver futures

December gold climbed by $14.40, or 0.8 percent, to settle at $1,784.90 an ounce.

December silver climbed along with gold, edging up by 56 cents, or nearly 2.4 percent, to $24.445 an ounce.

Peninsula Daily News and The Associated Press

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