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Philippines Supreme Court Temporarily Halts Implementation Of Reproductive Health Law

“The Philippines Supreme Court temporarily halted the implementation of a law that provides state funding for contraceptives, legislation opposed by the dominant Roman Catholic Church but supported by reproductive health activists,” the Associated Press reports, adding, “The Responsible Parenthood Law was passed by lawmakers late last year despite the church’s…

Indonesia To Issue Compulsory Licenses For HIV, Hepatitis B Drugs Still Under Patent

“The Indonesian government hopes to implement one of the largest ever examples of ‘compulsory licensing,’ which will enable the generic manufacture of drugs still under patent,” IRIN reports. “Under the World Trade Organization’s Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), countries can override patents for public health purposes by…

Integration Of TB/HIV Services Necessary To Beat ‘Twin Epidemics’

Swaziland “is struggling to overcome twin epidemics of HIV and tuberculosis (TB),” UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé writes in the Huffington Post “Healthy Living” blog. “Here in Swaziland, more than three-quarters of TB patients are also living with HIV, and TB is the leading cause of death among people with…

South Africa Announces Rollout Of New Single-Dose ARV Therapy

“South Africa’s Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi announced on Monday the launch of a new single-dose combination antiretroviral [ARV] drug that will cost just 89 rand a month ($10) per patient, potentially revolutionizing AIDS treatment in the country,” Salon reports (McDonough, 4/9). “The new pill will be introduced this month to…

Drug Makers Must Change R&D Practices Or Patent Disputes Will Continue

“[T]he impact of [a decision by the Supreme Court in India to disallow a new patent for an updated version of Novartis’ cancer drug Glivec] will likely be broader than just that issue, escalating a long-simmering fight over patented cancer medications in emerging markets,” Thomas Bollyky, senior fellow for global health,…

Global Burden Of Disease Study Finds People Worldwide Living Longer, But With More Illness, Disability

“A sharp decline in deaths from malnutrition and infectious diseases like measles and tuberculosis has caused a shift in global mortality patterns over the past 20 years, according to a [study released] on Thursday, with far more of the world’s population now living into old age and dying from diseases mostly associated with rich countries, like cancer and heart disease,” the New York Times reports (Tavernise, 12/13). The Global Burden of Disease Study 2010, “published in the Lancet, has taken more than five years and involves 486 authors in 50 countries,” the Guardian’s “Poverty Matters” blog notes (Mead, 12/13). Researchers worldwide “drew conclusions from nearly 100,000 data sources, including surveys, censuses, hospital records and verbal autopsies,” NPR’s “Shots” blog writes (Doucleff, 12/13). The Global Burden of Disease (GBD) Study 2010 consists of “[s]even separate reports conducted by researchers at the University of Washington, the Harvard School of Public Health, and elsewhere [that] gauged people’s health in 187 countries and determined that developing countries are looking more like richer Westernized countries in terms of the health problems that pose the biggest burden: high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, and heart disease,” according to the Boston Globe (Kotz, 12/13).

Though Progress Made, Global Burden Of HIV/AIDS Requires Greater, ‘Better’ Response

“Optimism and momentum has been building around the real possibility that an AIDS-free generation is imminent. … Yet, the most recent estimates of HIV prevalence and incidence and of AIDS-related mortality released by UNAIDS, together with data from the Global Burden of Disease Study 2010 in the Lancet, make it clear that AIDS is not over,” UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibe; Peter Piot, director of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine; and Mark Dybul, incoming executive director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, write in a Lancet opinion piece. The Global Burden of Disease Study 2010 and UNAIDS data “highlight a persistent, significant, and egregious burden of avoidable death,” the authors write, noting global statistics and recent success in reducing the number of AIDS-related deaths and incidence rates worldwide.

Opinions: Kangaroo Care; NTDs, Women’s Health

Kangaroo Care Could Help Mothers In Poor Settings To Save Their Babies New York Times contributing writer Tina Rosen, on the newspaper’s “Opinionator” blog, examines the success of a system known as kangaroo care, which has helped to improve the survival rates of premature infants by using skin-to-skin contact with…

Also In Global Health News: Clinical Trial Participants Abroad; PMTCT Project In Malawi; Congo Polio Outbreak; Global Fund Zambia Grant; Women, Girls In Afghanistan

Lancet World Report Examines Protections In Place For Clinical Trial Participants Abroad Lancet World Report, in a follow-up on the revelations over the U.S.’s role in medical experiments conducted on Guatemalan prisoners in the 1940s writes: “A thorough review of the safeguards in place to protect modern human trial participants…

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