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Lancet World Report Examines Health Risks Associated With Inaccurate TB Tests, WHO’s Upcoming Recommendations

With “scores of commercial serology tests for tuberculosis … being sold in high-burden countries,” the “WHO is due to release a negative policy recommendation – the first of its kind for the organisation” – after several reviews have “indicated poor performance of these tests,” Lancet World Report writes in a piece that documents the health risks associated with a growing number of inaccurate TB tests. However, “[m]anufacturers continue to claim that their tests are effective and fill a diagnostic niche, especially in sputum smear-negative patient groups,” the journal notes.

Male Circumcision Helps Reduce Rates Of HPV Transmission To Women, Study Finds

“Among HIV-negative sexual partners, male circumcision helps prevent the transmission of human papillomavirus [HPV] from men to women,” according to a study published online Thursday in the Lancet, HealthDay News/Bloomberg Businessweek reports. “However, circumcision offers only partial protection and partners must still practice safe sex, the researchers pointed out,” according to the news service (1/6).

Also In Global Health News: Vaccination Hampered In Cote d’Ivoire; TB And Lung Cancer; HIV Testing, Counseling In Zambia; Reducing Child, Maternal Mortality In Ghana; Male Circumcision Campaign In Kenya

Political Unrest Hampering Cote d’Ivoire’s Yellow Fever Vaccine Campaign “Unrest following Cote d’Ivoire’s presidential election is blocking a nationwide vaccination drive against yellow fever, a fatal mosquito-borne disease that is affecting people throughout the country,” IRIN reports. The immunization campaign – part of a global effort by WHO and UNICEF –…

Indian Government Rejects Abbott’s Patent Application For Second-Line ARV

India’s patent office “has rejected American drug maker Abbott Laboratories’ patent application for an HIV combination drug, allowing low-cost local drug makers to make and sell their generic versions in India and other countries where the medicine is not patented,” Economic Times reports (1/4). The drug under consideration was Abbott’s “Kaletra, which combines two antivirals, [lopinavir/ritonavir and] is one of the preferred second-line treatments to fight drug-resistant HIV, according to the World Health Organization, which recommends governments include it on their list of essential medicines,” Bloomberg/Businessweek writes (Narayan, 1/4).

Newsweek Reports On Growth Of Safety Net Programs In Developing Countries

“[A] recent study by the World Health Organization and the International Labor Organization identified 72 different ‘social pension’ plans around the world dedicated to the elderly, the ill, or the down and out,” Newsweek writes in an article exploring the growth in welfare programs around the world. “Most countries on the [WHO/ILO] list are developing nations once considered too destitute to help their poor and that, until recently, had little or no welfare coverage at all. … While fighting inequality and helping the neediest has long been on the docket of Third World leaders, most previous attempts have been sabotaged by inefficiency, corruption, and stagnant or dysfunctional economies,” the magazine writes. “Now roaring economies in Asia, Latin America, and even Africa, coupled with better-functioning governments and sound fiscal stewardship, have stretched the policy horizons for many nations that once lived from one crisis to the next,” according to Newsweek.

The Scientist Examines How Nonprofit, For-Profit Pharma Groups Are Working Together To Make Drugs More Affordable For Developing Countries

“With philanthropists funneling billions of dollars into biomedical research and traditional drug discovery efforts producing fewer and fewer therapies, the line between for-profit and nonprofit life science companies is beginning to blur as both sides of the divide look for new options,” The Scientist magazine writes in an article that examines the rise in collaborations between nonprofit pharmaceutical companies and for-profit groups. “More and more for-profit enterprises are experimenting with nonprofit models, while nonprofit organizations look to incorporate for-profit business practices to stay afloat.”

Recent Releases In Global Health

The Problem With A ‘Robo Budget': In a post on “The Hill’s Congress Blog,” Senator Patrick Leahy, (D-Vt.), writes about the recent defeat of the omnibus bill, calling the passage of a continuing resolution a “robo budget” that is a “disservice.” According to Leahy: “The Omnibus would have funded global…