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India’s Federal Cabinet Approves Food Security Bill; Parliament To Debate Proposal

“India approved changes to a bill that grants the nation’s poor the right to buy food grains at subsidized rates, meeting a pledge by the ruling Congress party to spread the benefits of growth before elections due next year,” Bloomberg reports (Parija/Mishra, 3/20). “India’s federal cabinet Tuesday cleared [the] ambitious food-security bill…

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…

UNAIDS Reports On Russian G20 Sherpa Visit

“In her first visit to Geneva as Russian G20 Sherpa, Ksenia Yudaeva” — chief of the Presidential Experts Directorate — “visited UNAIDS Headquarters for a broad-ranging discussion on global issues that are priorities for the Russian Presidency of the G20, including civil society participation, youth empowerment and development for all,”…

India’s Supreme Court Rules Against Novartis AG In ‘Landmark’ Patent Case

“India’s Supreme Court on Monday rejected drug maker Novartis AG’s attempt to patent an updated version of a cancer drug in a landmark decision that health activists say ensures poor patients around the world will get continued access to cheap versions of lifesaving medicines,” the Associated Press reports. “Novartis had…

New Strain Of Avian Flu Kills Two Chinese Men, Officials Say

“Two people in China have died and another remains critical after falling ill with a strain of bird flu not detected before in humans, the official Chinese news agency Xinhua reported,” CNN reports (Mullen, 4/1). “The authorities said the two Shanghai men, 27 and 87 years old, fell ill after contracting…

Reuters Examines Implications Of India’s Novartis Patent Ruling For Big Pharma

Reuters examines the implications of India’s Supreme Court ruling to overturn a patent on Novartis’s cancer treatment Glivec for the pharmaceutical industry in India and across the developing world. “Stung by a landmark patent defeat, Western drug makers will be wary about launching new products in India, but they cannot…

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