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Opinions: Global Health Top Foreign Policy Issue; Global Food Security; Opiate-Substitution Programs In Eastern Europe; Feed The Future; Foreign Aid Lessons

Global Health Is A Top Foreign Policy IssuesFor 2011 In response to a story examining 2011’s top foreign policy issues, Serra Sippel, president of the Center for Health and Gender Equity, writes in a letter to the editor, published in The Hill, that “[g]lobal health was disturbingly absent from” the story. “Global…

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 Drugmaker Seeks To Make, Sell Generic Version Of Pfizer’s HIV Drug

The Indian drugmaker Natco Pharma “said Wednesday it has informed Pfizer Inc. that it wants to make and sell a low-cost generic version of the U.S. company’s [drug] maraviroc for treating the HIV infection under a so-called ‘compulsory license’ [CL],” Dow Jones Newswires/Smart Money reports. “Natco Pharma’s move is significant because, if successful, the Indian generic drug maker will set a precedent for other Indian companies to override multinational drug makers’ patents for the treatments of diseases ranging from cancer to hypertension,” according to the new service.

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).

Also In Global Health News: Field Trial To Fight Dengue In Australia; Bangladesh Reducing Child Mortality; Yellow Fever In Uganda; HIV/AIDS In Iran

Dengue-Blocking Mosquitoes Field Trial To Kick Off Tuesday In Australia AAP/Sydney Morning Herald reports that a 12-week field trial involving the release of mosquitoes infected with a bacterium known to block the transmission of dengue will kick off Tuesday in several suburbs in north Queensland, Australia. “Laboratory research has shown…

Also In Global Health News: Water In The Philippines; Potential HIV Treatment; Kenyan Food Security; TB In Prisons; Ethiopian HIV Plan

Government Agencies In The Philippines Sign Sanitation Agreement To Expand Clean Water Access Filipino Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo, Health Secretary Enrique Ona, and National Anti-Poverty Commission Secretary General Jose Eliseo Rocamora signed an agreement to honor the President’s Priority Program on Water (P3W), the Manila Bulletin reports.…

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…

Vatican Issues Communique To Clarify Pope’s Statement On Condoms

“The Vatican on Tuesday issued its most authoritative clarification on Pope Benedict XVI’s recent remarks that condoms could sometimes be used for disease prevention, saying that the pope in no way justified their use to prevent pregnancy,” the New York Times reports (Donadio, 12/21).

New York Times Reports On Gates Foundation’s Grand Challenges In Global Health Grant Program

The New York Times examines the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Grand Challenges in Global Health program, which gave a total of $450 million to 43 research projects over five years. “On drawing attention to ways that lives might be saved through scientific advances, I’d give us an A,” Bill Gates, co-founder of the foundation, said of the program in an interview with the newspaper. “But I thought some would be saving lives by now, and it’ll be more like in 10 years from now,” Gates said.