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PhRMA Representatives Meet With Officials In India To Discuss Compulsory Licensing

During a visit with government officials, industry leaders and NGOs in India last week, representatives from Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), a U.S. lobbying group that represents the country’s pharmaceutical industry and biotechnology companies, addressed “the Indian government’s proposal to allow local drugmakers to make low-cost version of patented drugs so that they can be made available to patients,” the Economic Times reports. “Issuing compulsory licensing is not a long-term solution and will be counterproductive,” PhRMA Executive VP Christopher Singer said.

Miller-McCune Examines Impact Of Limited Access To Schistosomiasis Drug In Africa

Miller-McCune examines the limited access populations living in Africa have to the schistosomiasis drug praziquantel – “the only commercially available treatment for the disease.” Schistosomiasis “kills about 300,000 people and afflicts more than 200 million yearly with chronic and severe anemia, abdominal pain, diarrhea, infertility and bladder cancer,” the magazine writes, adding that the disease is “[e]specially prevalent in sub-Saharan Africa, [where] by some estimates, nearly 800 million people are at risk of infection.” Examines India’s Push For Clearer Definition Of Counterfeit, Substandard Medicines

“India has taken the lead to get together a number of generic drug-producing nations to call for better definitions to ensure quality, strengthening of regulatory authorities in the respective countries, and bringing focus of the world to public health instead of intellectual property,” writes in an article that examines the recent meeting of leaders from Brazil, India and South Africa on issues regarding counterfeit medicines. “The initiative came as an inter-governmental working group, appointed by the World Health Assembly last year, is looking at the WHO’s role to ensure the availability of quality, safe and efficacious and affordable medicine,” according to the new service.

Also In Global Health News: Disasters In Indonesia; Maternal Health In Pakistan; Gates Grand Challenges Grants; Development Innovation Ventures; Dengue Fever Treatment

Death Toll Rises From Two Disasters In Indonesia; Minister Says Aid Not Needed Yet The death toll from two recent disasters in Indonesia – a tsunami and volcano eruption – “rose to more than 340 Thursday” and hundreds were reportedly missing, the Associated Press reports. According to an official, “a warning system installed…

Also In Global Health News: Foreign Aid In Ethiopia; Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation; Health In Myanmar; Poverty In Zambia; Rwanda’s Progress on MDGs; Men Involved In PMTCT Of HIV

Ethiopian Government Restricting Opponents’ Access To Development Aid, Report Says Ethiopia’s government has been restricting access to food and other types of foreign aid among opposition supporters, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said in a report on Tuesday, Reuters reports (Malone, 10/19). The report is based on more than 200 interviews, conducted over…

UNITAID Concerned About Infant HIV Medication Shortage, Drug Company Says Supply Is Sufficient

Bristol-Myers Squibb’s plans this month to close its plant in Meymac, France, that manufactures “the last therapeutic option” for HIV-positive babies has drawn criticism from UNITAID, Reuters reports. In an open letter published in the Lancet (.pdf), UNITAID writes that “[c]losing this factory means that 4,000 to 7,000 babies currently enrolled in treatment plans in developing countries through UNITAID could be left without the medicines they need.”