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Recent Releases In Global Health

Will Health Ministers Come Up With A Solution For Smallpox Virus?: When health ministers gather for the World Health Assembly in May they will try to come up with a solution to “a dilemma that has dogged decision-makers for decades – whether and when to destroy the last remaining stocks of…

Opinions: U.S. Support For Maternal, Child Health; Infection Control At Borders; The AMFm Model; International Affairs Budget; Organizations Supporting Women

U.S. Government Must Continue To Support Maternal And Child Health When Mother’s Day is recognized on Sunday, “let’s honor motherhood itself by giving all moms the gift they want most – the chance to deliver and raise healthy children,” former Sens. Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) and Jon Corzine (D-N.J.), who serve…

TB Medication Variations In Private Markets Could Harm Treatment Efforts, Study Says

A wide variation in the dosages and forms of medicines prescribed by private physicians to patients with tuberculosis (TB) in developing countries could lead to the development of more drug-resistant strains of the bacterial infection, according to a study published online Wednesday in PLoS One, the Financial Times reports (Jack, 5/4).

Recent Releases In Global Health

Lancet Comment Examines Connection Between Climate Change, Health A Lancet Comment examines the connection between climate change and human health and highlights the role health professionals can play in dealing with the future effects of climate change. “The only heartening aspect of this bleak terrain is the gathering awareness that…

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.”

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.

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.

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.

RTS,S Offers 46 Percent Protection Against Malaria For At Least 15 Months After Vaccination, Study Finds

A Phase II trial published Friday in Lancet Infectious Diseases has shown that RTS,S, the “experimental malaria vaccine from GlaxoSmithKline provides African children with long-lasting protection” against malaria, Reuters reports. “Scientists conducting the mid-stage trial at the Kenya Medical Research Institute said results showing the shot offered 46 percent protection for 15 months meant it had ‘promise as a potential public health intervention against childhood malaria in malaria endemic countries’,” the news service notes (Kelland, 1/14).

U.S., China Announce Public-Private Health Care Partnership

In conjunction with the state visit to the U.S. by Chinese President Hu Jintao, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and several other federal agencies on Wednesday announced a new public-private health care partnership between the U.S. and China, Modern Healthcare reports (Blesch, 1/19).