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New Strategies To Improve Developing Countries’ Access To Low-Cost Generic Drugs Needed, Experts Say

New strategies that ensure developing countries have access to low-cost generic medicines and encourage innovation are needed, according to experts who attended a recent meeting sponsored by the WHO, World Intellectual Property Organization, and World Trade Organization (WTO) that addressed growing concern that strict intellectual property protections are limiting access to low-cost generic medicines, BMJ News reports.

Haiti’s Cholera Outbreak Has Plateaued, Death Rate Remains High In Rural Regions, U.N. Says

The U.N. on Friday said Haiti’s cholera outbreak appears to be waning overall, but high death rates from the virus in rural regions of the country remain a concern, the Associated Press reports. According to figures released by the Haitian government, 231,070 cholera cases and 4,549 deaths from the disease have been reported since the outbreak first emerged in October.

Recent Releases In Global Health

Factors Contributing to Health Of Women Worldwide: The Kaiser Family Foundation features a narrated slide tutorial by epidemiologist Laurel Spielberg on the health issues facing women around the world. The tutorial touches on issues such as economic status and biological, social, and cultural factors that affect women’s health, as well as…

GAVI Chair Calls For Greater Reductions In Vaccine Prices For Developing Countries

On Monday, the same day the GAVI Alliance helped oversee the roll out of a routine pneumococcal vaccine in Kenya, GAVI chairman Dagfinn Hoybraten highlighted the need for greater reductions in vaccine prices in developing countries during an interview with Reuters, the news service reports. The piece examines the funding mechanism in place to finance the pneumococcal vaccines, known as Advance Market Commitment (AMC), as well as the budget shortfall facing the group (Kelland, 2/14).

Also In Global Health News: Reproductive Health In Philippines; Microfinance Debt In India; HIV/AIDS In Kenya; Google’s DotOrg

Reproductive Health Bill Is Approved By Philippines House Of Representatives IRIN reports a “hotly debated” bill “that proposes national funding for, and access to, reproductive healthcare services and products,” cleared “a major hurdle on [Monday] after being approved by a committee of the Philippines House of Representatives” (2/1). Biliran Rep. Rogelio…

Johnson & Johnson Deal May Bring HIV/AIDS Drugs To Developing Countries Faster

Johnson & Johnson’s Tibotec Pharmaceuticals unit on Thursday announced it granted multiple licenses to generic drug manufacturers” to provide copies of [the experimental HIV/AIDS drug rilpivirine hydrochloride] TMC278 in sub-Saharan Africa, India and parts of Asia if it’s approved by regulators,” Bloomberg Businessweek reports.

Recent Releases In Global Health

Innovative Health Financing Can Benefit Global Health, Pharma: “The launch of pneumococcal vaccination in Nicaragua under AMC [advance market commitment] has shown that innovative approaches to health financing can benefit both global health and pharmaceutical companies,” according to a Lancet Infectious Diseases editorial that describes how the roll-out of GAVI initiative…

Merck, Wellcome Trust Back Project To Develop Improved Rotavirus Vaccine For Developing Countries

“A joint venture between U.S. drugmaker Merck and Britain’s Wellcome Trust charity said on Monday it is working on an oral rotavirus vaccine designed to be cheaper and easier to use than current shots,” Reuters reports. “Hilleman Laboratories, an India-based joint venture set up on a not-for-profit basis in 2009, said the vaccine will aim to protect against diarrhea-causing rotavirus infections and will be based on thin strips or granules that dissolve in the mouth and can be easily transported, stored and administered.”