‘Ethical Issues Raised By PrEP Are Difficult, But Not Insurmountable’: “The AIDS movement is at a pivotal point in history, where it will face scrutiny not only to demonstrate that interventions are cost-effective and equitably distributed, but also to balance resource demands with other global health imperatives, such as maternal/child…
Private Sector Involvement
Also In Global Health News: NGOs, Business Schools; India’s Growing Presence In Africa; Water, Sanitation In Indonesia; Malaria Vaccine Trials
Financial Times Reports On Oxfam’s MBA Workshops Financial Times explores how the NGO Oxfam has started to “develop ethical trade workshops for MBA students in UK business schools, with a particular focus on overseas students” in the “hopes that by targeting the next generation of business leaders, it can influence…
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 â€“ the first of its kind for the organisation” â€“ 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.
The New York Times reports on how microlending has “prompted political hostility in Bangladesh, India, Nicaragua and other developing countries.” Such negativity “toward microfinance is a sharp reversal from the praise and good will that politicians, social workers and bankers showered on the sector in the last decade.” The article notes “[p]hilanthropists and investors poured billions of dollars into nonprofit and profit-making microlenders, who were considered vital players” in helping to achieve the U.N. Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), including the MDG target to halve extreme poverty by 2015. Such attention “helped the sector reach more than 91 million customers, most of them women, with loans totaling more than $70 billion by the end of 2009,” with half of all borrowers from India and Bangladesh.
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.
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).
Opinions: U.S. International Affairs Budget; Health Impacts Of Climate Change; Role Of U.N.; Drug Development, Free Trade
The U.S. ‘Must Continue To Have A Strong, AndÂ Effective International Affairs Budget’ Despite challenging economic times, “[t]wo areas we cannot afford to shortchange right now … are our national security and our economic prosperity, which is why we must continue to have a strong and effective International Affairs Budget,” U.S.…
“[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.
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.”
Time For U.S. To ‘Curtail Our Foreign Aid’ “At this critical time when we are concerned about our country’s financial well being it is imperative that we curtail our charity to others,” Bradley Blakeman, deputy assistant to former President George W. Bush and professor of politics and public policy at…