“Innovation, science [and] technology must again become fundamental components of how we conduct development work,” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told a “high-level meeting of international development and science experts” last week, reports SciDev.net.
Private Sector Involvement
“India, seasoned in the basics of medicine making, is now starting to take on a more mainstream role in the global drug industry, as a result of recent strengthening of patent law here and cost pressures on name-brand drug makers in the West,” the New York Times writes in a piece that examines what the role could mean for the country as well as for the global drug industry.
WHO Director-General Margaret Chan on Tuesday rejected recent criticisms that her decisions to declare H1N1 (swine flu) a pandemic were impacted by her advisers’ link to the pharmaceutical industry, the Associated Press reports.
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.”
“Key scientists behind World Health Organization advice on stockpiling of pandemic flu drugs had financial ties with companies which stood to profit,” according to a joint investigation by BMJ in collaboration with the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, BBC News reports (6/4).
Investments in agricultural technology should be directed to Africa’s smallholder farmers in an effort to increase food security after decades of low funding, the U.N. Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) said in a report on Wednesday, Reuters reports (Lynn, 5/19).
Media outlets continue to track news emerging from the 63rd annual World Health Assembly (WHA) in Geneva.
“India and Brazil launched a trade dispute against the European Union and the Netherlands on Wednesday, saying their seizures of generic drugs were hurting healthcare in poor countries and disrupting international trade,” Reuters reports. “India said the repeated seizures were based on allegations of the infringement of intellectual property rights in the country of transit, even though the generic drugs in question were legal in their countries of origin and destination,” according to the news service.
On the second day of the World Economic Forum (WEF) on Africa, Graca Machel, founder and president of the Foundation for Community Development, called on African governments to implement strategies aimed at empowering women in order to accelerate the continent’s social and economic development, Tanzania Daily News/allAfrica.com reports.
“A year after the H1N1 [swine] flu first appeared, the World Health Organization has issued perhaps the most comprehensive report on the pandemic’s activity to date,” HealthDay News/Bloomberg Business Week reports (Gardner, 5/5).