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Group Of Health Research Funders Calls For Increased Sharing Of Public Health Data

Public health research data “must be made more widely available in the scientific community if researchers are to unlock its full potential and make progress in public health, the world’s top health funding agencies said Monday,” Reuters reports. “In a joint statement, 17 major health research funders from around the world pledged to work together to support ‘timely and responsible’ sharing of data gathered during studies on health,” the news service notes (Kelland, 1/10).

Recent Releases In Global Health

Newborn Resuscitation Innovation Breeds Additional Innnovation: In a USAID “Impact” blog post, Lily Kak, USAID senior maternal and newborn health advisor, writes about the the Global Development Alliance, which represents a “new way of doing business in the field of newborn health and has now become a key USAID strategy…

New York Times Reports On Rise, Fall Of Microloans In Developing Countries

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.

Opinions: Global Health Top Foreign Policy Issue; Global Food Security; Opiate-Substitution Programs In Eastern Europe; Feed The Future; Foreign Aid Lessons

Global Health Is A Top Foreign Policy IssuesFor 2011 In response to a story examining 2011’s top foreign policy issues, Serra Sippel, president of the Center for Health and Gender Equity, writes in a letter to the editor, published in The Hill, that “[g]lobal health was disturbingly absent from” the story. “Global…

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.

Sudan Referendum Approaches, Highlighting Health, Development Challenges Facing The South

“Southern Sudan is scheduled to start voting on January 9 on whether to become an independent country or remain part of Sudan, Africa’s largest nation which has been wracked by decades of conflict,” CNN reports (Wilkinson, 1/5). On Tuesday during a visit to the southern capital of Juba, Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir “said he would celebrate the results of the referendum even if the south chooses to secede, and pledged last week to help build a secure, stable and ‘brotherly’ southern state if it votes for independence,” Agence France-Presse reports.

Reuters Examines Foreign Aid’s Prospects In New Congress; Foreign Policy Looks At Clinton’s State Dept. Staff Memo

Reuters examines how the efforts of “budget-minded lawmakers [in the new U.S. Congress will] seek to curb costs without undercutting military operations” could impact U.S.-backed aid programs, including those in Afghanistan. “‘[Y]ou’ll see a Republican party focused on funding the military effort while trying to cut back on civilian assistance,’ said one Democratic congressional aide, speaking on condition of anonymity,” according to Reuters. “A senior Republican aide said many lawmakers in the new Congress would be reluctant to fund State Department or aid programs, especially those in conflict zones, in part because they believed State had poorly managed its activities in Iraq.”