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More Details Emerge About UNITAID’s Plan For Patent Pool For HIV/AIDS Drugs

Though UNITAID’s board “voted Monday to create a board to run the new patent pool, and set a target of having five AIDS drugs in the pool by mid-2010,” the group “punted on the thorny issue of which countries outside of Africa to include in the pool,” Forbes reports. Some drug makers have voiced opposition to the inclusion of countries such as Brazil, China and India in the patent pool, viewing “these as lucrative new markets,” the magazine writes.

UNITAID To Launch Patent Pool For HIV/AIDS Drugs By Mid-2010

The international drug procurement agency UNITAID on Monday unveiled plans to create a patent pool for HIV/AIDS medications to help increase access to generic versions of newer drugs at lower prices for low- and middle-income countries, Agence France-Presse reports. The patent pool “will create a common space for patent holders to license their technology in exchange for royalties” and is “scheduled to begin operating in mid-2010,” AFP reports (12/14).

Increased Funds Lead To ‘Significant Progress’ In Global Malaria Fight, WHO Report Says

WHO’s World Malaria Report 2009, released on Tuesday, found “increased funding is starting to pay off in the battle against malaria but prevention and treatment must be increased to try to halt the killer disease, Reuters reports. According to the Associated Press, there were more than 240 million cases of malaria and an estimated 863,000 people, mostly in Africa, died of the disease in 2008.

Opinions: Future Of PEPFAR; Family Planning

Washington Post Editorial Examines Future Of PEPFAR A Washington Post editorial examines the future of PEPFAR under the Obama administration, as outlined in a five-year strategy released earlier this month. Though “[m]any organizations, including Doctors Without Borders, continue to worry that Mr. Obama is ‘flat-lining’ funding for the vital program,”…

Senate Approves Appropriations Package, Obama Expected To Sign

After the Senate approved a House-passed spending package worth almost $450 billion on Sunday, the legislation, which “includes annual foreign aid packages,” will go to President Barack Obama, Agence France-Presse reports. Obama is expected to sign the legislation (12/13).

McClatchy Series Examines Africa’s Population

McClatchy published a three-part series examining the “population boom” in Africa. Summaries appear below. One article looks at the relationship between Africa’s rising population and poverty. “Although it’s frequently portrayed as a continent decimated by epidemics, starvation and war, Africa is gripped by one of the greatest population explosions ever…

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…

Appropriations Package Approved By House, Senate To Consider Next

The House on Thursday “took a major step toward wrapping up the FY10 appropriations process when it approved, 221-202, a nearly $450 billion spending package that includes six of the seven annual appropriations bills Congress has yet to enact,” CongressDaily reports. The package includes the $48.7 billion State and Foreign Operations bill. “All Republicans, as well as 28 Democrats, opposed the bill,” according to CongressDaily (Sanchez, 12/10).