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Indian Government Rejects Abbott’s Patent Application For Second-Line ARV

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).

Food Price Rise Will Affect ‘Millions,’ FAO Economist Says

Abdolreza Abbassian, an economist with the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), on Friday “warned of a ‘worrying rise’ in food prices which will affect millions of people following unexpected shortfalls in major cereals owing to bad weather in 2010,” Agence France-Presse reports.

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 – the first of its kind for the organisation” – 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.

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…

CQ Looks At Plans For House Foreign Affairs Committee To Evaluate U.N. Programs

CQ Today examines how Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), House Foreign Affairs Committee chair, “has vowed to use her new [position] to take on the U.N. and some of its more controversial practices.” Ros-Lehtinen scheduled a public briefing titled ‘The United Nations: Urgent Problems that Need Congressional Action’ Jan. 12, during which the “committee will hear from a host of groups long critical of the U.N., including the Heritage Foundation and U.N. Watch,” according to the news service.

Haiti Opinions

Reflecting On What Has Gone Wrong And Right “[A]s we frankly assess and learn from what’s gone wrong in Haiti, we must also study and build upon what has gone right, and why,” UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake writes in a Miami Herald opinion piece. Lake calls what faced Haiti…

Reuters Examines Food Prices In Africa

Reuters examines food prices in Africa after the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization last week said its global Food Price Index hit a record high. “The United Nations may have sounded the alarm about soaring global food prices, but in Africa a string of bumper harvests and a changing diet means the political fallout may be more muted than to past price bumps,” the news service reports.