AEFJN MEDICINES AND HEALTH NEWS - JANUARY 2013

 

The Least Developed countries exempted
from granting patents ?



To respect the special needs and requirements of the Least Developed Countries (LDCs), when the TRIPS Agreement of the World Trade Organization (WTO) came into force in 2003, the LDCs were allowed a 10 year exemption on their obligation to grant intellectual property rights, e.g. patents on medicines. As the exemption ends July 2013, Haiti in the name of the LDCs has asked to prolong the period of the exemption till the country ceases to be an LDC. This may impact the access to generic medicines for LDCs.

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India prepares to supply free generic medicines

 Something is moving in India regarding access to medicines and Universal Health Care. In 2011 the state of Rajasthan began supplying free generic drugs to its 68 million people to end the price manipulation of doctors, private pharmacies and manufacturers. This program means to be a pilot for a similar scheme throughout India. What is happening in India can be an incentive for similar projects in other countries. 

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Access to Medicine Index shows
more investment for the poor

 The 2012 Access to Medicine Index was published on November 2012 ranks the world’s 20 largest companies according to their efforts to improve access to medicine in developing countries, highlighting policy and practice that either facilitate or hinder access. One of the key findings is that many companies have increased investment in relevant research and development, and some now devote as much as 20% of their pipeline to developing new products and adapting existing ones to address the needs of the poor.

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Critical barriers to the acceptance of quality antimalarial medicines for children

©Barbara SiggeMSF
©Barbara SiggeMSF

The Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV), has released a new independent study in six francophone countries in Central and West Africa. The study focuses on assessing critical barriers to the acceptance and uptake of quality antimalarial medicines for children. Among key findings are: Drug supply financing and adequate supply chain monitoring represent a significant barrier; Lack of demand by health-care professionals – and willingness to change prescribing patterns – remains a barrier to acceptance. 

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World Malaria Report 2012

The World Malaria Report 2012, published by the WHO in December 2012, highlights the progress made towards the global malaria targets set for 2015 and describes current challenges for global malaria control and elimination. The report signals a slowdown in the fight against malaria. After a rapid expansion between 2004 and 2009, global funding for malaria prevention and control levelled off between 2010 and 2012, and progress in the delivery of some life-saving commodities has slowed. 

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A review of the Work of World Health Organization
in the African Region

A report on the work of the World Health Organization (WHO) in the African Region entitled “The Work of WHO in the African Region” highlights the significant achievements made by the Organization during the biennium 2010-2011, and describes the challenges faced as it works with countries to improve the health of Africans. This work was carried out at a time when many African countries face a heavy burden of both communicable (infectious) and non-communicable diseases, with high numbers of maternal and infant deaths. 

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