1103 NEWS on MEDICINES and HEALTH - March 2011

Data on Health shows why action is needed

57 countries have a serious shortage of medical staff. In the most affected regions, there is less than 1 doctor for every 33,000 inhabitants! In France, the density is 1 doctor for every 300 inhabitants. Less than 10 dollars per year per inhabitant spent in health. This is 300 times less than what is spent in France. Health costs account for 16% of the total budget of developed nations, compared with only 4% in developing countries.

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ETHIOPIA - Reducing TB risk in Addis Ababa

Health officials in Addis Ababa, are concerned about the spread of tuberculosis in the city's crowded public transport networks and tightly packed "DSTV [satellite television] houses" where ardent fans come to watch English and Spanish football. Now the city's TV and radio stations frequently air commercials urging people with coughs lasting more than two weeks to seek TB testing and treatment. Many public transportation vehicles also carry messages encouraging passengers to keep windows open to reduce risk.


WHO List of Essential Medicines

Dark Green coutries with an essencial Medicines list

Essential medicines are medicines that satisfy the priority health care needs of a population. They are selected with regard to disease prevalence, evidence of efficacy, safety, and comparative cost-effectiveness. Essential medicines are intended to be available in functioning health systems at all times in adequate amounts, in appropriate dosage forms, with assured quality, and at prices individuals and the community can afford.


You can find the essential medicines for different countries, by clicking on the country on the map of the following webpage: 


Huge price increase in medicine despite
publicly funded testing

The article shows how a medicine after having been produced in pharmacies, tested with federal money, is taken up by a drug company and licensed by the FDA. The price increases 100 times! Now it is almost impossible for health care personnel to use it. The cost to the company is only the manufacturing cost (which also the pharmacies had) and the licence fee. Because it has been approved, pharmacies can no longer manufacture it. 



UN Resolution on Global Health

On 9 December the UN General Assembly adopted resolution A/65/L.27 on the issue of global health and foreign policy. The resolution was passed following presentations by Brazil, representing the group of countries who comprise the initiative of global health and foreign policy (Brazil, France, Indonesia, Norway, Senegal, South Africa, and Thailand); Belgium, representing the EU; India, representing the Asian countries; Vietnam, speaking on behalf of the ASEAN member states; Switzerland, the USA, Japan, Australia, and the Holy See. The text of the resolution can be accessed at http://www.un.org/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=A/65/L.27

Member state commentary on the resolution (provided by Global Health Europe) can be found at http://tinyurl.com/4b6p4v3



WHO Role in Stopping Poor Quality Medicines

The role of the World Health Organization in the safety, quality and efficacy of medical products is under scrutiny this week by member states and stakeholders. In particular, the focus is on the WHO’s role in the prevention and control of medical products of compromised quality, the organisation’s relationship with the international taskforce against counterfeit products, and the taskforce’s alleged focus on the protection of intellectual property rights rather than on public health issues. In several documents, the WHO tries to explain this fragile role.

Link to the article: http://www.ip-watch.org/weblog/?p=14614&utm_source=weekly&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=alerts


UN Nations agencies propose mechanisms to lower Medicines Costs

Three United Nations agencies, the World Health Organization, UN Development Programme, and UNAIDS, have joined together to explain in a new policy brief the hard-won flexibilities in international intellectual property (IP) rules. The aim is to improve access to HIV treatment, in the current economic climate that undermines the affordability of needed drugs.
The 1994 World Trade Organization Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) constructed a strong IP enforcement system. Negotiators at the time worked in a variety of exceptions and limitations called “flexibilities” that less-developed countries could employ to soften any negative impacts of stricter enforcement and ensure they retained the ability to take actions in their own best interest.

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