Controversy has broken out in India regarding access to two treatments that are used to address drug resistant tuberculosis (TB). The medications, bedaquiline and delamanid are all but unavailable in India, with fewer than 1,000 DR-TB patients in India receiving bedaquiline and only 81 receive delamanid. This has led to calls for the issuing of … [Read more...] about TB ‘miracle cures’ and the issue of high expectations
access to medicines
Children in Africa have shown a prevalence of up to 54 percent of HIV strains which display a resistance to one or more commonly used antiretroviral (ARV) drugs according to a study published in Clinical Infectious Diseases. Is this an indication that currently used medications may prove to be ineffective in years to come? Africa has seen a … [Read more...] about Drug resistant HIV and the potential to render current treatments inviable
The London Family Planning summit has reportedly documented $5 billion in pledges to aid family planning services in developing nations, however, will the policies of the Trump administration hinder these efforts? On Tuesday, July 11, World Population Day was observed, with a timely theme: “Family Planning: Empowering People, Developing … [Read more...] about Mexico City Policy: Putting the US at odds with the EU?
The anti-vaccination movement tends to be thought of as an American phenomenon. Such views have a strong hold in Europe as well - and are posing an increasing challenge to public health across the continent. The movement is hampering progress towards elimination of the measles virus, says the World Health Organization (WHO) in a recent press … [Read more...] about Measles outbreaks in Europe: anti-vaccination movement to blame?
Swiss pharmaceutical company Roche is conducting consistent legal battles against smaller companies to dissuade them from entering the market of breast cancer medication reports The Wire. They claim that this has, in effect, granted Roche a monopoly over the biosimilars market, with an emphasis on the breast cancer medication trastuzumab. As a … [Read more...] about Biosimilars and the trastuzumab controversy
The first sentence of the official press release for the new UN report on access to medicines captures all the problems with the report, probably inadvertently. Here is the monster sentence Whether it’s the rising price of the EpiPen, or new outbreaks of diseases, like Ebola, Zika and yellow fever, the rising costs of health technologies … [Read more...] about Hype for UN’s report on access to medicines is confused and contradictory
Recent controversy about access and IP Will India risk the wrath of many of its trading partners by issuing more compulsory licences to give access to innovative medicines? The question has flared to life again over the past few weeks. In early March, US trade groups sounded triumphal: India had assured the Americans that it would respect the … [Read more...] about What India will really do about access to innovative medicines
India surprised the world this week by announcing that it would impose taxes on many imported medicines. It will remove customs duty waivers and impose excise duty on 76 medicines used to treat cancer, HIV, haemophilia, diabetes and other diseases. The Times of India reported that this might “result in price increases between 10-25 percent on both … [Read more...] about India’s new medicine taxes hit the poor and the sick
We think that there will be unparalleled attention in 2016 on the issues of access to advanced medicines and on how to pay for them. Past controversies have largely focussed on access in low and middle income countries; this time Europe and North America will command at least as much attention. Ironically, the world’s richest and the poorest will … [Read more...] about Access to advanced medicines and affordability: a look forward to 2016
Pharma companies can have an “emerging markets strategy” Emerging markets are nothing like one another: an Argentinian denied an expensive new drug will usually just go and get a court to order his insurer or the state to pay for it; an Indonesian may never even find out what’s wrong with him. Argentina spends about $1050 per person on … [Read more...] about Five myths about access to medicines in emerging markets