Wellcome Trust, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the African Academy of Sciences have joined together in a new initiative to make clinical practice guidelines more efficient and adaptable for clinical trials that require less stringent approaches, such as those that take place during infectious disease outbreaks. Additionally, by applying a more flexible approach towards the application of these guidelines, the initiative also hopes to make them “future proof,” or able to better incorporate new technologies. Continue reading ->
An innovative five-year agreement between the Australian government and pharmaceutical companies, involving a lump sum payment of about US$ 766 million for an unlimited five-year supply of the most advanced Hepatitis C (HCV) drugs, has reduced the per-patient costs of these cutting-edge treatments by roughly 85%, according to a study today in the New England Journal of Medicine. Continue reading ->
Switzerland, considered to be one of the richest countries in the world and home to significant medical research and development, has begun feeling the pressure of high drug prices for its citizens. This has led it to begin talking with other countries exploring joint procurement initiatives aimed at lowering prices, the Swiss global health ambassador told Health Policy Watch in a recent interview. Continue reading ->
Universal health coverage, access to medicines, and noncommunicable diseases are priorities for Switzerland in global health policy. Amb. Nora Kronig Romero is the head of the International Affairs Division and Vice Director General of the Federal Office of Public Health, as well as Swiss Ambassador for Global Health. She sat down with Health Policy Watch while in Geneva last week for the meeting of the World Health Organization Executive Board, which Switzerland attended as an observer to the governing board comprised of 34 WHO member states. Continue reading ->
The fair pricing of medicines and the transparency of costs were underlined as key by many nongovernmental organisations last week during a discussion at the World Health Organization Executive Board on access to medicines. The Board heard about staggering numbers of people deprived of access to medication and health products, with examples from patients with epilepsy, kidney diseases and other illnesses preventing them from getting better or surviving their condition. Continue reading ->
Shortages, faulty supply chains, unbearable prices, weak health systems - the issue of access to medicines is multifaceted and gave way to a long list of interventions yesterday at the World Health Organization. Challenged on its mandate to address intellectual property and trade issues, WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Gheyebresus (Dr Tedros) confirmed that WHO’s mandate includes work with partners on those issues. Discussions also included fair pricing and transparency, for which Italy called for a resolution at the next World Health Assembly. Continue reading ->
The Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) and Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV) today announced the launch of the "Pandemic Response Box", which offers researchers free access to 400 compounds that could lead to development of new treatments for pandemic diseases. In return, researchers "will be expected to share data resulting from research on the molecules from the box in the public domain within 2 years of its generation." Continue reading ->