As recently as a few years ago, patients infected with HIV living in Africa were likely to be turned away from health clinics, with no help for treatment in sight. They were told to go home and plan their funerals. This was the story old on NPR news radio this week. But a few recent studies may presage a different ending to this sad story. Read more »
Archive for the 'Global Health' Category
NIH Director Francis S. Collins gave the keynote speech at today’s Partnering for Global Health forum in Washington, DC, sponsored by BIO and BioVentures for Global Health. He spoke about why global health is a priority for the organization, and for the United States. For starters, Collins pointed out that recent scientific advances such as RNAi, small molecule screening, and genomics of pathogens, are allowing researchers and drug developers to fight infectious diseases. As a result, the pharma and healthcare sectors are able to look beyond the Big 3 diseases (HIV/AIDS, TB, and malaria) and pay more attention to neglected diseases such as dengue, as well as chronic noncommunicable diseases (e.g., hypertension, diabetes, cancers), which are growing in both developed and developing nations. Another reason that global health advocates are setting higher goals–and achieving more—than they have in the past has a lot to do the enthusiasm and global perspective of the younger generation, noted Collins. “We can tap into that energy,” he said. Read more »
USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah spoke to the participants of the Partnering for Global Health Forum in Washington, DC, this afternoon, an annual event sponsored by BIO and BioVentures for Global Health. He praised the efforts of industry, especially the biotech sector, to work toward improving global health, including R&D for new therapeutics as well as product affordability and access efforts. He noted how the global health sector is committed to making a difference now more than ever, even in a time of harsh financial realities (the recent $4.3 billion GAVI commitment by nations around the world is just one sign of multisector determination to improve global health). And he echoed the importance of two key phrases flowing through the conference thus far–financial sustainability and partnerships. Read more »
In Bethesda, Maryland, this week, representatives from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and European Commission are helping to launch an International Rare Disease Consortium to develop a diagnostic tool for every known rare disease by 2020, along with new therapies to treat 200 of them, according to an April 4 Nature article. The goal is quite ambitious—similar to the UN’s Millennium Development Goal targets to eliminate worldwide poverty by 2015—but it’s a task well-worth pursuing. Read more »
The crises in Japan and Libya this month have drawn attention once again to the outstanding work of many international relief agencies as they work around the clock to deliver needed food, water, supplies, and medicines to civilians. The pharma industry is no exception.