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Section analysis

Health systems

6 lakh litres of blood wasted in 5 years

In the last five years, 28 lakh units of blood and its components have been discarded by blood banks across India, exposing serious loopholes in the nation’s blood banking system. India faces, on average, an annual shortfall of 30 lakh units of blood. Lack of blood, plasma or platelets often leads to maternal mortality as well as deaths in case of accidents involving severe blood loss

April 24, 2017
Times of India, Deccan Chronicle

Doctors and staffers handling swine-flu cases at the Nagpur GMCH hospital are facing the threat ...

Doctors and staffers handling swine-flu cases at the Nagpur GMCH hospital are facing the threat of the H1N1 virus as none of them have been provided with swine flu vaccines. Every year doctors in the risky environment put themselves at high risk and the Times of India reports this hospital sees two to three of them get infected with TB on average each year

April 25, 2017
Times of India

En Venezuela, la malaria ha incrementado 15 veces en últimos cuatro años

Malaria has increased 15-fold in the last four years and four fold since the year 2000. Back then, malaria in Venezuela was just 2% of all the infections caused by the disease across Latin America (29,000 cases). By 2015, there were 136,000 cases, increasing to 140,000 cases in 2016. Now, Venezuela accounts for 48% of all cases across Latin America. The situation is likely to worsen as diagnostic capabilities within the healthcare system falter

April 25, 2017
El Carabobeno, Estadao

Deadlier than Ebola: 745 meningitis deaths expose Nigeria’s faulty healthcare system

The Nigerian media investigated the cerebro meningitis outbreak, visiting the hotspot in Zamfara state, and argued that the more than 700 deaths from meningitis expose Nigeria’s faulty healthcare system

April 23, 2017
Punch Nigeria, Premium Times
April 20, 2017
Ynaija

Fake malaria test kits flood market

Members of civil society organizations and a section of officials at the Ugandan Ministry of Health have expressed alarm over the volume of fake malaria testing kits that are flooding the Ugandan market. The Rapid Diagnostic Test (RDT) kits are used to confirm malaria cases before treatment. A new study by the Coalition for Health Promotion and Social Development (HEPS-Uganda) has found that RDT kits imported by the private sector outside the National Drug Authority procedures are of very poor quality

April 22, 2017
Daily Monitor

Rs 600 cap on dengue, malaria tests

Indian hospitals and medical laboratories charging exorbitant amounts in the name of tests for vector-borne diseases were issued a fresh notice by the health department that places a cap of 600 Rupees on all tests to diagnose dengue, chikungunya and malaria in the district

April 23, 2017
Times of India

Tanzania: NGOs to Pump Over 1.7 Million Euros in PWD Support

The European Committee for Training and Agriculture (CEFA) is partnering with an Italian NGO and its partners to launch a multi-sectoral initiative that aims to foster the inclusion of people with disabilities within the Dar es Salaam community

April 23, 2017
allafrica.com, Daily News

New bednet options required to boost night safety from malaria

With pyrethroid class insecticide the only WHO approved class for some 12 years, new technology to treat anti-malaria bednets is becoming critical due to likely insecticide resistance, so one approach in the pipeline is to treat bednets with pyriproxyfen, which stops female mosquitoes from producing eggs. More research needs to be scaled up and more investment sought which is where WHO can play a role

April 25, 2017
Financial Times

A Harvard doctor just won $1 million for a project that could prevent the next deadly pandemic

Dr Raj Panjabi just won the $1m TED prize for an idea that dramatically increases the number of paid community health workers around the world. Panjabi is a physician and co-founder and CEO of Last Mile Health, an organization that expands access to healthcare through the hiring of professional community health workers. He wants to recruit and train the largest army of community health workers that has ever been known

April 26, 2017
Business Insider
April 25, 2017
NPR
April 26, 2017
Fast Company
April 25, 2017
Wired

Zimbabwe: HIV, Aids Chokes Informal Sector

A National Aids Council report has revealed that HIV Aids is wreaking havoc with Zimbabwe’s informal economy, a key development given that this is the sector most likely to lead any potential recovery. The report said this sector has not been targeted within the range of national efforts to fight HIV Aids, TB and cancer and this is a critical omission (

April 27, 2017
allafrica.com, Financial Gazette

HIV/AIDS infections up 150% in Borno

The number of people living with HIV/Aids in Borno State has increased by about 150% over the last three years, the state branch of the Network of People Living with HIV/Aids (NEPWHAN) announced

April 27, 2017
Daily Trust

Pakistan warned of facing Africa-like situation in three to five years

The Joint United Nations programme on HIV Aids has warned Pakistan that it could face an ‘Africa-like’ situation in the next three to five years with respect to HIV Aids. UNAIDS officials in Pakistan based their inference on their observation of the rising prevalence of the disease among injectable drug users, the transgender community and sex workers

April 27, 2017
News International

Uganda: Mayuge Fishermen Demand Anti-HIV/Aids Services

A substantial section of the population in the Mayuge district of Uganda are unhappy with dwindling healthcare services which authorities are rendering to communities that are at most risk of catching HIV/Aids due to the lifestyle surrounding the fishing communities, so there is an urgent need for worthy treatment and services. The need for regular HIV Aids/TB check-ups and information on permissible sex and the distance people have to travel to access healthcare leaves them extremely vulnerable

April 26, 2017
allafrica.com, Monitor uganda

Ted 2017: Frugal scientist offers malaria tools

Manu Prakash, a bio-engineer at Stanford University, designs cheap tools that can make a big difference in the poorest parts of the world. At Ted, he showed off his latest gizmo – a cardboard centrifuge that can spot malarial parasites in blood. Toy-inspired, it costs 20 cents. He also launched a citizen science project to identify disease-carrying mosquitoes by their sound, called the ‘Abuzz Project’

April 25, 2017
BBC, Premium Times, zeenews

India's antitrust watchdog orders probe into Roche cancer drug

India’s anti-trust regulator has ordered a probe into Roche for using anti-competitive practices to restrict cheaper copies of a blockbuster drug from reaching patients. Roche’s Trastuzumab is being challenged by several biosimilars which are sold at about 25% discount to the original. India’s Biocon and U.S. firm Mylan, which sell biosimilars of the drug in over a dozen countries including India, filed a complaint with the Competition Commissioner of India alleging Roche misled doctors and regulators to thwart competition to trastuzumab

April 26, 2017
Reuters

US major market for illegal online drug sales from India

The modus operandi of racketeers is to create websites that look authentic and make customers believe that even if calls are being taken/made from outside their local countries, dugs are procured locally. The global anonymity of the internet provides a safe haven for illicit prescription drug sales and many counterfeit products sold in the U.S. seem to have been manufactured outside the USA, particularly in China and India

April 26, 2017
Times of India

The CEO of HIV

The New York Times interviews Michael Weinstein, boss of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, one of the biggest AIDS treatment organizations in the world, yet, also one that has earned the distrust of many activists. The interview explains the story of Weinstein and how he has arrived at this place  

April 26, 2017
New York Times

Injured Venezuela protesters face another woe: finding medicine

Demonstrators in Venezuela where the state prosecutor says 437 people have been hurt in a months of protests are struggling to get treatment in a crisis-hit country where basics like antibiotics and painkillers are running short. Families are hauling relatives to multiple health centres, scouring pharmacies for medicine, raising funds to buy pricier drugs on the black market and posting messages on social media begging for medical donations

April 26, 2017
Reuters

WHO urges action over growing hepatitis epidemic

The number of people dying from hepatitis is rising, and most of the 325m infected are unaware they have the virus and lack access to potentially life-saving medicines, the World Health Organization said. In its first global report on the infection WHO said millions were at risk of a slow progression to chronic liver disease, cancer and a premature death and swift action on testing and treatment is needed

April 21, 2017
Reuters
April 22, 2017
Med.News.am, Global Times

Medication, money and maps: How to fight a debilitating eye disease

Paul Emerson, Director of the International Trachoma Initiative, told Reuters ‘we know where the disease is, we know what to do about it and where to do it.’ He went on: ‘antibiotic donation programme, increased government spending, a global mapping project identifying hotspots and the use of smartphones to collect data are game changers in fighting trachoma.’ He concluded: ‘the challenge now is reaching the most neglected populations, communities in conflict and in closing the funding gaps’

April 21, 2017
Reuters

India makes a long overdue move to ensure better drug safety

India has finally amended the law to make bioequivalence studies compulsory for certain classes of generic drugs manufactured in India. These studies establish that two medicines have the same biological equivalence, and they work the same way, to some extent and for the same purpose

April 12, 2017
Scroll India

HIV law promises equality

With the Indian parliament passing the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) (Prevention and Control) Bill, 2017, people living with HIV Aids are guaranteed equal rights in medical treatment, admission to educational institutions and jobs. The Bill lists grounds on which discrimination against HIV-positive people and those living with them is prohibited

April 12, 2017
The Hindu
April 11, 2017
Financial Express, New Indian Express

Priority is to overhaul Punjab’s health department - Mohindra

The Punjab government’s priority is to overhaul the health department by filling the pending vacancies of doctors and paramedical staff to make the health service more accessible, state minister Brahm Mohindra told the news media. The previous government purchased expensive equipment without proper planning and in many cases there is no technician to operate the equipment and it is lying idle

April 12, 2017
Indian Today

Absent staff renders most health centres useless

A report on the functioning of health centres in Barmer reveals that a large number of sub-centres are lying closed and several others are not functional as the staff are missing. The report was compiled by district authorities responding to complaints against the non-functional health centres in rural areas in Barmer

April 12, 2017
Times of India

Opinion: Making it possible for refugee health workers to answer their calling

WHO data says the global health workforce is experiencing a shortage of 7.2m doctors, nurses and midwives – a shortage that will increase to 18m by 2030 unless urgent action is taken. Ironically, a report from the Massachusetts Advisory Council for Refugees and Immigrants in 2014 found there were 3,000 doctors unable to work, unemployed or working in low-wage, low-skilled jobs in Massachusetts alone. This need could be met if we reach out and discover how many there are and then take the necessary steps to restore their professional identities and verify their credentials lost in flight and conflict

April 14, 2017
Devex

Lack of resources hampers disease control in Papua

A shortage of healthcare facilities and medical practitioners in Indonesia’s Papua province is hampering efforts to combat whooping cough and HIV AIDS. The Jakarta Post said such treatable diseases have developed into epidemics in the province because of a lack of essential medicines. A health advocacy group, SKPKC Fransiskan, confirmed this adding these illnesses had taken many lives because people were not getting proper treatment

April 13, 2017
Radio New Zealand

Crisis as blood bank stares at empty shelves

The South African National Blood Service says there is a nationwide blood shortage and it is calling on active donors, lapsed donors and potential donors to come forward to bolster national blood stocks

April 11, 2017
Krugersdorp News

Meningitis outbreak exposes the Federal Government's unpreparedness for epidemics

The Guardian Nigeria highlights the ongoing Cerebrospinal meningitis epidemic which has spread like wildfire in terms of cases and deaths across 17 states. It asks the pertinent question as to whether the government should have been better prepared to manage such an epidemic and not allowed it to cause this level of devastation

April 9, 2017
Guardian Nigeria
April 6, 2017
Punch Nigeria

Focus on ailing healthcare, lack of doctors on World Health Day

The Times of India reported that World Health Day in Assam was observed against a backdrop of deteriorating healthcare in the public sector, a lack of infrastructure, a shortage of doctors and rising incidences of medical negligence. On top of that, women in Assam are not aware of the importance of hygiene during menstruation nor do they have a comprehensive knowledge of HIV Aids

April 8, 2017
Times of India

Silent killer 'kidney disease' is striking 9 out of every 100 Malaysian, yet we lack doctors, me...

The writer highlights the growing burden in Malaysia with approximately 40,000 kidney dialysis patients at critical fourth or fifth stage of the disease and the numbers predicted to rise to 106,249 by 2040, based on recent research

April 10, 2017
Malaysian Digest

FDA warns Mylan over quality concerns at its Indian manufacturing facility

In The U.S. FDA has raised concerns over quality controls at a Mylan manufacturing plant in India, according to a warning letter from the agency dated April 3

April 11, 2017
Reuters

Nigeria, Ghana, China and India – major hubs for counterfeit medicine

Delegates from the ECOWAS Parliamentary Committee n Health and Social Service, Trade, Customs and Free Movement are in Liberia attending a week-long meeting to discuss ECOWAS policy on the fight against Counterfeit Medical products and expired products, and how Parliamentarians can contribute toward implementing and improving policy. According to reports about 70% of the medicines on West African markets are fake because the suppliers of these medicines see West Africa as a soft spot for international trade

April 11, 2017
Front Page Africa

Every year, Nigerians ‘spend $1bn’ on medical treatment abroad

Health experts in Nigeria said manpower, lack of facilities, literacy level, poverty, a lack of access to infrastructure and quality and safety issues all combine to undermine confidence in the country’s health system leading to those ‘with the financial resources’ and many policy makers to choose to seek medical treatment abroad. These experts said it was high-time Nigeria upgraded its healthcare skills base as a nation and it needed to sort out government policies which were confusing and often counterproductive

April 14, 2017
Cable Nigeria

It’s false to believe that antibiotic resistance is only a problem in hospitals – GP surgeri...

A new study shows that the belief that antibiotic resistance is ‘only a problem for hospitals’ is completely false and that GP surgeries are seeing the problem appear too. The study indicated examples like women suffering from the commonest E.coli urinary tract infection, which was resistant to the prescribed antibiotic, had up to four times greater odds of having the symptoms for longer than those cases where they responded to the antibiotic. They not only had the symptoms for longer, the symptoms were more severe

April 18, 2017
The Conversation

Barring pharmaceutical imports will not heal Africa’s economy

A Business Day opinion piece says plans by the East African Community to implement a plan to foster local drug production and protect domestic markets through high tariff walls against medicine imports is wrong, given the woeful track record that policies such as these have had in Africa over recent decades. Africa should create environments that afford the protection of intellectual property and offer competitive tax regimes to attract investment, research and development and construct educational institutions to support that investment

April 19, 2017
Business Day

Cameroon: diabetics at risk due to insulin scarcity

Diabetic patients in Cameroon are facing a severe shortage of insulin. Concerns are rising that many could end up dying if they don’t get the drug. The government is trying to blame the pharmaceutical supply chain

April 19, 2017
Deutsche Welle

Aid agencies accuse Nepal government of hampering their work

International aid agencies in Nepal say the government is hampering their work. Their projects face lengthy delays and they have to pay the government hundreds of thousands of dollars to get them approved. “When you have an environment that is opaque, it is a lot easier for bureaucrats who want to abuse the system to do so” said one NGO director speaking on condition of anonymity

April 19, 2017
The Guardian

Government spends Shs10 billion treating 140 officials

The Ugandan government spent $2.8m on health treatment for 140 senior government officials abroad over the past three years, according to Auditor General John Muwanga’s report for the period ending December 2016. The officials received specialist treatment for heart and kidney conditions, eye problems, cancer and diabetes in hospitals in Kenya, South Africa, India, China and the United States during these years

April 18, 2017
Daily Monitor

Scarcity of meningitis vaccine persists as epidemic worsens

Nigeria may not be able to get enough vaccines to prevent the spread and fatality of the ongoing Cerebro Spinal Meningitis type C. Nigeria urgently needs 1.3m doses of the vaccine for this strain but has taken delivery of only 500,000 doses. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), most vaccines currently being used for meningitis C outbreaks in Africa are polysaccharide vaccines, which are in short supply, as they are being phased out in other parts of the world, and the more effective and long-lasting conjugate vaccines, however, are not readily accessible for outbreak response in the region

April 17, 2017
Guardian Nigeria

Narendra Modi hints at rules for doctors to prescribe generic drugs

Indian PM Narendra Modi indicated that his government may bring a legal framework under which doctors will have to prescribe generic medicines, which are cheaper than equivalent branded drugs, to patients. Modi said his government had brought in a healthy policy after 15 years and capped the prices of medicines and stents, which has angered some pharmaceutical companies, and this new direction would be a possible next step

April 17, 2017
India.com, Hindu Business Line, Bangalore Mirror

A civic mess: At MCD’s biggest hospital, staff shortage, broken windows, lack of equipment

Indian Express visited one of the largest hospitals run by the North Delhi Municipal Corporation and found it a mess. There were staff shortages, broken windows, a lack of equipment – poorly organized to carry out the tasks it needs to do

April 17, 2017
Indian Express

Trouble as dominant HIV testing kits fail crucial WHO test

Most of the dominant HIV testing kits used in Kenya and other African countries have failed crucial threshold tests set by the World Health Organization. The evaluation took place as WHO and partners say they are seeing increasing numbers of cases of misdiagnosis, reaching up to 10.5% in some African countries. The final report had some interesting findings, indicating that the insistence that misdiagnosis is mostly to be human error looks likely to be misplaced. It suggests the testing kits themselves may be largely to blame

April 17, 2017
Standard Media

Hospitals in South Sudan running out of drugs as crisis worsens

South Sudan is experiencing a severe shortage of drugs as a consequence of the civil war raging in the country since 2013 and the government’s shortage of funds. A doctor at the Juba Teaching Hospital said there was a shortage of essential items like cotton swabs, normal saline solution, syringes and antiseptics and this endangered many lives  

April 17, 2017
Daily Sabah
April 16, 2017
The Peninsular

Barbados Takes Legal Stride on Gender Equality

Barbados has taken a major step towards ensuring gender equality in its judicial system with the development of a draft equality protocol for magistrates and judges. The document, the first of its kind in the CARICOM region, will support the judiciary in using gender analysis to ensure both men and women have equal access to justice. There are still inequalities in terms of numbers in the mainstream professions but this is hailed as a step forward

April 27, 2017
In Depth News

Cómo no discriminar en estrategia de hepatitis C

El Economista Mexico praises the IMSS plans to offer a coordinated innovative therapy to combat hepatitis C virus. However, it points out that only patients fortunate enough to enter the IMSS will benefit and this highlights the postcode lottery impact of the healthcare system which means you get better treatment depending on which part of the health system you connect with. Other experts are wondering why only the IMSS and not other institutions, resulting in expensive therapies for the few, not for all. NGOs are asking the government for clarity on who can access this treatment and on what conditions. Finally, what about people with co-infections such as HIV and their progression to advanced hepatitis stages – how is the new treatment going to relate to this group?

May 9, 2017
El Economista

D.C.’s botched Zika testing leaves dozens of families monitoring for symptoms

Three people in the District were wrongly told they did not have the Zika virus last year, and 26 others who may have been infected were mistakenly given a clean bill of health, according to the final accounting of results botched by the city’s public health lab, officials say

May 9, 2017
Washington Post

Why US suspended direct funding to Ministry of Health

The US Embassy in Kenya announced that the Health Ministry will no longer receive direct assistance from the American aid agency (USAID). Citing concerns over reports of corruption and extremely poor accounting practices in the Health Ministry, the U.S. said it would freeze its Ksh 2.1bn contribution to the ministry health kitty. The Embassy said the action was to ensure that health spending reached those in most need and to protect U.S. taxpayer money

May 9, 2017
Citizen TV, Star Kenya, International Business Times, Xinhuanet, Reuters

Traditional ruler appeals to government for CSM vaccine

The head of the Kpaduma community has called on the Nigerian government to make cerebrospinal meningitis vaccine available in the community in order to avoid the spread of the disease. Malam Fajemi Jariyi made this plea in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja. He urged community members to visit health facilities for any ailment and to not rely on self-medication when they noticed any health challenges and to get their children immunized against polio

May 9, 2017
Tribune Online

US Approves 483 Million USD Budget To Fight HIV/AIDS In South Africa

The U.S. has approved a U.S.$483m Country Operational Plan 2017 budget for South Africa to tackle HIV/Aids under the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for Aids Relief, according to Special Representative for Global Health Diplomacy Ambassador Deborah Birx. The COP2017 budget will support South Africa’s HIV/Aids and TB programmes until September 2018 under the PEPFAR initiative

May 8, 2017
Bernama

Doctors are scapegoats for India’s failing health system

The FT’s Amy Kazmin argues that Indian doctors are scapegoats for the country’s failing healthcare system. Public expectations about treatment simply cannot be met without more public spending. Symptoms of the problem are occurring with a growing number of assaults on doctors by patients. India is suffering from an acute doctors shortage, with just one physician for every 1,800 people. Government spending is just 1.4% of GDP, compared with China which spends 3.1%. As a result the healthcare system has neither the manpower nor the equipment to provide a reasonable standard of care for patients

May 8, 2017
Financial Times

WHO wants transparency, market revamp for fairer drug pricing

The world needs greater transparency on the pricing of medicines, and an overhaul of some approaches, in order to increase access to life-saving drugs, global health experts said. The problem has become global, WHO’s Suzanna Hill said, ‘many of these drugs are now on the WHO model list of essential medicines but their high price is limiting access’

May 11, 2017
Reuters

Migrants fleeing Central America face near-certain violence, charity says

MSF said that almost all of the estimated 500,000 migrants who travel into Mexico each year, fleeing poverty and danger in Central America, are victims of violence along their journey. Medical care, treatment for sexual violence and mental health services along the route are limited or non-existent, the report said 

May 11, 2017
Reuters

More Children and Women Dying in Venezuela as Economy Collapses

Venezuela’s collapsing economy is taking a toll on its population’s health, with more children and women dying and various diseases skyrocketing amid persistent shortages of everything from medicine to drinking water. The country recorded 756 cases of maternal deaths in 2016, up 66% from the previous year according to data from the ministry of health. Infant deaths rose 30% to 11,466 cases in 2016 from 8,812 deaths the previous year 

May 11, 2017
Bloomberg

WHO calls for immediate action to save lives in Somalia

WHO commended the government of the UK for its hosting of an international conference on Somalia but it also sounded an alarm that there is a huge crisis due to the destruction of crops due to drought, famine, disease and health insecurity due to cholera outbreaks. It called on the international community to raise money to urgently overcome the chronic shortage of funding for life-saving work in Somalia before crisis turns into a

May 11, 2017
World Health Organization

Health ministry, Novartis sign accord

Pakistan’s Ministry of Health signed an MoU agreement with Novartis Access to provide a basket of high-quality medicines in the public sector targeting four key non-communicable diseases – cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, respiratory illnesses and breast cancer. The agreement will help the most deserving to gain access to high-quality treatment at low cost to lessen the impact of chronic diseases in this developing nation

May 12, 2017
The Nation, Express Tribune

Indian healthcare must be evidence-based

Nayan Chakravarty, Kavita Tatwadi and Krithika Sambasivan, respectively, head of policy and outreach at IFMR LEAD, a public policy analyst and policy associate at IFMR LEAD, write a joint opinion article for Live Mint, in which they make the case that Indian healthcare policy has relied on pharmaceutical and equipment advances and evidence-based policymaking has been absent when it comes to service delivery and this needs to change

May 11, 2017
Live Mint

Thousands of Cameroonians to benefit from free healthcare soon

Six thousands Cameroonians will soon benefit from free medical services from an international NGO. Mercy Ships will settle at the Douala Sea Port, where it will carry out the ten-month programme. The NGO was invited to Cameroon by the head of state at the backdrop of growing health concerns in the country, especially for the financially unstable. Transportation, lodging and feeding are all free: no patient will remove a penny from their pocket authorities in Yaounde say

May 10, 2017
Cameroon Concord

Infant mortality and malaria soar in Venezuela, according to government data

Venezuela’s infant mortality rose 30% last year, maternal mortality shot up 65% and cases of malaria jumped 76%, according to government data, sharp increases reflecting how the country’s deep economic crisis has harmed citizens’ health. The statistics, issued on the ministry’s website after nearly two years of data silence from President Nicolas Maduro’s government, also showed a jump in illnesses such as diphtheria and Zika

May 9, 2017
Reuters, Nasdaq, Guardian, CaracolTV, Miami Diario, El Nacional, El Carabobeno, Globe & Mail, NTN24, Ambito, Swiss Info

Drug Lobby Said to Mull Membership Cuts Amid Price Scrutiny

The pharmaceutical industry’s Washington lobbying group, PhRMA, is proposing that member companies must spend $200m a year on R&D based on a 3 year average. They’ll also have to show R&D spending amounts to at least 10% of their global sales, according to people who asked not to be identified as it is still private. The move shuts out some of the smaller companies that have attracted the ire of insurers, patients and politicians over their business practices and smaller companies that don’t yet have drugs on the market

May 8, 2017
Bloomberg

Budget to eliminate TB slashed by Rs 4,000 crore

The budget for the Indian National Strategic Plan to eliminate tuberculosis by 2025 has been cut back from Rs16,000 to Rs12,000 crore in the proposal sent to the Prime Minister’s Office for final approval. The plan originally envisaged a budget of Rs19,000 crore, according to health ministry sources. The plan proposes greater and better incentivized engagement with the private sector that treats the bulk of TB cases, availability of molecular tests, SMS service to ensure better patient compliance and a new body to coordinate better nutritional support

May 7, 2017
Indian Express

US will run out of yellow fever vaccine by 'mid 2017' warns report

The country’s Centre for Disease Control and Prevention warned that it expected a complete depletion of yellow fever vaccine available for the immunization of U.S. travellers by mid-2017.’ According to the CDC report, the only U.S. approved vaccination had experienced manufacturing problems which has led to the shortage

April 30, 2017
UK News Yahoo
April 28, 2017
CNN
April 30, 2017
International Business Times
April 28, 2017
Voice of America

Nigeria records short supply of Tuberculosis vaccine as Kaduna hosts 7th Africa vaccination week...

Nigeria is in need of more tuberculosis vaccine: Kaduna state health authorities said they have all vaccines in stock except the Bacilus Calmette-Guerin vaccine which is primarily used against tuberculosis

April 29, 2017
News Express

On the prohibitive cost of drugs to the average Nigerian

Nigeria’s Sun News calls on the executive to take action on the prohibitive cost of drugs for the average Nigerian. The paper cites the current recession, a shortage of foreign exchange to import medicines and the inability of the government to make the services of the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency available to the masses

April 30, 2017
Sun News Online

Head of NGO fighting for better access to medicine

The Greek publication published an interview with James Love, director of Knowledge Ecology International, an NGO focused on knowledge management and governance. The interview zeroed in on his view that de-linkage of the cost of research from the final cost of a drug is an unavoidable change in pharmaceutical business models, if the world is to find ways of mass producing medicines cheaply, and thus, reduce the cost. Achieving this would allow mass production of drugs, which would reduce mushrooming healthcare costs and bring huge benefits to public health all over the world

May 1, 2017
Ekathimerini

Risiken von gefälschten Medikamenten

Worldwide, every second drug sold via the internet is counterfeit and this can have fatal consequences for the person who takes the medicine or tablets. These were the results of a study by international researchers at the University of Osnabruck

May 2, 2017
Apotheken Umschau

Half of children born in Ho are not immunised – Dr. Djokoto

Dr Djokoto, Municipal Director of the Ghana Health Services, said although diseases such as polio and measles have been eradicated, the Ho Municipal authorities were sitting on a health time bomb and risked seeing outbreaks once again due to negligence. He said vaccinations were vital in warding off diseases and charged local health authorities to take the immunisation programme seriously and improve public sensitization of health risks

May 2, 2017
News Ghana

Anger as Government Scraps Off H/C IIs

There is anger in Uganda over the government’s decision to scrap Health Centre II’s which rural leaders say will gravely worsen health services in rural areas. The Kabarole District chair, Richard Rwabhunga, said “scrapping Health center II’s takes away services from the most vulnerable people in rural areas.” He said this “was a death sentence, considering the less-than-satisfactory state of Uganda’s infrastructure and health referral system

April 29, 2017
Chimp Reports

Global med-tech firms, India locked in tussle after stent price sting

A group of global medical technology companies plan to tell Indian officials next month that any further price control measures would risk future investments and make them less likely to introduce new products in the country. This lobbying effort follows on from PM Modi’s decision to set a price cap for stents, slashing prices that patients pay for some devices by about 75%

April 28, 2017
Reuters

Stigma on the profession: Organ theft shocks Lahore’s medics

A recently reported human organ stealing incident from a housing society in Lahore has sent shockwaves through the community, especially doctors. Medics called a hurried press conference to condemn the atrocious act and appealed to society at large to raise the issue of human organ trafficking. They also elaborated on the importance of setting up a centralised system that would ensure legalised organ donation and transplantation

May 2, 2017
Tribune

Bridging The Gap Between Tuberculosis Innovation And Access

The authors praise the emergence of new diagnostic tools for TB, and the emergence of new drugs to treat it, but frontline health experts are realising that availability of new tools does not necessarily result in widespread access. They’ve undertaken an analysis and published a report identifying the main barriers blocking scale-up and patient access to these newly approved TB treatment tools  

May 2, 2017
Huffington Post

WHO to help bring cheap biosimilar cancer drugs to poor

WHO is to launch a pilot project this year to assess cheap copies of expensive biotech cancer drugs in a bid to make such medicines more widely available in poorer countries. The UN agency said it would invite drug makers in September to submit applications for prequalification of so-called biosimilar versions of two such drugs on its essential medicines list, Roche’s Rituaxan and Herceptin

May 4, 2017
Reuters

U.S. prescription drug spending as high as $610 billion by 2021: report

Spending on prescription medicines in the United States will increase 4-7% through 2021, reaching $580bn to $610bn, according to a report released by QuintilesIMS Holding. Quintiles, which compiles data for the pharmaceutical industry had previously forecast average spending growth of 6-8% through to 2021. It reduced its projections due to fewer new medicines approved in 2016 than prior years and because drug makers face increasing price pressure and competition  

May 4, 2017
Reuters

Drug pricing must be reformed

The FT’s Andrew Jack argues that drug pricing needs to be reformed. Drug companies can sometimes charge more in poorer countries because they focus on middle-class patients who pay for their own care rather than the population at large. The same issues apply in the USA, where insurance cover for patients is patchy. Investigations in the UK show that complex rules governing generic drugs mean manufacturers can increase prices when there are few or no other competitors – so we need greater scrutiny and more transparency in the way drugs are priced

May 5, 2017
Financial Times

NGO performs free cleft and palate surgeries for 155

NGO Operation Smile has performed free lip cleft and palate repair surgeries on 155 people during a week-long surgical mission in Ghana at the Volta Regional Teaching Hospital in Ho. A 77-member multinational team, which includes 41 local volunteers, successfully performed a total of 164 surgeries on children and adults born with a variety of facial defects, the NGO said

May 5, 2017
Ghana News Agency

Tanzania: Technology Helps Bridge Health Insurance Gap

Mobile technology is beginning to have an impact on the way healthcare is delivered to both urban and rural communities in Africa. One new innovation is mHealth, a mobile technology service providing better access to knowledge and information, improved service delivery and response times during crisis. Tigo Tanzania and its partner Milvik Tanzania recently introduced an improved insurance service called Bima Mkononi which offers healthcare insurance cover at an affordable rate to cushion people from healthcare cost burdens. It offers products such as life insurance, hospitalization and personal accident cover for customers actively using Tigo Pesa

May 6, 2017
allafrica.com

Solar power: A shot in the arm for India's health centers

A pilot project is launching in Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Haryana states which aims to set up replicable, cost-effective solar power plants at health centres. As the first point of access to a doctor for rural residents, the aim is to increasingly create a more resilient health system in rural India, benefiting primarily women and children

May 5, 2017
Reuters

Rumours hit immunisation programme in Haryana's Muslim-dominated Mewat

Harayana’s Muslim-dominated Mewat district has the lowest immunisation rate among children under the age of 6, which is a matter of concern to health authorities who are trying to rope in clerics to address the situation. The immunization there is 13%, much lower than the state average of 62.2%, according to the National Family Health Survey. Officials say rumours about vaccines having a sterilizing effect on children are part of the reason for lower numbers

May 4, 2017
New Indian Express
May 3, 2017
Outlook India

How smart partnerships can help fight chronic disease in Africa

Novartis’ Harald Nusser writes an opinion article on the benefits of public private partnerships to tackle the mounting healthcare challenges African governments are facing. He explains how the Novartis Access programme could grow to become a model, whereby, private sector companies, governments and faith-based organizations could work as one to overcome access to healthcare issues in poorer countries

May 2, 2017
ewn.co.za
May 3, 2017
CNBC

Sociedad Venezolana de Puericultura y Pediatría: No hay vacunas en el país

Venezuelan health NGOs are sounding the alarm. “There has been no pneumococcal vaccines for two years. In the state of Bolivar there is only 50% coverage for diphtheria vaccines. Three years have gone by since we had chickenpox vaccine and we’ve not had yellow fever vaccine for quite some time. Last year, many children did not receive protection against tuberculosis. Now on top we have malnutrition throughout many parts of the country, we are in crisis”, the healthcare sector NGO said

May 2, 2017
El Nacional
April 28, 2017
Reporte1, Noti Express Color

‘Superbug’ fungus spreading through NJ hospitals

Described by the CDC as a serious global health threat, a drug-resistant fungus is sickening hospitalised patients in a handful of U.S. states and New Jersey is one of them. New Jersey has had 17 confirmed clinical cases of the potentially fatal infection known as Candida auris. It has caused infections of the bloodstream, wounds and ears, the CDC reports. Sixty percent of people with C. auris have died, according to the CDC, and many others have suffered serious illnesses

May 2, 2017
New Jersey 101.5

Südsudan vor dem Kollaps

Fears on the ground are growing that any form of legitimate governmental authority is starting to break down. Kate Almquist, director of the Washington African Center for Strategic Studies, and her colleague, former coordinator of the UN expert panel for South Sudan, Payton Knopf, see the situation as critical, and are floating the idea of placing South Sudan under an international administration as quickly as possible. They fear that the actions of the predatory elite in South Sudan will end up with half the population either dead or fleeing abroad if action is not taken soon

May 3, 2017
Frankfurter Rundschau

Martial arts training for doctors at Delhi hospital after rise in attack

Doctors at one of Delhi’s top government hospitals will be given daily martial arts training, in response to a sharp rise in reports of violence against medical practitioners. About 1,500 resident doctors at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences will attend taekwondo classes in the hospital’s gym every evening from May 15th

May 3, 2017
Guardian

23 dead in South Darfur camps lacking medicines

More than twenty people died of an unknown disease in Otash and Lama camps near Nyala in the past two weeks, most of the victims were women or children. Dabanga Sudan reported that many patients have been transferred to Nyala Teaching Hospital because of a lack of medicines and treatment at the camps’ health centres. They cited community leaders as appealing to the international community and aid agencies to provide medicines for the camps

April 7, 2017
Dabanga Sudan
April 11, 2017
Sens 360

Kenya doctors end three-month strike after deal with government

Kenyan doctors ended a three-month public hospital strike on Tuesday, after reaching agreement on pay and working conditions. This has ended the standoff which threatened to embarrass the government before August’s elections 

March 14, 2017
Reuters

New UK drug cost rules leave companies fuming

A new UK drug funding formula which is set to come in on April 1st means that new drugs costing the NHS more than £20m a year will no longer be automatically funded, even if they are cost effective. Instead, companies will have to enter into negotiations to justify their use and work out funding. Drug companies suggests this will break a Conservative Party manifesto commitment ‘to speed the flow of new medicines.’

March 14, 2017
Reuters, Bloomberg

Care coordination in U.S. lags other developed nations

U.S. patients are more likely to experience gaps in coordination among healthcare providers than their counterparts in other high-income nations, a new study suggests

March 13, 2017
Reuters

Republican plan to repeal Obamacare would leave millions uninsured: report

Fourteen million American would lose medical insurance by next year ,under a Republican plan to dismantle Obamacare that would also reduce the budget deficit, the non-partisan congressional research office said on Monday, throwing President Trump and the Republicans onto the defensive, as they press forward with replacement legislation

March 14, 2017
Reuters

Trump Health Plan Helps Young Middle Class at Cost of Old, Poor: CBO

A Congress Budget Office report said ‘among the biggest beneficiaries of President Trump’s healthcare overhaul would be young, middle-class Americans. People over 50 and lower-income people would be hardest hit’

March 14, 2017
Bloomberg

Republican plan to repeal Obamacare would leave millions uninsured, according to a new report

Republican plan to repeal Obamacare would leave millions uninsured, according to a new report

March 14, 2017
Reuters

Study shows healthcare in Syria now a target of war

Published to mark the sixth anniversary of the Syrian crisis, a new study used data from multiple sources to assess the conflict’s impact on healthcare and health workers. It found that a policy of ‘weaponisation’ of the healthcare system in Syria occurred, by which the people’s need for healthcare was used against them by denying them access

March 14, 2017
Reuters

Kenya: You Must Return to Work Before Any More Talks, Govt Tells Doctors

The Kenyan government has instructed doctors to return to work before the government will engage with them in more negotiations over pay and conditions

March 12, 2017
allafrica.com

Hundreds of thousands of Nigerians trapped by conflict: MSF

Hundreds of thousands of people in north eastern Nigeria are beyond reach of aid, trapped between Boko Haram Islamist insurgents and counter-insurgency operations, which have left many without food or work, Doctors Without Borders said. Those who reach health centres report continuing violence against civilians by both sides in Borno state

March 10, 2017
Reuters

Employees who decline genetic testing could face penalties under proposed bill

U.S. Republicans are proposing legislation aimed at making it easier for companies to gather genetic data from workers and their families, including their children, when they collect it as part of a voluntary wellness programme.  It could also raise the financial penalties for those who opt out of workplace wellness programmes

March 11, 2017
Washington Post
March 10, 2017
New York Times

‘Fully doctor-dependant model of primary health care must change’

Dr K Srinath Reddy has been appointed to advise the Odisha state government on health . He spoke to The Times of India about his new advisory role, indicating that the ‘fully doctor-dependent model of primary health care must change’ in his opinion 

March 11, 2017
Times of India

Lifestyle diseases pose ‘serious challenge’ for Bangladesh

On a visit to Bangladesh, Dr David Nabarro told the press that ‘lifestyle diseases pose a very serious challenge for Bangladesh’

March 12, 2017
Prothom Alo
March 13, 2017
Daily Observer

East Africa is in ICU; the collapsed health sector says it all

The Kenyan doctors strike, now in its fourth month, has paralyzed services in public hospitals. Patients have been forced to turn to private hospitals, with those who cannot afford the high cost of medical services in such hospitals simply left to fend for themselves 

March 11, 2017
Citizen TV

Drug CEO Has Problem With U.S. Patients Paying His Prices

Novo Nordisk CEO said ‘too many diabetics are inadvertently getting stuck with a big bill, making it imperative that drug makers and middlemen at the heart of the country’s complex pricing system fix the issue before regulators step in’

March 14, 2017
Bloomberg

'Guns don't kill soldiers... SAMOSAS do': India's 'fat soldiers' a cause for concern

New statistics from the Indian Ministry of Home Affairs reveal the leading cause of death among personnel from the military and the police is not combat but ill health. The seven forces have lost 1,067 men in combat or counter-insurgency operations over a period of three years but more than three times as many – 3,611 – died due to poor health and illnesses, in which heart disease and suicide are the leading causes of death

March 16, 2017
Daily Mail

HIV/Aids drugs for developing world face threat of disruption

With just four companies supplying the bulk of antiretroviral medication to poor countries, the FT flags the fact that ARV drugs for the developing world could face disruption. Last year a key plant owned by Mylan in Nashak, India, was inspected by the U.S. FDA. Several deficiencies were found which could lead to the suspension of its ARVs. Mylan produces over half of all ARVs for the LMICs. If its production were to be suspended up to 7m patients would be at risk of not receiving drugs

March 16, 2017
Financial Times

Amid Dramatic Cuts, HIV/AIDS Funding Spared in New Trump Budget

One surprise winner in the proposed Trump administration budget will be HIV/AIDS funding, despite a nearly 18% cut to the Department of Health and Human Services. It has been made clear that the new budget ‘promises to provide sufficient resources to maintain current commitments and all current patient levels on HIV/AIDS treatment under the President’s Emergency Plans for AIDS Relief’

March 17, 2017
NBC News

SOCSO: 6,500 employee deaths in 2016 owing to non-communicable diseases

In a report for Free Malaysia Today the social security organization (SOCSO) revealed that non-communicable diseases are a major cause of death of employees under the age of 60, with over 6,500 such cases reported last year and NCD linked deaths rising steadily since 2006

March 17, 2017
Human Resources Online
March 16, 2017
Free Malaysia Today

CNN To Debut Jeffrey Wright-Narrated Pandemic Documentary ‘Unseen Enemy’ On World Health Da...

CNN will show a documentary, on April 7th, to coincide with World Health Day, which features some of the world’s top pathogen hunters and medical professionals who have been involved in tracking outbreaks of Zika, Ebola and influenza worldwide. The film called ‘Unseen Enemy’ makes the case that successful containment can be achieved with coordinated efforts of medical professionals, researchers, governments, communicators and the public 

March 17, 2017
CNN

Hidden HIV Reservoirs Exposed by Telltale Protein

Researchers reported they have found the hidden HIV reservoirs, which they successfully exposed with a tell-tale protein. This new discovery may help doctors to identify elusive infected cells in the body and could prove to be a further step down the road to successful treatment

March 16, 2017
Scientific American

Syria sanctions indirectly hit children's cancer treatment

Syrian child health specialists are struggling with a critical shortage of specialist drugs to treat their young patients. Local and WHO officials blame western sanctions for severely restricting pharmaceutical imports, even though medical supplies are largely exempt from measures imposed. The result is tumbling life expectancy and soaring deaths in pregnancy and childbirth

March 15, 2017
Reuters

UNICEF said a lack of early testing for HIV, and widespread stigma, leaves fourth-fifths of chil...

UNICEF said a lack of early testing for HIV, and widespread stigma, leaves fourth-fifths of children with the virus in West and Central Africa without life-saving drugs, which in turn means tens of thousands could die within years 

March 15, 2017
Reuters

Many at risk for stroke don’t get anti-clotting drugs

More than four in five stroke patients with a history of heart rhythm problems did not get any blood thinners, or did not take enough to help prevent a stroke before they had one, a U.S. study suggests

March 15, 2017
Reuters

Former Drug Czar Says GOP Health Bill Would Cut Access To Addiction Treatment

Michael Botticelli, who served as President Obama’s National Drug Control Policy chief, said ‘he is concerned the proposed Republican health plan will reduce access to health services for people with addiction’

March 15, 2017
NPR

PREP can play significant role in HIV/Aids prevention

The Deputy Director of the Desmond Tutu Foundation said PREP ‘can play a significant role in terms of HIV prevention in sub-Saharan Africa.’ Becker added ‘adolescents and young women will in particular benefit from this new prevention scale-up method, particularly now that the world wants to prioritise primary prevention for women and young girls’

March 15, 2017
New Era, Standard Media, Tuko Kenya

GOP health plan bill puts $1B CDC funding for disease prevention at risk

Among the potential casualties of the GOP’s bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act is the $1bn for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to fund essential public health programmes, including the prevention of disease outbreaks  

March 10, 2017
Fierce Heathcare

More wealth, less health: The changes fuelling China’s drug industry boom

The Telegraph highlighted the changes which are sweeping through Chinese society, such as a growing middle class, and an increasingly elderly population with a demand for improving healthcare – which are all combining to open up opportunity for the pharmaceutical and biotech industries in China

March 4, 2017
Telegraph

UK competition watchdog alleges illegal drug deal between Concordia and Actavis

The Competition and Markets Authority is alleging that two pharmaceutical companies, Concordia and Actavis, signed illegal agreements that enabled high prices for a life-saving drug to be prolonged

March 3, 2017
Financial Times

Ministry of Health suspends 18 health workers for obstructing Polio vaccine program

The Nepalese Ministry of Health suspended 18 health workers, including three health office chiefs, on the charge of obstructing the Polio vaccine administration programme 

March 5, 2017
My Republica, My Republica

Drop in London HIV rates 'may be due to internet drug PrEP'

A drug being bought online is believed to be the reason for a 40% drop in new rates of HIV in London. Pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, reduces the risk of catching the virus and costs around £40 per month. Four London clinics are reporting dramatic falls in new cases of HIV last year, when compared to 2015, and they suggest the new drug may be the reason why 

March 5, 2017
Sky News

Attackers Target Afghanistan Health Centers 240 Times in Two Years: Report

Hospitals and clinics in Afghanistan have increasingly been targeted by armed groups over the past two years, weakening an already degenerated health care system, a children’s rights group said in a report issued Monday 

March 6, 2017
Newsweek, Reuters

Obese people may get less 'comfort care' at the end of life

Obese people in the U.S. may not receive the same kind of care at the end of their lives, as people who are thin, or normal weight, a new study suggests 

March 3, 2017
Reuters

Drug Costs Too High? Fire the Middleman

Bloomberg Business Week looked at how Caterpillar Inc examined its employee drug plan and sensed money was evaporating. So, by a process of squeezing pharmacy benefit managers, they brought the costs right down

March 3, 2017
Bloomberg

Shortage of paramedics imminent

Krugersdorp Paramedics recently expressed their concern about the Department of Health and the Health Professional Council of South Africa’s decision to terminate all Critical Care Assistant and Basic Life Support paramedic short courses at the end of 2017 

February 28, 2017
Krugersdorp News

Poll shows 60% of European doctors are considering leaving UK

The General Medical Council told MPs that a survey they ran found Brexit was a factor for the majority of doctors thinking of leaving the NHS

February 28, 2017
The Guardian

Twenty U.S. states join generic drug price-fixing lawsuit

California, Illinois and 18 more states have joined a lawsuit, filed last year, alleging that six companies, including Mylan NV and Teva Pharmaceutical, conspired to push up prices of two generic drugs

March 1, 2017
Reuters

Zimbabwe's struggling health system leans on unsung heroines

As Zimbabwe’s health service has buckled amid low levels of public funding and a government freeze on hiring medical staff, volunteers have stepped up to take the strain. Home-based carers can be found across Bulawayo, where they work with local clinics to monitor TB and HIV patients making sure they take their medicine as prescribed

March 1, 2017
Reuters

No need to panic, enough medicine available: Health Minister

With Tamil Nadu reporting an increasing number of people contracting H1N1 virus, health minister, C Vijayabhaskar said ‘the situation in the state is under control and there is an adequate supply of Tamiflu tablets and vaccine’ 

March 2, 2017
Deccan Chronicle

South Korea fines Novartis over kickbacks, suspends sales of some drugs

South Korea has decided to fine Novartis over paying kickbacks to doctors in exchange for recommending the company’s drugs. The government said it has levied a fine on 30 drug items and banned sales of 12 variations of 3 drug types, including Alzheimer drug Exelon, for three months

March 2, 2017
Reuters

Germany to scrap plan to lower prices of new drugs: lawmakers

Germany’s ruling coalition will scrap plans, announced last year, to lower prices of newly launched drugs within the first 12 months, should sales exceed 250m euros lawmakers told

March 6, 2017
Reuters

Sub-Saharan Africa not winning friends in the medical device market

Fitch’s research arm BMI issued a report in which it said ‘Sub-Saharan Africa ranks as the least attractive region to commercialise medical devices because of the region’s poor operational environment and barriers to access healthcare.’ This reflects a range of economic and political risks, security threats in Nigeria and Kenya, pressurised aid flows, corruption and lower commodity prices. This is why Sub-Saharan Africa had the lowest regional average country risk score

March 6, 2017
Business Day

Generic Firms Can Export Bayer Drugs for R&D in India Ruling

An Indian court granted a pair of drug makers the right to export the main ingredients of two of Bayer’s top-selling drugs to develop generics in other countries. This is a decision which has the potential to speed up copycat versions of some of the industry’s most profitable products

March 8, 2017
Bloomberg

U.S. aid group Mercy Corps says Turkey has revoked its license

Turkey has ordered U.S. based Mercy Corps, one of the largest humanitarian organizations delivering aid to Syria, to immediately shut down its Turkish operations. The NGO says it remains in conversation with Turkey to see if it is possible to come to an agreement to resume Mercy Corps operations in the country as soon as possible

March 8, 2017
Reuters

Over 30 killed as gunmen dressed as medics attack Afghan military hospital

Gunmen dressed as medics attacked a military hospital in the Afghan capital on Wednesday, and battled security forces for hours, killing 30 people and wounding dozens more 

March 8, 2017
Reuters

Physicians Raise Alarm Over Increasing Disease Rate In Nigeria

The Association of Public Health Physicians of Nigeria has raised an alarm over the increasing rate of Non-Communicable Diseases like diabetes, cancer and hypertension in the country

March 9, 2017
Channels TV
March 11, 2017
Nigerian Tribune

Romania's healthcare exodus

In the Romanian healthcare system, doctors go through six years of medical school and then three to five years as a hospital resident, treating patients while working under the supervision of senior staff. Then, each year, Romania bleeds tens of thousands of doctors and nurses, dentists and pharmacists – many of whom are lured abroad by what Romania lacks, significantly higher pay, modern infrastructure and a functional healthcare system

March 9, 2017
Reuters, Reuters

Medical providers oppose Trump-backed health plan, Democrats take aim

U.S. Republicans unveiled a plan to dismantle Obamacare, critics look set to pounce

March 8, 2017
Reuters

Trabajadores sector salud en Chiapas denuncian falta insumos. Con Denise Maerker

With health workers tasked with battling outbreaks of dengue, chikungunya and zika, their representatives were publicly calling for more help in getting hold of medical supplies and equipment to be able to carry out their work

March 7, 2017
Radio Formula

WHO Director General Candidates Showcase Campaigns To The World

IP-Watch reported on the recent Geneva Health Centre event which featured a Q&A with the remaining three candidates seeking to become the new Director General of the World Health

March 7, 2017
IP-Watch

Trump Sends Pharma Stocks Down With New Tweet on Drug Prices

President Trump jumped back into the drug pricing debate, earlier in the week, sending pharmaceutical stocks downwards again with a tweet promising to lower medicine costs for American people. In the tweet Trump claimed to be ‘working on a new system where there will be competition in the drug industry’

March 7, 2017
Bloomberg

The House Republicans’ health-care bill is a thicket of bad incentives

The former acting administrator for the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services from 2015-2017, wrote an opinion article for The Washington Post about the new American Health Care Act, describing the Republicans’ new bill as a thicket of bad incentives  

March 7, 2017
Bloomberg

Lower $1,000 Pill Price? We'd Love It, Says Express Scripts

Gilead and Express Scripts Holding are in a spat over drug costs and rebate prices, with Express Scripts CEO challenging Gilead’s CEO to lower prices on their more expensive drugs

March 7, 2017
Bloomberg

Poisonous drugs hit market

Business Day Ghana focused upon Ghana’s record as the sixth worst country for counterfeit drugs in the world. WHO has estimated counterfeit drugs make up around 25% of the total medicine supply in less developed countries and a more detailed sampling found that between 30-60% of the medicines in Africa and South East Asia were substandard

March 7, 2017
Business Day, AllAfrica.com

Indian drugmakers face squeeze in U.S. healthcare market

India’s small and medium-sized generic drug makers say the threat of tougher rules and higher barriers for outsiders in the U.S. healthcare market will force many of them to find a niche, or focus their expansion efforts on other countries. India supplies just under a third of medicines sold in the U.S. and cut-price generics sold by Indian companies have been critical in bringing down prices

March 17, 2017
Reuters

GOP Health Bill Threatens to Throw Free-Care Burden Back on Hospitals

Unlike insurers, drug makers and other healthcare companies, acute care hospitals in the USA cannot refuse to serve patients because of a lack of ability to pay. As the number of people without insurance fell under Obamacare, hospitals’ uncompensated care costs dropped as well, according to the American Hospital Association. Under the new Trump healthcare proposals the Congressional Budget Office projects an increase of 24m uninsured by 2026, so who pays becomes an even more central issue  

March 17, 2017
Bloomberg

How poor vaccine supply systems put thousands of Kenyans at risk

Outdated vaccine supply and distribution systems are delaying and limiting the impact of vaccines, placing the health of millions of people at risk, according to new articles published in Vaccine Journal. One in every three countries in the world experiences at least one stockout of at least one vaccine for at least one month, while 19-38% of vaccines worldwide are accidentally exposed to freezing temperatures, potentially compromising the potency of the vaccines

April 2, 2017
The Star Kenya

In numbers: Maharashtra’s under-funded health services keep its junior doctors in the line of ...

What is not being highlighted in Maharashtra sufficiently is the correlation between understaffed and inadequately resourced public hospitals and the growing discontent among patients seeking care in these hospitals. A symptom of this is the violence against doctors, at which they are protesting. Violence against doctors is not about doctor-patient conflict as much as it is about a lack of funds and personnel to attend to the sick 

April 1, 2017
Scroll India

Financial problems affect region’s fight against malaria

Although all East African countries plan to eradicate malaria by 2017, or at least reduce it to single digits, being malaria free now seems like a pipe-dream for the region, because all the countries are recording an upsurge in infections since last year meaning planned funding will be insufficient 

March 31, 2017
The East African, AllAfrica.com

The cost of cancer: new drugs show success at a steep price

Newer cancer drugs that enlist the body’s immune system are improving the odds of survival, but competition between them is not reigning in prices that can now top $250,000 per year

April 3, 2017
Reuters

The Campaign to Lead the World Health Organization

The New York Times looks at the campaign to lead the World Health Organization. It explains the new voting procedure and who the three remaining candidates to lead WHO are. It runs over the list of challenges the new WHO boss faces, the organization is suffering from an identity crisis, it is often accused of being lumbering and slow, it is dependent on partnering medical charities like Doctors Without Borders, it is bureaucratic and under pressure from competing lobby groups and donors

April 3, 2017
New York Times

Govt apathy hits vaccine unit

India’s only Yellow Fever vaccine manufacturing unit at the Central Research Institute in Kasauli has been shut for the last five years, even as the government continues to import the critical vaccine. While production at the unit was halted on the grounds of poor manufacturing practice, over the years the government has done precious little to upgrade the unit. The CRI was one of three public sector vaccine manufacturing units that were shut in 2008

April 3, 2017
Deccan Herald

Polio vaccine in short supply in private hospitals

The Hindu says that the polio vaccine is in short supply in private hospitals in Hyderabad. After India’s switch to bivalent oral polio vaccine from trivalent oral polio vaccine, there has been a global shortage of IPV

April 3, 2017
The Hindu

Mumbai: Govt cracks whip on hospitals for overpriced medical devices

The state government has filed cases against eight top city hospitals found to be overcharging for stents and other equipment used to treat heart ailments

March 31, 2017
Indian Express

Trump FDA Nominee Wants Lower Drug Costs With More Generics

President Trump’s pick to head the FDA is one of the most vigorous advocates of lowering drug costs by approving generics faster. He’s particularly focused on complex medications that combine old drugs with newer deliveries, as well as those with unusually complicated formulations. The main generic drug law, crafted more than 30 years ago didn’t contemplate complex drugs and so it does not provide an efficient and predictable path for enabling generic entrants – Scott Gottlieb wrote in an Oct 24 Forbes column. Revamping the process is likely to be his focus

March 29, 2017
Bloomberg

EU rapid drug approval plan worries some national agencies

A push by the European Medicines Agency to speed up the approval of new drugs that show promise is running into stiff resistance from some of the national agencies that will ultimately decide if the medicines are worth buying. Critics worry that lowering the requirement for lengthy clinical trials, selling drugs with relatively little testing data, even if the go-ahead comes with strict limits, will expose patients to greater risks 

March 29, 2017
CNBC, Reuters

Why do residents work such long hours?

Resident doctors call the practice of assigning shifts stretching 24-48 hours inhuman and an exploitation of doctors. In contrast, the medical establishment believes it is routine practice and it has been there for ages and should continue. A spokesperson said ‘it is part of the learning process. Residents need to observe and follow a patient over a period of time continuously and see if the disease is progressing or worsening, and this can only be done when they are on longer shift patterns’

March 29, 2017
Times of India

1 039 vacant posts at health ministry

The Ministry of Health and Wellness in Botswana has a total of 1,039 vacant posts across all departments. The ministry said they lacked the ability to attract and retain skilled staff, there was an unavailability of skills in the labour market and a slow uptake by local healthcare workers to work in rural areas

March 30, 2017
Daily News

UN: 50% of Yemen Health Facilities Closed, Medicines Urgently Needed

More than 14m people in Yemen have no access to health services, the UN health agency said, warning that transportation of medical personnel and treatment for the injured is getting increasingly difficult as this week heralds the third anniversary of the conflict

March 30, 2017
Alahed News

Linking benefits for AIDS patients to Aadhaar triggers privacy concerns

Linking people living with HIV AIDS with Aadhaar cards has allegedly ‘driven away patients from hospitals and antiretroviral therapy centres’ in Madhya Pradesh. The patients feared that the compulsory submission of an Aadhaar card to get free medicines and medical check-ups under a government’s AIDS control scheme, could lead to disclosure of their identity, inviting social stigma

April 3, 2017
Hindustan Times
March 29, 2017
HT Syndication

Yogi Adityanath’s big plan to revamp UP’s health services, ‘6 AIIMS-like hospitals, 25 med...

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister, Yogi Adityanath, called for an end to kickbacks involving medical transactions and the exploitation of poor people in the name of expensive treatment. He said he hopes to revamp the state’s health service with more hospitals and medical colleges over the next five years

April 5, 2017
Financial Express, inUth

Only a quarter of damaged health facilities rebuilt

Two years after the Gorkha Earthquake in Nepal damaged 628 health facilities, only 27% of the structures have been rebuilt thanks to the sluggish pace of reconstruction

April 5, 2017
The Kathmandu Post

Blame game over high drug prices escalates with new advert

The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, its lobbying association, launched an advertising campaign urging insurers to share with customers more of the benefit of rebates they have negotiated. In response, the main health insurance lobby pushed back and pinned the high cost blame on drug makers

April 6, 2017
Bloomberg

Borno runs out of anti-retroviral drugs

The Borno Agency for the Control of HIV Aids said its state run specialist hospital had run out of anti-retroviral drugs at its main centre

April 6, 2017
City Voice

MSF opens free treatment centre in Matadi to help cholera victims

MSF has opened up a free medical treatment centre in Matadi in the Congo to help treat the growing number of cholera victims

April 6, 2017
ACP Congo

Burundi demands money from citizens in desperate effort to avoid economic meltdown

Burundi authorities are demanding money from citizens in a desperate effort to avoid economic meltdown. Documents obtained by IB Times UK show how teachers have to contribute up to an eighth of their salaries and doctors and nurses are expected to contribute too

April 5, 2017
International Business Times

A healthy nation necessary for economic development

K Srinath Reddy, President of the Public Health Foundation of India, said the poor performance of India on many healthcare counts related to the well-being of its people. He said India was second from bottom of the Human Development Index and linked this to health-related indicators, with only 64% immunization of the total population, which is far higher in many Sub-Saharan countries. He also pointed to 30% of children as being underweight, attributing it to poor nourishment and criticized India’s high mother and infant mortality rates 

April 5, 2017
The Hans India

Why India should use private pharmacies in its war on tuberculosis

India has over 850,000 private pharmacies or chemists nationwide, yet only nine percent of them have been engaged in efforts to control tuberculosis, according to a January 2017 paper published in the Journal of Pharmaceutical Practice and Policy. Despite making drugs and treatment free for TB since 1997, nearly 2.2m people, or around 50% of TB patients sought treatment in the private sector, according to a Nov 20th study in The Lancet

April 4, 2017
Economic Times

Health needs of men who have sex with men neglected in South Africa

MSM men are twice as likely to be HIV positive partly because their health needs are not being met and they are stigmatized and discriminated against in health facilities in South Africa. The Anova Health Institute explains how it is working to sensitise health facilities to help them become more MSM friendly through its Health4Men programme

April 4, 2017
Health24.com

India's Dr Reddy's says FDA raises fresh concerns at Srikakulam drug plant

India’s Dr Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd said that the U.S. FDA has outlined two more concerns with the company’s Srikakulam drug-making plant after an inspection of facilities. It did not make these concerns public but said it is working on improving processes at the plant

April 4, 2017
Reuters

State Counsellor to medical staff: be competent, ethical

Aung San Suu Kyi said that Myanmar was in need of more doctors and medical staff who are not only professionally competent but who are also ethically committed to their work in raising the standard of healthcare in Myanmar so that they can help everyone maximize their opportunities for the benefit of the nation

April 4, 2017
Myanmar Times

$1.1bn Required for Meningitis Vaccines as Deaths Rise to 328

The Nigerian government says it needs the sum of $1.1bn to be able to afford to vaccinate the 22 million people at risk of the current outbreak of Type C cerebro-spinal meningitis which is sweeping through five states and has already claimed hundreds of lives

April 4, 2017
This Day Live, AllAfrica.com
April 3, 2017
BBC News

Jharkhand will soon be second state in India provides 'free health services'

The Health Minister for the state of Jharkhand said he is looking to encourage Public Private Partnership and that Jharkhand is going to be the second state in the country to offer ‘free health services’ for all minors in government-run hospitals

March 28, 2017
Siasat.com

13 counties in western Kenya agree to joint delivery of health services

Thirteen counties in western Kenya have agreed to work together to improve delivery of healthcare services, particularly on malaria and HIV/Aids. The counties forming the Lake Region Bloc are in discussion to develop a joint blue print to address joint health service challenges

March 21, 2017
Standard Media

Drug shortage in 2011 tied to increased deaths

In a study into a drug used to treat a deadly infection known as septic shock in 2011, the researchers found that the shortage of norepinephrine was tied to an increase in deaths among patients with this condition. During the shortage the risk of death among septic shock patients was about 40% compared to 36% when hospitals weren’t experiencing a shortage. The 4% difference is likely to represent hundreds of excess deaths among this group

March 21, 2017
Reuters

Stigma and discrimination are neglected silent killers in Africa

The Kenyan media focuses on the recent case of Salome Karwah, Time Magazine Person of the Year 2014 for her part in the fight against Ebola in west Africa. In February this year Karwah died from childbirth complications in Liberia, staff initially refused to help her due to the stigma that still surrounds the disease 

March 22, 2017
Standard Media

53 doctors attacked in two years, not a single conviction

The Bombay High Court criticized resident doctors at hospitals in Maharashtra for their strike because of the impact it was having on patients. The young doctors remained firm in their demand for adequate security to protect them from recent attacks by enraged relatives of patients in Dhule and Sion in Mumbai

March 22, 2017
Mumbai Mirror
March 21, 2017
The Guardian

Poor patients turned away as doctors strike against assaults in India

Reuters reported that poor patients in western India were unable to access care for a fourth day at state hospital as doctors maintained a strike in protest at assaults by patients families. The High Court in Mumbai ordered doctors back to work in Maharashtra but asked the government to ensure their security, adding more pressure to an overburdened public healthcare system

March 23, 2017
Reuters
March 25, 2017
First Post
March 27, 2017
The Hindu

Beijing ends hospital markups on drug prices

Beijing announced public hospitals will end mark-ups on drug prices to separate medical treatment and drug sales and to lower costs to patients. Previously, drug prices were marked up by 15%, but this is now disallowed in over 3,600 hospitals and medical institutions across the city from April 8 

March 22, 2017
xinhuanet

When the U.S. funds global health, other countries do too

Research by a Tennessee professor shows that whenever the U.S. steps up and plays a lead role in funding global health programme this has a knock-on effect and other countries follow suit. It also helps promote increased governmental legitimacy in the developing world and moves their focus more onto diseases which are rising and whose growth would impact upon a developing country’s own budget

March 21, 2017
Washington Post

SPECIAL REPORT: Leprosy patients, care givers tremble as key donor pulls out of Nigeria

Premium Times Nigeria reports on Dutch NGO, the Netherlands Leprosy Relief, and its decision to pull out of the country and close down its leprosy work, on which leprosy sufferers in the story depend. NLR admitted that its income has fallen sharply, as donors have given less in recent years. So, it has been forced to take the decision to scale-down its work to only five countries and close up in Nigeria and Vietnam

March 18, 2017
Premium Times

LAPO blames government, institutions, others, for poor access to health service by rural dweller...

NGO Lift Above Poverty said it believes ‘low government spending, poor or weak institutions, inadequate supervision and inadequate health professionals’ are the main reasons why Nigerians outside of the cities in rural areas are receiving such poor access to healthcare 

March 17, 2017
Business Daily

Trump says he wants provision to lower drug costs in Republican bill

President Donald Trump said he wants to add a provision to the Republican healthcare plan that would lower prescription drug costs through a ‘competitive bidding process’

March 20, 2017
Reuters

'I thought cancer was a disease for the elderly': tackling Nigeria's 80% mortality rate

NGO’s are working hard to change cancer treatment in Nigeria, despite poor facilities and a lack of awareness. The Guardian reports on the work of the Nigeria-based Health and Psychological Trust Centre, known as Project Pink Blue, which is trying to bring best practice cancer care to Abuja

March 20, 2017
The Guardian

Britain to launch fund for small charities helping world's poorest

Britain is to launch a fund to help small charities scale up their work with some of the world’s most vulnerable communities. The fund is to be launched in the summer and the minister said ‘these organizations are a crucial part of the UK’s offer on international aid and development’ 

March 20, 2017
Reuters

Cancer rates are soaring in Africa, yet Tanzania's radiotherapy hub stands idle

The Guardian reports on Mwanza in Tanzania, where a state of the art oncology clinic lacks the funding and staff to get its equipment up and running, despite thousands of people requiring its life saving treatment

March 20, 2017
The Guardian

City has 54 doctors per lakh population against Beijing’s 355

The Times of India reports that there are only 54 doctors per 100,000 population in Mumbai, which is poor when compared to 296 in Shanghai, 282 in Tokyo, 393 in New York, 355 in Beijing and 85 in Sao Paulo. The upsurge in demand for medical services in India is not being matched by the training of health professionals

March 27, 2017
Times of India

Zambia fears health programs will suffer under Donald Trump's proposal to cut foreign aid

Critical programs across Africa will be impacted  by significant foreign aid cuts proposed by the Trump administration, Zambia warned. A White House blueprint calling for a 28% cut in State Department funding, means drastic reductions in funding to UN agencies with knock on effects around the world; the country’s vice president said a range of health programs involving maternal health, HIV/AIDS and malaria eradication could well be impacted

March 28, 2017
abc.net.au

MP blames provincial govt for drugs shortage

In Papua New Guinea the local Kerema MP has called out the Gulf provincial government for not addressing the issue of medicine shortages at the Kerema General Hospital. The MP said he had been told there was no medicine at the local hospital and patients were told to use herbal medicine while waiting for new supplies. He said the government must immediately address the issue because people needed the basics like malaria and tuberculosis drugs urgently

March 28, 2017
The National

Men who have sex with men face difficulty getting HIV medicine due to stigma

Homosexuals are a vulnerable group who struggle to access treatment for HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases because of the stigma and discrimination against them, health professionals and NGOs from Eastern and Southern African countries were told at a Johannesburg event to discuss HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment 

March 28, 2017
Business Day

Culture of disease diagnosis inevitable for health nation

In an opinion article for the Tanzania Daily News the editorial argues that it is time to introduce a culture of disease diagnosis in the Tanzanian healthcare system. He argues that identifying troubles early mean many diseases are far more treatable and the costs of treatment are lower as they are managed at this initial stage

March 28, 2017
Daily News

Lone surgeon at NICVD in Karachi, as 15,000 children lose life battles every year

More than 15,000 children die in Pakistan from cardiac disease. Despite that. Professor Sohail Bangash is the only paediatric cardiac surgeon at the National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases, which is the largest public-sector hospital in the Sindh-Balochistan region catering to cardiac care

March 26, 2017
Tribune Pakistan

Lawyer with a heart

Birendra Sangwan was interviewed by The Asian Age and he told readers how he ‘took on the medical fraternity and brought a capping on the price of coronary stents in India

March 26, 2017
Asian Age

Tamil Nadu: Nothing positive in HIV bill, say patients

HIV positive people came together to protest against a recent government proposal to ‘take measures, as far as possible, to provide anti-retroviral treatment, diagnostics and treatment for opportunistic infections to those living with HIV’. They argue the bill fails to ensure free and complete treatment of HIV positive people and want the phrase ‘as far as possible’ removed from the proposed law 

March 24, 2017
Deccan Chronicle, New Indian Express, Hindustan Times

Counties to share health experts to address shortage

Governors from 13 counties that make up the Kenyan Lake Region Economic Bloc have initiated a plan that will see the devolved units share medical specialists to address shortage. Hospitals will specialise in treating different ailments and reduce patients in key referral hospitals. The plan also involves tackling the high growing disease burden and prevalence of malaria, HIV and infant mortality

March 24, 2017
Daily Nation, Business Daily

Venezuela's Maduro asks U.N. to help ease medicine shortages

Triple digit inflation and a decaying economy have left medication ranging from simple anti-inflammatory drugs to chemotherapy medication out of reach for most Venezuelans

March 25, 2017
Reuters

EU recommends suspending hundreds of drugs tested by Indian firm

Europe’s medicines regulator has recommended the suspension of more than 300 generic drugs and drug applications due to unreliable tests conducted by Indian contract research firm Micro Therapeutic Research labs. The decision is the latest blow for India’s drug testing industry, which has run into a series of problems with international regulators in recent years

March 25, 2017
Reuters

The Health Care Bill’s Insults to Women

The New York Times Editorial Board attacks the planned GOP Health Care Bill as being discriminatory to women. It lists many examples to back up its case: stripping funding from planned parenthood, eliminating essential services such as mammograms, birth control and prenatal and maternity care, mental health and prescription drugs may be ‘optional’ at a state-by-state level and Medicaid is slashed by $880bn. Almost half of all births in the USA are covered by Medicaid, and 75% of all publicly funded family planning services 

May 12, 2017
New York Times

So Much for Trump Going After Pharma

President Donald Trump has gone from promising to bring down drug prices to looking like he`s been captured by Big Pharma in just a few short months. The president started out the year ripping into drug makers and threatening to make firms bid for government business but now, rather than pushing for pricing legislation, his administration is reportedly settling for an executive order -- which, according to a Kaiser Health News report, may end up looking more like a pharma wish list than a menu of onerous demands. The regulations the industry fears most include those that would give the government more negotiating power and limit drug monopolies. Those increasingly seem to be off the table

June 20, 2017
Bloomberg

Eight 'absentee' doctors from Gurugram sent packing by Haryana Government

After a stern warning, the Haryana Government finally cracked the whip by dismissing 160 doctors (including eight from Gurugram) for being absent from duty for several weeks. Besides Gurugram, large numbers of doctors that have been dismissed are 10 doctors from Hissar, nine from Bhiwani, eight from Fatehabad and eight from Kurukshetra

June 20, 2017
Millenium Post

Licensed Production Holds Key to Pharma Success

Iranian pharmaceutical company Behestan Tolid has wrapped up partnership negotiations with Merck Sharp & Dohme and is waiting for the Health Ministry’s go-ahead to start licensed production, a partner of the Iranian firm said. The Iranian Pharmaceutical Importers Association said that licenced production can become the key to future success for the Iranian pharmaceutical industry

June 19, 2017
Financial Tribune

Allen AI Joins Microsoft, Baidu to Help Empower Academic Searches

Paul Allen`s artificial intelligence institute is putting together a coalition including Microsoft Corp., Google, Baidu Inc. and the Gates Foundation to share technology and ideas to help scientific researchers and academics find and take advantage of the latest discoveries and information. Called the Open Academic Search project, the goal is to aid researchers by having the companies, institutes and non-profits involved make their AI and analysis tools open-source, or freely available to other groups to use and tweak. The project seeks to empower researchers, doctors and professors to use the latest discoveries amid a sea of new work and data that`s being created too rapidly for anyone to keep track

June 20, 2017
Bloomberg

Counterfeit curers: They claim to be doctors, but they are not

They say they are doctors but they are not. And they are a big reason why India`s healthcare system is not in the best of health. As part of the series Bad Medicine - The Ugly Truth of Indian Healthcare, CNBC TV18`s Archana Shukla uncovers a parallel world of unqualified medical practitioners, who appear to fill gaps in the public health system, but more often than not, create medical complications

June 20, 2017
Money Control

How to reduce maternal deaths in the worst counties to give birth in

A prioritised set of interventions is to be applied over the next five years in Kenya. The implementation of a framework which would help achieve targets by improving coverage for key indicators. These include increasing skilled deliveries by 87 per cent, antenatal care by 69 per cent, full immunization to 76 per cent, contraceptive use to 73 per cent and pregnant women tested for HIV and post-test counselling to 75 per cent, all by 2020. Experts projected that following this, the absolute number of maternal deaths would reduce from 5,453 in 2014/15 to 3,276. To achieve these goals, the framework suggested key strategies that needed increased investments, including addressing disparities and increasing coverage through prioritising underserved counties and marginalized populations

June 20, 2017
The Star

Worldwide drug sale forecasts fall as pricing pressures mount

Forecasts for global sales of pharmaceuticals have declined for the first time in a decade as continuing pressure on prices in the key U.S. market has caused analysts to moderate revenue expectations. Evaluate Pharma, which compiles consensus numbers based on analysts` forecasts, said worldwide drug sales were now expected to hit $1.06 trillion in 2022, down from $1.12 trillion predicted a year ago for the same period. It is the first time in 10 years that total drug sales have failed to beat the previous year`s forecast level

June 20, 2017
Reuters

Exclusive: Ahead of Modi visit, U.S. lawmakers ask India to rethink price cap on stents

A group of U.S. lawmakers has backed medical device makers by urging India to reconsider its decision to cap prices of heart stents, raising the issue ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi`s visit to the United States. In a letter sent to the Indian ambassador to Washington last month, 18 members of Congress said they were "troubled" by the price cap, warning that it could deter firms from launching new medical products in India. Modi`s government has in recent years capped prices of hundreds of life-saving drugs to make them more affordable. And in February, it imposed a 75 percent price cut for certain heart stents

June 19, 2017
Reuters

Achieving universal health coverage in Kenya through Innovative financing

Every year, one million Kenyans are driven below the poverty line by healthcare-related expenditures. Poverty predisposes them to disease and slows all aspects of growth in the economy. Africa accounts for a quarter of the world’s disease burden but has less than five per cent of the world’s doctors. The continent lags far behind in basic healthcare coverage for services such as immunization, water and sanitation, and family planning. Kenya can institute targeted taxation as an innovative financing policy to complement existing financing mechanisms

June 19, 2017
The Star

Doctors nurses from private hospitals hit the road, want rate bill withdrawn

Around 2,000 doctors, nurses and other medical professionals hit the road to voice their opposition to the Karnataka Private Medical Establishments (Amendment) Bill, 2017, that seeks to regulate only private hospitals while leaving government establishments out of its remit. The bill empowers the Karnataka government to set the rates for various services offered by private hospitals and prescribes punishment, including imprisonment for any irregularities

June 17, 2017
Times of India, The Hindu, Times of India

Dengue workers demand 10-month salary

A large number of daily wagers, hired by the Sheikupura district government for its anti-dengue drive, held a protest outside the Punjab Assembly against the non-payment of their salaries and sacking of trained staff. Carrying placards and banners inscribed with slogans in favour of their demands, dozens of participants, shouted slogans against the government. The demonstrators said they were demanding the payment of salaries for the last 10 months

June 17, 2017
Tribune

As Philippines battle grinds on, some displaced die in centres

Four weeks since fierce fighting broke out in the southern Philippines, some people who fled the battle are dying in over-crowded and unsanitary evacuation centres, health officials say. Alinader Minalang, the health director for the Lanao del Sur province which includes Marawi, said 300 cases of diarrhoea had been recorded among the nearly 40,000 people huddled in emergency shelters set up in community halls, gymnasiums and Islamic schools. Many of those who died were elderly and had pre-existing conditions, but at least two of the fatalities were due to diarrhoea

June 19, 2017
Reuters

Exit interview: NOW’s O’Neill on GOP health policy and maternal deaths

Terry O’Neill, outgoing head of the U.S. National Organization for Women said ‘there is a connection between increasing maternal mortality in the USA and GOP policies under consideration in the U.S. Congress. The United States has the worst maternal death rate in the developing world and research suggests health-related complications — including diabetes and hypertension as well as mental health and substance abuse — are major contributing factors. These outcomes will worsen if Congress succeeds in scaling back Medicaid, which funds half of all births in the U.S., defunding Planned Parenthood and allowing states to opt out of Obamacare`s essential health benefit requirement that include maternity and mental health services’

June 18, 2017
USA Today

China cracks down on fake peer reviews

The Chinese government is going on the offensive against scientists who dupe journals by creating fraudulent reviews of submitted papers. A coalition of agencies led by the science ministry announced on 14 June that the government would suspend the grants of researchers involved in such fraud, which surfaced earlier this year when a cancer journal retracted 107 research papers from Chinese authors. And funding agencies in China promised to increase policing of the scientific community to prevent similar deceptions

June 20, 2017
Nature

Interview: From Hong Kong to world stage - WHO chief Margaret Chan's endeavor to safeguard publi...

Xinhua interviews director-general of the World Health Organization Margaret Chan who expressed pride in her time at the helm of the world’s ‘doctor’ as she outlined how WHO and its partner organizations have made progress in improving people’s health and life expectancy during the 10 years she has been in charge

June 20, 2017
Xinhuanet

Broke on Eid: Dengue workers awaiting salaries as season approaches

Eidul-Fitr is around the corner and around 3,000 people who work as dengue workers and vaccinators in the city haven’t been paid yet. Around 400 workers, associated with the Shalamar Union Council, are also waiting to be made permanent by the health department since 2011. Almost every year, the workers are told by the health department their employment would be regularised by the next dengue season. The health department spokesperson said ‘instead of pressuring the health department, they should wait their turns to receive appointment letters’

June 22, 2017
The Express Tribune

German court rejects compensation claim over faulty breast implants

Germany`s federal supreme court has rejected a woman`s claim for certification agency TÜV Rheinland to pay compensation for approving faulty breast implants produced by manufacturer PIP until its 2010 closure. Poly Implant Prothèse (PIP), the French company at the center of the scandal, sold implants globally over almost two decades until investigators discovered it was passing off low-grade industrial silicone as a much pricier medical product. The court said European regulations meant the agency had "no general duty to carry out unannounced inspections, to examine products and/or to check the manufacturer`s business documents"

June 22, 2017
Reuters

Mothers and babies at risk amid critical midwives' shortage in South Sudan

The number of midwives in South Sudan has risen to more than 400 from an estimated eight when the country became independent in 2011, according to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). Still, less than 10 percent of women giving birth in South Sudan receive the help they need to give birth safely, according to UNFPA. More midwives are needed to be able to reach pregnant women in remote areas, so they do not have to walk for hours to get looked after

June 23, 2017
trust.org

Survey reveals health cures from plants being lost

More than 28,000 species of plants around the world have a medical use but poor documentation means people are not making the most of the health benefits, according to a recent survey. New plants discovered over the past year include nine species of a climbing vine used in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease, the survey found. “The report is highlighting the huge potential that there is for plants, in areas like diabetes and malaria,” said Monique Simmonds, deputy director of science at the world-famous botanical group. The report said two plants, artemisinin and quinine, are “among the most important weapons” against malaria, which killed over 400,000 people in 2015

June 21, 2017
Shanghai Daily

Missouri attorney general sues opioid manufacturers

ssouri has become the third U.S. state to accuse major drug manufacturers of fraudulently misrepresenting the risks of opioid painkillers now at the centre of a national addiction epidemic. Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley said his office filed a lawsuit in a state court against Purdue Pharma LP, Johnson & Johnson`s Janssen Pharmaceuticals and a unit of Endo International Plc. Last week a bipartisan group of state attorneys general announced an investigation. Purdue, J&J and Endo were previously sued in similar lawsuits by the Ohio and Mississippi attorneys general, who also targeted Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd and Allergan Plc

June 21, 2017
Reuters

P1.4B dengue vaccine undispensed, mired in controversy

The Philippine government procured 3 million doses in 2015 for P3 billion to strengthen its anti-dengue campaign. It was meant to immunize one million public school students. Touted as the world’s first dengue vaccine, the cache of Dengvaxia is a remnant of the previous administration’s school based dengue immunization program. Today, less than half a million children have been vaccinated. An estimated P1.44 billion worth of vaccines continue to sit idly in the ice-cold storage. Dr. Anthony Leachon, past president of the Philippine College of Physicians, said the previous government should have purchased vaccines based on the number of parents who consented to the vaccination of their children, not the number of target beneficiaries

June 21, 2017
ABS CBN News

FDA moves to prevent Pharma from 'gaming' generic drug system

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration moved to prevent pharmaceutical companies from "gaming" the system to block or delay entry of generic rivals. FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said that the agency plans to hold a public meeting on July 18 to identify ways pharmaceutical companies are using FDA rules to place obstacles in the way of generic competition. "We know that sometimes our regulatory rules might be `gamed` in ways that may delay generic drug approvals beyond the time frame the law intended, in order to reduce competition," he said. "We are actively looking at ways our rules are being used and, in some cases, misused."

June 21, 2017
Reuters

Bad for health

A notice issued by India’s health ministry expert committee in the first week of June signals the government’s intention to usher major change in India’s pharmaceutical sector. Currently, 98 per cent of the Indian pharmaceutical industry uses animal parts-based capsules. But the government has been pitching for “vegetarian capsules” for the past two years. However, there is little medical — or commercial — reasoning behind this proposal. By all accounts, a switch over to cellulose-based capsules could jeopardise the government’s recent initiatives to make medicines accessible to all

June 21, 2017
Indian Express

Thiruvananthapuram: Ambulances mere showpieces!

Many of the ambulances available at Government health centres in the district do not cater to patients due to the absence of drivers or their unwillingness to drive, say activists. The crew members of 108 ambulances say that this puts pressure on their fleet which was primarily meant to attend to accident cases. For instance, the ambulance at Nedumanagaud hospital has not been functioning during the dengue epidemic outbreak. The driver appointed by the Public Service Commission has gone on leave citing health issues

June 21, 2017
Deccan Chronicle

Patients in India are not empowered and this leads to distrust: Dr D S Ratna Devi

Dr D S Ratna Devi, CEO, DakshamA Health & Education, New Delhi, talks about the major issues that the patient faces in the current healthcare system, which is ‘all fragmented and once a patient enters into a system they are lost in it, they keep asking questions and they don`t get all answers from one services provider’. ‘There is a lot of variation between what happens in the diagnostic area, treatment area and post treatment. There isn`t information given to the patient and that is why there is a lot of distrust and people don`t feel empowered at all’

June 21, 2017
Economic Times

59 people evacuated from militant-besieged Marawi have died of illnesses: Philippine officials

At least 59 evacuees displaced by the fighting in Marawi City in southern Philippines have died of various illnesses, Philippine health officials have said. Muslim Mindanao health secretary Dr. Kadil Sinolinding said the fatalities include three children, who had died of dehydration, and two adults, who had complications of hypertension. “There are 40 cases of deaths due to dehydration” and the 19 others had died of conditions existing before the fighting started on May 23, Health Secretary Paulyn Jean Ubial said

June 17, 2017
Straits Times

California to give health clinics $20 million to counter possible Trump cuts

California will announce plans to award $20 million in emergency grants to local health and Planned Parenthood clinics in anticipation of possible U.S. healthcare funding cuts, according to State Treasurer John Chiang`s office. The grants are intended to buy time for state lawmakers to address potential shortfalls caused by federal attempts to undo the Affordable Health Care Act, commonly called Obamacare, and to eliminate funding for women’s health and for contraception, the state said

June 17, 2017
Reuters

EAC short of health specialists: report

The East African Community (EAC) partner states have a serious shortage of qualified medical specialists, a recent minister`s report shows. According to the report, the regional bloc currently has less than 44.5 physicians, nurses and midwives per 10,000 people required to fast-track the attainment of health-related sustainable development goals. As a result of the low number of health specialists, EAC partner states cannot provide quality health care to their citizens without addressing the issue of training of human resources for health, both in terms of quality and quantity

June 14, 2017
The Citizen, AllAfrica.com

Brunei faces challenge of inadequate blood supply: health minister

Facing the challenge of inadequate blood supply, Brunei government encouraged blood donors to come forward and become regular donors to ensure the country`s blood banks supply sufficient, safe and sustainable blood, Minister of Health Haji Zulkarnain said. A total of 13,037 blood donors came forward across Brunei Darussalam last year, including 3,495 new registered donors, Haji Zulkarnain said in his message on the occasion of World Blood Donors Day which carries the theme "What can you do? Give Blood. Give Now. Give Often"

June 14, 2017
Xinhuanet

Israeli NGO warns of worsening health conditions in Gaza

Physicians for Human Rights – Israel (PHRI) demanded medicines and all basic needs of the people of the Gaza Strip be allowed entry into the besieged enclave, warning that the health and living conditions there are deteriorating. In a report, the organisation said: “240 children and hundreds of cancer patients and cystic fibrosis patients do not receive treatment because the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah refuses to send budgets to the Health Ministry in Gaza.” According to the report, the Gaza Strip today lacks one-third of the vital medicines it needs and more than 270 medical devices for operating rooms and emergency treatment

June 14, 2017
Middle East Monitor
June 15, 2017
Jerusalem Post
June 14, 2017
Times of Israel

UK will pay for Roche breast cancer drug at centre of price row

A Roche breast cancer drug at the centre of a prolonged pricing row in Britain will now be paid for routinely, following a discount deal between the company and the National Health Service. Kadcyla, which can prolong the lives of some women with advanced disease, has been a battle-ground for campaigners wanting better access to modern cancer drugs, with 115,000 people signing a petition demanding its availability. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence said it could now recommend funding for Kadcyla, following the commercial access arrangement with Roche

June 15, 2017
Reuters

World Blood Donor Day 2017: Shocking facts on India’s illegal blood industry

In India there is a huge shortage of blood, despite the large number of blood donation camps. As per a 2012 report by WHO, only 9m blood units are available annually whereas demand is 12m. Blood is illegally sold at a higher price most of the time and not given to patients on the basis of medical conditions, more like an auction. Some hospitals extract plasma out of blood and sell it on to pharma companies. There’s a thriving black market for getting money for donations and selling blood. Blood farms exist where poor people are forced to donate up to 12 times a month, and there is little testing meaning blood is prone to disease and infections

June 14, 2017
Money Control

Transfusions happening in Nepal without testing blood for deadly diseases

No hospital in Nepal has the necessary kit to test blood for HIV during the crucial ‘window period.’ According to NCASC, since July 2016, 116 people have contracted HIV due to transfusion of blood and blood. This figure is 0.4 per cent of the total 28,865 HIV cases in Nepal. “The collected blood should be tested for Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, HIV and Syphilis,” NPHL Director Dr Raj Kumar Mahato said

June 14, 2017
Himalayan Times

NICE sneak cost-cutting drug announcement through on day of election results

A life-extending drug for people suffering from a fatal lung disease will be withheld from patients until they are on their death bed. The National Institute For Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) announced on the day of the General Election that Pirfenidone would only be used on people suffering from Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF) when they have 50-80% lung capacity left. That means it will only be reserved for people with severe cases of IPF and NOT prescribed on the NHS for people in the early stages of this fatal lung condition

June 13, 2017
The London Economic

Cutting foreign aid is a mistake — and the consequences will be severe

Senator Dan Donovan (New York) discusses the Trump foreign aid budget which is before the House of Representatives House Foreign Affairs Committee, on which he sits as a member. He comments “the drastic decline in “under five” deaths is one of the most unheralded successes in international development. In 2015 alone, 18 million children under five improved their nutritional intake thanks to support from U.S. programs. Children who get the right nutrition early are 10-times more likely to overcome life-threatening childhood diseases. They are also more likely to achieve higher levels of education. Growing evidence also suggests a strong positive correlation between nutrition and lifetime earnings. Think of the impact — for every dollar invested in nutrition, we see a $16 return”

June 13, 2017
The Hill

India proposes stricter quality checks for generic drug manufacturers

The Union Health Ministry’s proposed draft amendments to the Drugs and Cosmetics Act want generic-drug manufacturers to prove that the biological qualities of the new drug are equivalent to the original formulation

June 13, 2017
Hindustan Times

South Africa's cancer doctor shortage: 'There is a real crisis'

There are no public health radiation oncologists left in the entire city of Durban in South Africa. The city has seen many doctors shift away from the public to the private sector, because the working conditions in public health care have made treating patients virtually impossible. Many of the machines used to diagnose and treat cancer patients are malfunctioning and left in disrepair, despite multiple appeals to fix them

June 13, 2017
CNN

Africa Not Able To Meet Blood Needs – WHO

The World Health Organisation says Africa still falls short of meeting its blood needs in spite of increase in the number of donors in the region. A 2016 report on the status of blood safety and availability in the region revealed that the number of blood donations between 2013 and 2016 increased from 3.9 million units to 4.5 million units. However, in spite of the progress, the region could only meet 50 per cent of its annual blood needs

June 14, 2017
PM News Nigeria

Medical waste piles up, trash timebomb ticks

According to a report, Delhi used to generate 10 tonnes of medical trash per day in 2010. This figure is believed to have touched 100 tonnes per day in the past seven years. With the number of healthcare facilities increasing, Delhi has seen a steep rise in biomedical waste generation in the past few years. However, lack of proper disposal of hospital trash can pose serious risks to people`s health and environment, warn experts

June 13, 2017
Times of India

Google bets on European biotech drugs, backs new fund

Google is betting on the potential of European biotech companies to deliver life-changing drugs by investing alongside Swiss company Novartis in a new $300 million fund run by leading life sciences investment firm Medicxi. The move shows Google casting an increasingly wide net as it pumps cash into global medical research, seeding what it believes will become a core long-term healthcare business

June 15, 2017
Reuters

Refugees suffer disease outbreaks in Tanzania

An outbreak of diseases has struck Tanzanian camps housing refugees fleeing strife in Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Some 184 new arrivals composed of 99 Burundian and 85 Congolese asylum seekers have entered the East African country in the past week as the crises in their countries peak. According to the agency the top five medical conditions at the Nyarugusu and Nduta refugee camps are malaria, skin infections, upper respiratory tract infection, HIV and mental disorder

June 15, 2017
CajNews Africa

Uganda: Masaka Health Centres Run Out of Anti-Malaria Drugs

An anti-malaria drug stock-out has hit several health centers in Masaka district leaving several patients stranded. Health workers say they haven`t had artesunate, injectable quinine and IV water (drips) for the last two weeks. The drug stock-out comes at a time when NMS and the Finance ministry are feuding over the whereabouts of part of the $200 million acquired by government from the Preferential Trade Area (PTA Bank) for procurement of drugs

June 16, 2017
Observer Uganda

Nigeria: 'Nigeria Loses 3,000 Women, Children to Preventable Diseases Daily'

Nigeria loses 3,000 children and women daily to preventable diseases due to poor access to basic healthcare, the Executive Director of the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Faisal Shuaib has said. Speaking at a workshop on the Implementation of the Primary Health Care Under One Roof policy, Mr. Shuaib said "Primary Healthcare remains the foundation for reasonable and sustainable changes to the poor health indicators in the sector, since it deals with these preventable diseases"

June 16, 2017
Premium Times Nigeria, AllAfrica.com

WHO Starts Work On Essential List Of Diagnostics To Facilitate Access, Lower Prices

The World Health Organization announced that it has begun work on a list of essential diagnostics, as an echo of its Model List of Essential Medicines. According to a WHO release, the Essential Diagnostics List is indented to provide “evidence-based guidance to countries to create their own national lists of essential diagnostic tests and tools.” The Model List of Essential Medicines serves as a model for the diagnostic list, and the list “should be instrumental in developing medical guidelines as well as laboratory-accreditation schemes”

June 16, 2017
IP-Watch.org

Ukraine botulism outbreak sickens dozens in three months, most linked to dried fish

The number of botulism cases reported in Ukraine during the past three months has risen to 62, according to the Deputy Minister of Health of Ukraine on European integration Oksana Sivak. Of this total, nine have died. A huge problem is the lack of anti-botulinum serum in Ukraine, so there is nothing to help the patients. Most hospitals have no anti-botulinum serum and they haven’t had any since 2014, this is when the term of the certificate on state registration of the drug with Russian production ended

June 17, 2017
Outbreak News Today

How Trump Can Curb Runaway Drug Prices

The affordability of prescription drugs is a growing public concern, as annual drug spending continues to rise year after year. Trump could use his deal-making skills to negotiate voluntary pricing restraints in the drug industry. Such restraints would reduce the distortionary effects that inevitably result when the government forces specific cost-control measures in areas that may not be the most efficient places to cut costs. Instead, voluntary pricing restraints would enable individual companies to determine the most effective ways to cut their costs to reduce aggregate drug spending

June 17, 2017
Bloomberg

Sanofi chief says U.S. Supreme Court ruling on biologics has "immediate impact"

The U.S Supreme Court decision to speed access to copycat biologics drugs was expected but has an "immediate impact", Sanofi Chief Executive said. The justices, in a 9-0 ruling, overturned a lower court`s decision that had prevented Novartis from selling its copycat version of Amgen’s Neupogen until six months after the U.S Food and drug administration approved it. The decision has major implications for the pharmaceutical industry because it will dictate how long brand-name makers of biological drugs can keep near-copies, named biosimilars, off the market

June 16, 2017
Reuters

Uganda's plan to send 1,000 medical workers to Libya criticised by activists

Uganda is planning to send about 1,000 medical workers to Libya, an official said, a plan criticised by health activists who believe it would further weaken the country`s struggling health care system. Over the last decade, foreign recruiters and employers from the Middle East have increasingly turned to the east African nation for cheap labour. "If they finish safety assessment work today or tomorrow, then we`ll be ready to send these people," an official said, adding they would include a mix of doctors, nurses and other medical personnel

June 16, 2017
Reuters

How Trump has made the Department of Health and Human Services a center of false science on cont...

President Trump and Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price have stocked the corridors of health policy with purveyors of conclusively debunked claptrap about contraception, abortion, pregnancy and women’s reproductive health generally. Among their themes is that condoms don’t protect against HIV or other sexually transmitted diseases and that abortions and contraceptives cause breast cancer, miscarriages and infertility. None of these assertions is true

June 15, 2017
Los Angeles Times
June 14, 2017
New England Journal of Medicine

For many Haitians, street dispensaries are the only source of medicine

In Haiti, “Pharmacists are an endangered species,” explains Lionel Étienne, a local drug importer. “Medicine is considered an ordinary consumer good.” Street vendors are not pharmacists, and their wares are not regulated. This illegal, ubiquitous medical practice can have serious consequences for the health of many Haitians. "The majority of the population don`t have enough money to buy their medicine in pharmacy stores," he said. "Street sellers have generic medicines from China, expired pills, counterfeit drugs imported from the Dominican Republic. So basically, they are cheaper than the medicine you`re going to find in the pharmacies."

June 16, 2017
National Geographic

Parirenyatwa bemoans high blood user fees

Health and Child Care Minister David Parirenyatwa has said blood user fees continue to be a thorn in the flesh of the government, as many patients at public health institutions cannot afford to access the product due to high costs. “To the surgeon, blood products are key and many times doctors have had to cancel patients for theatre because of failure to secure blood, which most times is a prerequisite for the anaesthetists to put patients to sleep,” he said. Parirenyatwa said in 2016, the blood user fees were reduced from $135 a unit to $100 for government hospitals and from $160 to $120 for the private hospitals, which was a huge improvement

June 16, 2017
Newsday

Only white organisations receiving money to deal with HIV/Aids scourge‚ SANAC official claims

South African National Aids Council (SANAC) deputy chairman Steve Letsike has claimed that billions of rand meant to deal with the HIV/Aids scourge in the country is being channelled to only white-led organisations. He was briefing the media at the 8th SA Aids Conference in Durban in response to a statement issued by five civil society organisations who are threatening to withdraw from SANAC because it has been “reduced to irrelevance". The organisations are Treatment Action Campaign‚ Section27‚ Legal Resources Centre‚ Masithandane End-Hate Crimes Collective and Rural Health Advocacy Group. They have accused SANAC of facing a “crisis of governance and legitimacy” and also criticised the National Strategic Plan (NSP) 2017 - 2022 that deals with HIV and TB and is guided by SANAC‚ saying it “fails to provide the much-needed direction and leadership we require"

June 16, 2017
Times Live, The South African

Once again, 13 men wrote a bill that’s bad for women’s health

Childbirth in the US is already dangerous, but the Senate health bill would make it worse. Medicaid is incredibly important for reproductive health as it pays for half of all births, including two-thirds of unplanned births. It will be cut severely, and Planned Parenthood funding will stop as it becomes a prohibited entity. It will be harder for women to access abortions and health care in other insurance-related ways as restrictions to access are tightened. It makes essential health benefits optional

June 23, 2017
Vox
June 22, 2017
Time

Solar energy powers clean water, business opportunities for refugees

As part of a broader initiative to help refugees access clean energy and sanitation, Water Mission is installing solar-powered water treatment facility in three refugee camps in western Tanzania. The $5.3 million project, funded by the Poul Due Jensen Foundation, is expected to provide safe water for some 250,000 refugees in Nyarugusu, Nduta and Mtendeli camps. According to Water Mission, the Tanzania project aims to pump 100 percent of the water using solar power, with diesel generators as back up. A recent shipment of 780 solar panels to Tanzania will produce 226,000 watts of power and provide a continuous supply of safe water to keep children in good health, it said

June 23, 2017
Reuters

Cuts to Medicaid could worsen U.S. opioid crisis, governors warn

Proposals by U.S. Senate Republicans to phase out the expansion of the Medicaid health insurance program for low-income Americans could hurt state efforts to fight the country`s opioid drug addiction crisis, governors warned. Democratic and Republican governors warned that many residents of their states were relying on Medicaid to get treatment for opioid addiction, which grips an estimated 3 million Americans and killed 33,000 people in the United States in 2015

July 13, 2017
Reuters

Doctors, nurses among hundreds charged with defrauding U.S. health programs

More than 400 people, including doctors and nurses, have been charged with defrauding Medicare and other federal healthcare programs of $1.3 billion, with many accused of illegally distributing opioids and other narcotics, the Justice Department said. A total of 412 people, including almost 115 doctors, nurses and other medical professionals, have been charged in the sweeping enforcement action, the biggest ever by the multi-agency Medicare Strike Force. More than 120 people were accused of illegally prescribing and distributing opioids and other dangerous narcotics, charges that come as about 91 Americans die daily from opioid-related overdoses

July 13, 2017
Reuters, Bloomberg

Gaza health care suffers as Palestinian factions play blame game

In what is seen as the latest step in an effort to force Hamas to relinquish its control of Gaza, Abbas in June reduced the payments the PA makes to Israel for electricity it supplies to the territory, meaning that Gaza`s two million people now have only 3 to 4 hours of power a day, forcing hospitals and other medical facilities to rely chiefly on generators and expensive fuel. Hamas says that Abbas restricted transfers of medicine to Gaza in March, accusing Hamas of failing to reimburse the PA for its purchases, and cut the salaries of its officials in May

July 19, 2017
Reuters

Escaping Big Pharma’s Pricing With Patent-Free Drugs

The U.S. government funded research and development of a new vaccine against Zika, but the Army, which paid a French pharmaceutical manufacturer for its development, is planning to grant exclusive rights to the vaccine to the manufacturer, Sanofi Pasteur, along with paying Sanofi up to $173 million. Sanofi will be free to charge the U.S. American health care providers and patients any price it wishes. Although American tax dollars funded the vaccine, and the U.S. took the economic risks, history suggests that many Americans would not be able to afford it

July 18, 2017
New York Times

Novartis sued by bird flu guinea pig

In 2007, Novartis engaged a company based in Germany and Poland to test a vaccine. This company did so in a clinic in the Polish city of Grudziadz. The subjects – homeless and poor people – were reportedly paid around CHF2 ($2) to be tested on what they thought was a vaccine for normal flu. Although no deaths have been directly proved as a result of the trial, the director of a homeless centre in Grudziadz told a Polish paper that in 2007 there were 21 deaths in the centre, compared with the average of about eight. Now, one of the subjects, Grzegorz S., has launched a civil suit against Novartis

July 13, 2017
Swiss Info
July 14, 2017
The Local

Disorderly Brexit could put patients at risk, drug industry warns

The supply of life-saving medicines in Europe could be severely disrupted unless Britain successfully negotiates a smooth and orderly exit from the EU, pharmaceutical industry leaders warned. Europe`s pharmaceutical and bioscience industry is concerned about Brexit because it is currently well integrated across the bloc, with many EU-wide regulatory agreements and cross-border collaborations. In a letter to Brexit negotiators stressing the importance of securing ongoing co-operation on medicines after Britain leaves the EU, drug company representatives said a bad transition could put patients at risk

July 13, 2017
Reuters

World Bank program will speed response to pandemics

The bank has announced the issuance of $500 million in specialized bonds and derivatives that will help poor countries cope with a pandemic such as Ebola. The effort will create a trust fund, the Pandemic Emergency Financing Facility, that can be quickly deployed for pandemic response. Investors who buy the bonds and provide the trust-fund financing upfront will reap premiums but will also be taking a risk. If there is a major outbreak, the investors will lose some or all of their cash. One big advantage is that instead of waiting around for slow-moving national governments to fund a disease response, the resources necessary for saving lives will be available quickly

July 10, 2017
Omaha World-Herald

Britain to hold inquiry into contaminated blood scandal which killed 2,400

Britain will hold a public inquiry into contaminated blood supplied to patients in the National Health Service which killed at least 2,400 people. During the 1970s and 1980s, blood products supplied to the NHS were contaminated with viruses such as HIV or hepatitis C and infected thousands of people with haemophilia or other disorders. A report by lawmakers in 2015 said the Department of Health estimated that more than 30,000 people might have been infected with hepatitis C between 1970 and 1991 when Britain imported some blood products from the United States but just 6,000 had been identified. A further 1,500 were infected with HIV between 1978 and 1985

July 11, 2017
Reuters, Bloomberg
July 14, 2017
BBC
July 11, 2017
CNN

World Health Organization begin work with the Ministry of Health

The Minister of Health of the UN proposed government, Omar Al-Tahir, conducted a meeting with a delegation from the World Health Organization (WHO) in Libya. Among those present was the official responsible for medical supplies in the organization Najwa Imam and the supply officer Khairiya Hashashi. The two sides discussed coordination between the ministry and WHO on how to develop new mechanisms aimed at identifying medical needs, providing medicines, medical supplies, developing methods of managing medical stores, and spreading the pharmaceutical culture according to the international standards adopted by the organization

July 12, 2017
Libya Observer

Swedish aid agency to halt funds for supporters of U.S. anti-abortion 'gag rule'

Sweden`s international aid agency is set to halt funding for sexual and reproductive health programs of organizations which acquiesce in President Donald Trump`s ban on federal funding for foreign groups providing abortions or abortion support. Sweden`s international aid agency Sida said that funding agreements for sexual and reproductive issues with organizations which go along with the U.S. presidential order could be cancelled and support phased out

July 11, 2017
Reuters

Sexual violence in Haiti is a public health problem

Rampant sexual violence in Haiti against women and children, including some toddlers, should be treated as a public health issue and more care made available for survivors, Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) said. Most of the 1,300 survivors of sexual violence who had been treated at one clinic run by MSF in the Haitian capital Port-au-Prince since it opened in May 2015 are younger than 25, and more than half are children, according to a MSF report

July 19, 2017
Trust.org

EU watchdog concerned drug agency EMA may be too close to companies

The European Medicines Agency (EMA), eager to accelerate access to promising new drugs, may be getting too cosy with the pharmaceutical companies it regulates. That is the concern of the watchdog charged with overseeing administrative irregularities in the European Union, which is launching a strategic inquiry to see if early-stage interactions with firms could influence agency approval decisions

July 19, 2017
Reuters

Romania to pass vaccination law to deal with immunization gaps

Romania needs to pass a vaccination law and overhaul medical services to prevent the spread of a measles outbreak that has already claimed 32 deaths, the most of any European country, the health ministry said. Vaccination rules are being tightened across Europe, where a decline in immunization has caused a spike in diseases such as measles, chicken pox and mumps. In Romania, the ministry said 224,202 children aged 9 months to 9 years had yet to be vaccinated against measles

July 27, 2017
Reuters

Trump Budget Cuts Could Drastically Affect SA's Fight Against HIV And Aids

South Africa is holding its breath while the US Congress decides whether to approve President Donald Trump`s proposed budget cuts to global health programmes -- cuts that, if approved, could significantly reduce support for HIV and Aids in South Africa. While South Africa reportedly funds most of its HIV and Aids programmes itself, donor funding accounts for 18.5% of the HIV and Aids funds available for the 2017/2018 fiscal year

July 26, 2017
Huffington Post, iol.co,za

As drug prices drop, generics makers fight back with deals

Generic drug makers are turning to M&A to shield themselves against a concerted effort by U.S. regulators to crack down on steep drug prices. One example is Impax, Perrigo and Alvogen who have all been talking to advisers about strategic options for their generics businesses, ranging from acquisitions to increase scale to an outright sale of the units

July 27, 2017
Reuters

Hepatitis drugs more affordable but disease still deadly: WHO

Prices of drugs to cure hepatitis C and to treat hepatitis B are dropping dramatically, offering affordability and hope to 325 million people living with the viral liver disease that can be fatal, the World Health Organisation said. A generic antiviral drug for hepatitis C, which can be cured in three months, was placed this week on WHO`s list of pre-qualified medicines. That means it can be used safely by aid agencies and countries for bulk purchasing

July 27, 2017
Reuters

Contraband drugs flood Cameroon markets despite the government fight against them

The health sector in Cameroon is faced with large amounts of contraband drugs in markets, hospitals, streets and pharmacies. Despite government best efforts to check the importation and sale of illicit drugs, contraband drugs remain a major scourge. Many inhabitants turn towards ‘their local chemist’ who sell drugs on the street rather than going to hospital as the hospital often proves to be costly

July 29, 2017
Cameroon Concord

Italy set for compulsory measles vaccinations

Italian lawmakers are expected to give their final nod to a mass compulsory vaccination program for children under the age of 17. It`s part of a government response to a measles outbreak that has claimed three lives since the start of the year. The new law makes it compulsory to vaccinate minors against 10 diseases, including measles, rubella, whooping cough, Hib, mumps and chickenpox

July 28, 2017
skynews.com.au

WHO Report Identifies Priority Areas for HIV Pharmacy Research

HIV drug resistance poses a global threat, and research into new medicines, particularly those that are tailored to adolescents and children, are needed, according to a report released by the World Health Organization and the International AIDS Society (IAS)

July 25, 2017
Pharmacy Times

The Side Effect Of That New Malaria Drug? American Jobs

A 50-cent meningitis vaccine. Kid-friendly malaria drugs. A vaccine to prevent a deadly diarrheal disease. These U.S.-funded global health innovations have saved millions of lives around the world. But they also come with an added bonus for Americans. The details are in a study released by Global Health Technologies Coalition and Policy Cures Research of Australia. The researchers found that between 2007 and 2015, the U.S. government invested $14 billion in global health R&D, which created 200,000 new American jobs and returned $33 billion to the U.S. economy

July 20, 2017
npr.org

China adds blockbuster drugs to insurance list after price cuts

China will add three dozen new drugs to a list of medicines covered by basic insurance schemes after global pharmaceutical firms agreed to slash prices of blockbuster treatments for cancer, diabetes and heart disease. The Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security said it had agreed to add 36 drugs to the National Reimbursable Drugs List in return for an average 44 percent price cut against last year`s retail prices

July 19, 2017
Reuters

Doctors, nurses must undergo tuberculosis screening to work

Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said newly employed doctors and nurses would have to go through tuberculosis screening within a month of starting work starting in September. KCDC will impose a fine of 2 million won ($1,770) on medical staffs who do not receive tuberculosis screening within a month of employment. The state agency also issued a recommendation for medical workers that come in contact with newborns to wear masks

July 20, 2017
Korea Biomedical Review

White House developing comprehensive biosecurity strategy: official

The Trump administration is developing the first comprehensive strategy to defend the U.S. against disease pandemics and biological attacks by terrorists, the top White House homeland security official said. “We have not had as a country a comprehensive bio-defense strategy ever,” White House homeland security adviser Thomas Bossert told the annual Aspen Security Forum. “It’s high time we had a bio-defense strategy”

July 20, 2017
Reuters

Just 150 more cases of measles could cost the US $2.1 million

Researchers analyzed data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and estimated what could happen if vaccination rates keep dropping. Right now, 93 percent of kids ages two to 11 in the US are vaccinated against measles, mumps, and rubella. If that number dropped by 5 percent, it would lead to 150 more cases of measles. This might not sound like a lot, but it is actually a three-fold increase compared to the number of cases that exist now, and it could cost over $2 million from local and state public health institutions

July 24, 2017
The Verge

Merck reports HepB vaccine shortage

Pediatric hepatitis B vaccine will not be available from Merck until early 2018, the company announced. GlaxoSmithKline has an adequate supply of hepatitis B vaccine to make up for the shortage, but doctors may not have a choice between vials or syringes, according to the CDC. Merck said demand around the world and manufacturing process updates caused the shortage of Recombivax HB in both pediatric and adult formulations

July 21, 2017
AAP News & Journals

British drugs body to challenge new cost rules in court

The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry said that it wanted to reverse changes that "have the potential to cause significant delays for patients waiting for treatment for a range of conditions, including for cancer, heart disease and diabetes". The changes, which came into force in April, mean that new drugs costing the National Health Service more than 20 million pounds a year will no longer be funded automatically, even if they are cost-effective. Instead, companies will have to enter negotiations to justify their use and work out funding

July 10, 2017
Reuters

'Super-prescribers' on notice: Aetna, CDC team up to tackle antibiotic overuse

While Aetna and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention play two very different roles in the healthcare world, they have recently begun working toward one common goal: reducing the frequency of unnecessary antibiotic prescriptions. The CDC and Aetna decided to focus on one specific quality measure from the Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set - antibiotic avoidance in adults with acute bronchitis - because of the “sheer number” of antibiotics prescribed for respiratory conditions. Indeed, 44% of antibiotics prescribed in an outpatient setting are for acute respiratory conditions that include bronchitis, and 50% of them are unnecessary, according to a report from The Pew Charitable Trusts

July 10, 2017
Fierce Healthcare

U.S. Malaria Donations Saved Almost 2 Million African Children

Over the last decade, American donations to fight malaria in Africa have saved the lives of nearly two million children, according to a new analysis of mortality rates in 32 countries there. The study looked at the long-term effects of the President’s Malaria Initiative, a program started by President George W. Bush in 2005 that has spent over $500 million a year since 2010. The results debunk one of the persistent myths of foreign aid: that it has no effect because more children survive each year anyway as economies improve

June 26, 2017
New York Times

A decade under siege: Gaza health sector nears collapse

As the two million Palestinian residents of Gaza enter their 11th year under a blockade imposed by Israel and Egypt, the many daily hardships they face are having an increasingly adverse effect on physical and mental health, particularly for the most vulnerable. Given the current local and international political landscape, conditions seem likely to deteriorate further, compounding adverse conditions for health and pushing a basic and fragile health system ever closer to collapse

June 25, 2017
Aljazeera

India Fares Miserably in Providing Quality Healthcare Access to Its Citizens

India ranks last amongst all the BRICS nations in quality and access to healthcare, and 178th out of 195 countries worldwide. It even does poorly even compared to all of its neighbours, bar Pakistan. The second largest and the fastest growing economy in the region, India saw its gap widening by 5.5 points, 1.4 points less than Pakistan, in 1990-2015, according to an IndiaSpend analysis of the Healthcare Access and Quality (HAQ) Index published in The Lancet

June 25, 2017
The Wire

Stripping Americans of health insurance could be deadly: study

Health insurance saves lives – that’s the conclusion of a report released just in time to weigh into the debate among Senate Republicans considering a bill that could strip millions of Americans of coverage. “Overwhelming scientific evidence shows that lack of insurance is sometimes deadly,” co-author Dr. David Himmelstein, a professor at the City University of New York’s Hunter College School of Public Health, said. Based on findings from a variety of large studies, Americans without health insurance faced 40 percent higher odds of dying during the study periods than the privately insured, the report found. “Being uninsured is deadly,” co-author Dr. Steffie Woolhandler said. “That was the conclusion from a 2002 Institute of Medicine report. The evidence that’s accumulated over the last 15 years actually strengthens the Institute of Medicine’s conclusions”

June 26, 2017
Reuters

Fake Percocet overdoses sweep Georgia

On Tuesday, June 27, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation classified a new fentanyl analogue as being resistant to the life-saving drugs, Narcan and Naloxone, that are a counteractant that revives patients after overdosing. The fatal form of fentanyl, known as acrylfentanyl, is so dangerous that it can kill someone by physical contact. It has not yet been confirmed by the GBI if the new acrylfentanyl is related to the mass overdose of counterfeit Percocet earlier this month

June 27, 2017
Red and Black

Unicef: Nurses’ strike will fuel more casualties in outbreaks

The United Nations Children’s Fund has raised the alarm that the nurses’ strike, now in its 23rd day, will fuel more casualties in the disease outbreaks being reported in several parts of Kenya.The UN agency wrote that the strike has impeded response. In a periodical report on the health needs of Kenya, UNICEF listed the disease outbreaks: “There is an active cholera outbreak in five counties (Garissa, Nairobi, Murang’a, Turkana and Nakuru) with 581 confirmed cases and seven deaths”. This excludes the recent cholera outbreak in Nairobi’s Weston Hotel

June 27, 2017
Daily Nation, AllAfrica.com

Over 100 Million Nigerians Cannot Afford Treatment In Public Hospitals

Over 67 percent of Nigerians, which amounts to over a hundred million poor families, cannot afford to pay hospital bills for treatment of illnesses such as malaria in public health facilities, Speaker Yakubu Dogara has disclosed. He added that if Nigeria is to achieve its national health objective of providing health for all, a situation where poor and vulnerable families in Nigeria do not have access to basic health services must be addressed by extending the coverage of national health insurance to them

June 24, 2017
Naija News
June 22, 2017
Daily Post, The Cable, Ynaija.com

KMA says Cholera outbreak a sign of broken healthcare system

The Kenya Medical Association (KMA) has said the recent outbreak of cholera where 26 people were infected is a sign of a broken primary health care system in the country. National Chairperson Jacqueline Kitulu stated that primary health care falls squarely under the county governments under the devolved system of government and must be taken seriously

June 24, 2017
Capital News

MSF urges Modi to withstand US pressure to change India's IP laws

Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) has urged India to withstand U.S. pressure to change its drug regulatory and patent system as it could result in millions of people in the U.S. and around the world losing their lifeline of affordable medicines. It said that as an international medical humanitarian organization, MSF relies on affordable generic medicines produced in India to run its medical programs in more than 60 countries. MSF urged Modi to stand strong and protect India`s role as the "pharmacy of the developing world"

June 23, 2017
Business Today

Central African Republic health plan threatened by violence - WHO

As displaced people return to their homes in the capital of war-torn Central African Republic, they will need medical services but renewed violence threatens an already wounded healthcare system, the World Health Organization`s Africa director said. After more than four years of violence that have caused "extensive degradation" of health services, Central African Republic`s new national plan aims to re-establish public health systems and infrastructure, the WHO said

June 23, 2017
Reuters

New partnership to increase access to cancer medicines in Kenya

Kenya is one of the countries that will benefit from market access agreements between the American Cancer Society (ACS) and the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) with Pfizer Inc. and Cipla Inc. to expand access to sixteen essential cancer treatment medications, including chemotherapies. The other countries include Ethiopia, Nigeria, Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania. The agreements will set competitive prices on the medicines, thus allowing African governments to realize substantial savings while improving the quality of available treatment

June 23, 2017
KBC Channel

President Trump, Meet This 2-Year-Old

The New York Times’ Nick Kristof looks at the consequences of President Trump’s proposed cuts to international aid on a visit to Liberia where he meets a small child sick with malaria and who has suffered the consequences of counterfeit medicine firsthand. He also learns about the horrors of 14 year old girls attempting to self-abort and causing themselves untold damage as the price of healthcare and access to it, were beyond them

June 24, 2017
New York Times

Stop giving soldiers banned malaria drug, says Sinn Féin

An attempt to ban use of a controversial anti-malaria drug by Irish soldiers will be launched in the Dáil this week. Sinn Féin is claiming that it has cross-party support for a motion it will table to stop Lariam being given to Defence Forces personnel on overseas duty. Lariam, the brand name for mefloquine, has been associated with severe side-effects causing long-term mental health effects including depression, suicidal thoughts and hallucinations. Aengus Ó Snodaigh, Sinn Féin’s defence spokesman, said there were other anti-malaria drugs on the market such as Malarone and Doxycycline that were considered safer with less dangerous side-effects

June 24, 2017
The Times

5000 Queensland babies on waiting list for tuberculosis vaccine

Just a year after the Queensland Government introduced its “no jab, no play” policy in a bid to combat anti-vaxxers, it has emerged 5000 of the state’s children are on a waiting list for a tuberculosis vaccine. A chronic global shortage of the Bacille Calmette Guerin vaccine meant it was unavailable in Australia for all of 2016 and health authorities are struggling to clear the backlog, leaving thousands of children without defence to the wasting disease once known as consumption

June 24, 2017
news.com.au

U.S. Republican healthcare bill imperilled with 22 million seen losing insurance

Twenty-two million Americans would lose insurance over the next decade under the U.S. Senate Republican healthcare bill, a nonpartisan congressional office said, complicating the path forward for the already-fraught legislation. Moderate senators are concerned about millions of people losing insurance. Key conservative senators have said the Senate bill does not do enough to repeal Obamacare. The CBO assessment that an additional 15 million people would be uninsured in 2018 under the bill and its prediction that insurance premiums would skyrocket over the first two years prompted concern from both sides

June 27, 2017
Reuters

Technology can accelerate universal healthcare in Africa - WHO

Integrating technology into Africa’s healthcare systems is key to opening them up faster to the poorest and most vulnerable people, the World Health Organization`s Africa director said. Using more technology presents a “big opportunity” for rolling out universal health coverage in the region, Dr. Matshidiso Rebecca Moeti said ahead of the first WHO Africa Health Forum this week in Rwanda. Technology can pave the way to improvements in data management, training for health workers and making referrals, among other areas, she added

June 27, 2017
Reuters

'Stem-cell tourism' needs tighter controls, say medical experts

Stem-cell tourism involving patients who travel to developing countries for treatment with unproven and potentially risky therapies should be more tightly regulated, international health experts said. With hundreds of medical centers around the world claiming to be able to repair damaged tissue in conditions such as multiple sclerosis and Parkinson`s disease, tackling unscrupulous advertising of such procedures is crucial

July 5, 2017
Reuters

Proper tools may help prevent medicine errors at home

Providing parents with picture-based instructions - and with dosing tools that closely match the amount of medication needed - may help reduce cases of medication overdoses in children, researchers say. Poorly designed medication labels and dosing tools lead to dosing errors, especially when parents are given large cups for small doses, the study team writes

July 4, 2017
Reuters

Fanning the Flames of the AIDS Crisis in the U.S. South

Mississippi’s State Department of Health will no longer offer HIV screenings for free. Effective July 1, the Health Department began charging a $25 fee for all sexually transmitted diseases and HIV tests and lab work at all of its clinics. This decision is fuelling an already raging fire, as the U.S. South is home to 44 percent of all people living with HIV/AIDS in the country and is home to some of the highest pockets of poverty in the USA

July 7, 2017
Huffington Post

Restrictions on sale of swine flu drugs lifted partially

The India Food and Drug Administration has sent out a circular alerting chemists that antiviral drugs Oseltamivir and Zanamivir have been withdrawn from Schedule X and moved to the far less stringent Schedule H1. Available under several brand names, both drugs are prescribed to H1N1 patients

July 7, 2017
The Hindu
July 3, 2017
Hindustan Times

Pill-Popping Is a Business Worth Watching for Japan's Drugmakers

Medication adherence is seen as an impediment to health as well as sales in Japan, and companies including Otsuka Pharmaceutical and Eisai are working with technology firms on compliance-boosting solutions. The strategy aligns with a worldwide drive for efficiency as drug makers try to defend their profits from the cost-cuts sought by budget-strained health systems. In Japan, where an aging population has caused medical expenses to balloon, helping patients take medications as prescribed by their doctor may spur sales in a drug market predicted to expand at half the global pace over the next five years

July 10, 2017
Bloomberg

Floodwater recedes, diseases spread

With floodwater receding in Sylhet and Moulvibazar, Bangladesh, waterborne diseases are spreading in the flood-hit areas as there is hardly any medical care for a large number of affected people. People there are suffering from waterborne diseases like typhoid fever, dysentery, diarrhoea and skin infections. Many complained about not receiving any medical attention and relief aid

July 8, 2017
Daily Star

The poison in your cabinet: Kenya’s fake drugs scourge

Criminals are smuggling all manner of medicine, most of it fake, into Kenya, putting millions of people at a huge risk of poisoning. The global health entity estimates that about 100,000 deaths a year in Africa are linked to the counterfeit drug trade. The International Policy Network estimates that, globally, 700,000 deaths a year are caused by fake malaria and tuberculosis drugs

July 3, 2017
Daily Nation

Pharmacists warn about online buying of prescription drugs

Pharmacists have warned people not to risk buying prescription medicines online or from unauthorised sources. Community pharmacist and president of the Irish Pharmacy Union (IPU) Daragh Connolly said buying medicines online was “deadly dangerous”. “You don’t know what you are taking or what effect it might have on you,” he said

June 28, 2017
Irish Times

When Cutting Access to Health Care, There’s a Price to Pay

A study about equity in access to health care for 21 countries in 2000 revealed that the United States had the highest degree of inequity in doctor use, even higher than Mexico — which is both poorer and generally more inequitable. And as noted in a 2003 study by the Institute of Medicine, insurance status, more than any other demographic or economic factor, determines the timeliness and quality of health care, if it is received at all. A review of studies published this week in Annals of Internal Medicine reported that health insurance substantially raises people’s chances of survival. It improves the diagnosis and treatment of high blood pressure, significantly cutting mortality rates. It reduces death rates from breast cancer and trauma. Over all, the review concluded that health insurance reduces the chance of dying among adults 18 to 64 years old by between 3 and 29 percent

June 27, 2017
New York Times

One Nightmare Scenario in Senate Bill: Drug Rationing

Senate Republicans may not realize it, but their repeal-and-replace health-care legislation, if passed, would set the U.S. on the road to European-style price controls and rationing of prescription medications. This would follow fairly directly from the enormous cuts to Medicaid that the bill would impose

June 28, 2017
Bloomberg

Adulterated blood racket revealed in India

Three people in India, including the managing director of a hospital, have been arrested for allegedly adulterating blood with saline and selling it to patients. Dr Vakati Chakravathy, the managing director of Venus Hospital, along with manager Chepuri Shravan and blood bank technician Bandi Prem Kumar admitted they had tampered with the blood products in order to make a profit. The blood dilution scandal came to the attention of authorities after a complaint was made by the son of a farmer who needed a blood transfusion

June 28, 2017
Securing Industry

Nigeria accounts for 2nd highest HIV/AIDS burden worldwide – NEPWAN

The Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS in Nigeria says Nigeria accounts for second highest HIV/AIDS burden worldwide after South Africa. Nigerians that died due to the disease would not have died if the government had taken up ownership of the fight by ensuring availability and access to HIV prevention, testing, treatment and support programme. The country’s HIV response was largely donor driven with about 93 per cent of HIV funding sourced from external sources, however, Nigeria only contributed seven per cent of the funding

July 3, 2017
Nigerian Observer

Pharmaceuticals regulator defends itself against quality breaches

The Kenyan state regulator of the multi-billion shillings pharmaceutical sector has defended itself against claims that it has allowed a local manufacturer of medicines to continue operation even without meeting quality standards. The Pharmacy and Poisons Board issued a statement saying it allowed Mac’s Pharmaceuticals to continue operation since all its essential drugs including painkillers, anti-malaria drugs and anti-bacterials are of good quality, safe and efficacious for consumption in line with required standards. The claims, circulated on media platforms, had suggested that Mac’s Pharmaceuticals was found to be in breach of Good Manufacturing Practices for medicines in July last year but PPB has not yet suspended its license despite being informed

June 28, 2017
Standard Media

US aid to combat malaria in Africa is associated with reduced risk of childhood mortality

A study published in PLOS Medicine showed that funding from the US President`s Malaria Initiative (PMI) in 19 sub-Saharan African countries was associated with a 16% reduction in the annual risk of under-five child mortality in the years following introduction of the PMI programme

June 13, 2017
Science Daily

Teamwork can solve healthcare’s severe resource constraints

Over the years, a crippling capacity shortage in South Africa has become increasingly serious and now threatens to have a significant effect on the delivery of healthcare. Since 1994, not a single medical school has been built in SA, although one is due to come on stream in the next few years. The number of doctors and specialists has not kept pace with population growth, which has doubled since 1976. Local medical schools produce about 1,300 doctors a year, when some estimates are that at least 4,000 a year are needed. There is also a severe nursing shortage of between 40,000 and 80,000, depending on which report is referenced

June 13, 2017
Business Live

Almost 700 Positions Remain Unfilled at the CDC Due to Hiring Freeze

Almost 700 jobs at the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta are vacant due to the recent federal government funding freeze. The same issue is causing a variety of problems at the HHS and the NIH. The hiring freeze was technically lifted last month, but because the agencies have been asked to reduce their workforces, the practical effect has been a continued freeze

May 22, 2017
Futurism.com

Free health care could pose challenge to development - IDB

The problems facing Jamaica’s health sector, especially with free access to public services and treatment, are among several gaps being looked at by the Inter-American Development Bank as it develops its 10-year strategic plan. IDB sources told the Jamaica Gleaner that ‘in some instances free health care can threaten the delivery of sustained quality care and we support a health system model which target those who could afford to pay to improve access for the poor’

May 22, 2017
Jamaica Gleaner

Japan to bring forward target for increased generic drug use: sources

Japan will bring forward a target to boost the use of generic drugs by six months to September 2020, two government sources with direct knowledge of the matter said. The rapidly aging nation is aiming to lift the use of generics to more than 80% from around 56% currently – a move that would save the government hundreds of billions of Yen, the sources said

May 22, 2017
Reuters

Swiss minister condemns attacks on health facilities

Swiss Health Minister, Alain Berset, addressed delegates at the World Health Assembly. He condemned attacks on health workers and health facilities around the world. He urged countries to put the UN Sustainable Development Goals at the centre of health policy and to guarantee health coverage for all, including migrants

May 22, 2017
Swiss.info

Need more focus on health; country’s spending to be 2 per cent of GDP: Owaisi

MIM president Asaduddin Owaisi pitched for increasing India’s health budget to two percent of GDP, he based his comments on points raised in The National Family Health Survey 2015-16 which reported that the country has to focus more on health. The Lok Sabha member said ‘if the country doesn’t spend two percent of GDP on health, then the health indicators in India would be below those of sub-Saharan countries’. He called on the government to focus more on improving health standards

May 23, 2017
Deccan Chronicle, Indian Express, DNA India

Medicaid cuts coming in Trump budget: Washington Post

US President Trump’s budget proposal, set to be unveiled on Tuesday, will include cuts to Medicaid and propose changes to other assistance programmes for low-income citizens, the Washington Post reported. The Republican healthcare bill seeks to overhaul the national healthcare system and cut more than $800bn over the next 10 years from Medicaid, the government health insurance programme for the poor and the disabled

May 21, 2017
Reuters

Kerala Generic in pilot mode

To date, 111 molecules have been identified to be procured through leading branded companies and some ninety four of them have been bought Most of the drugs the generic company is planning to support will be for non-communicable diseases, so the biggest advantage will become price reduction For example, insulin which costs Rs145 in the marketplace would cost Kerala Generic Rs70. Six months into the pilot run drugs will be made available to the medical community, very likely through Neethi stores or at Supplyco outlets

May 21, 2017
The Hindu

Clock is ticking for WHO decision over Taiwan

An editorial in Nature Magazine discusses the history of the World Health Organization and its decision to not invite Taiwanese health authorities to the World Health Assembly. The suggestion is there is a risk that this will allow regional politics to hamper public health as it makes disease outbreak management harder – the magazine points to the 2003 SAR virus outbreak as evidence. Nature cites some health experts as calling for Taiwan not to be excluded but others say it is not a problem as the meeting is largely symbolic

May 19, 2017
Nature

Research pledge must go further

Leading funders and researchers agreed that all their clinical trials for vaccines and devices would in future by publicly registered and the results published. The pledge, made by nearly a dozen groups including the Wellcome Trust and the UK Medical Research Council, is a boost for innovation and safety. Some estimates suggest that half of all trial findings are not made public, notably those that do not yield positive results. This is a waste of research, burying information which could better direct future work and reduce danger for patients and boost efficiency

May 19, 2017
Financial Times

2016 sees 302 attacks on health care in 20 countries: WHO

According to WHO, in the first quarter of 2017, there have been some 88 attacks on health facilities and at least 80 people have been killed. WHO said attacks on health workers and ambulances continue with alarming frequency and they have direct consequences for health service delivery, depriving people of often urgently needed care

May 19, 2017
xinhuanet

Chance of newborn survival: Somalia better off than India

India has fallen 11 places in the Global Burden of Disease rankings for healthcare access to 154th position in the new study published in The Lancet. India’s downward slide indicates it has failed to achieve healthcare targets, especially on neonatal disorders, maternal health, tuberculosis and rheumatic heart disease

May 20, 2017
The Hindu

G20 health ministers agree to tackle antibiotics resistance

Health ministers of the G20 leading economies, meeting for the first time on Saturday, agreed to work together to tackle issues such as a growing resistance to antibiotics and to start implementing national action plans by the end of 2018

May 20, 2017
Channel News Asia, IP-Watch

UK competition watchdog accuses Merck of obstructing biosimilars

The UK’s competition watchdog has accused Merck of operating an unfair discount scheme for its medicine Remicade that it said was designed to restrict competition from so-called biosimilar copies. The Competitions and Markets Authority said it had found Merck has abused its position, this opens it up to potential financial penalties

May 23, 2017
Reuters

World Medical Association highlights attacks on Indian doctors: Report

The World Medical Association has issued a warning over the increase in violence against doctors in countries such as India and China, as well as in Europe and America, where patients or relatives verbally or physically abuse the medical caregivers with alarming regularity. A WHO report said nearly 600 violent incidents against health facilities took place in 19 countries in 2014 and 2015. In the first three quarters of 2016 there were 198 such incidents. The WMA said health professionals need legal protection in countries as many countries already do for law enforcement officers

May 23, 2017
Hindustan Times

In Nagaland, Missing Health Services Are a Matter of Life and Death

The Wire tells the story of how massive central funding for health and development in healthcare often goes missing on the ground, leaving residents in remote districts to struggle through and fend for themselves, it does so through the eyes of a farmer from eastern Nagaland

May 27, 2017
Wire India

Cutting HIV and Aids treatments costs in South Africa

About 15% of India’s pharmaceutical exports arrive in Africa and in South Africa, in particular, with the availability of generic antiretrovirals from India leading to a significant drop in the cost of treatment for millions of people with HIV or Aids. The BBC’s Taurai Maduma reports on Africa Business Report for the BBC World Service

May 26, 2017
BBC

Kenya submits US$355 million funding request to global fund

Kenya’s health ministry said it has submitted a funding request application to the Global Fund seeking US$355m to finance healthcare interventions in the country for the 2018-2020 period. The ministry said most of the grant will be used to procure commodities and lifesaving medicine for HIV, TB and Malaria

May 27, 2017
News Ghana, Standard Media
May 26, 2017
Star Kenya

WHO announces new flagship programs for African region over next two years

WHO’s Regional Director for Africa announced four new flagship programmes for the region over the next two years, including a major push on adolescent health and the creation of regional emergency hubs, additionally, there’ll also be mandatory performance deliverables, to which WHO offices in the African region will be held accountable

May 26, 2017
News-Medical.net

India’s dismal record in healthcare

New research by The Lancet shows India ranking at 154 out of 195 countries in terms of access to healthcare, which is worse than Nepal, Bangladesh, Ghana and Liberia. Live Mint takes three comparative charts and shows how relative prosperity in India in many places counts for little if the government significantly underinvests in its own healthcare system

May 24, 2017
Live Mint

President Moon Jae-In lets South Korean aid workers tackle malaria in North Korea

Mr Moon’s government has given permission for a humanitarian group to resume its work fighting malaria in North Korea, 18 months after all such contact with Pyongyang was banned after its fourth nuclear test. The Korean Sharing Movement will be allowed to resume its work in areas adjacent to the border between the two countries. If authorities in the north agree, KSM will provide fumigation trucks to exterminate mosquitoes as well as mosquito nets, malaria drugs and kits for diagnosing the disease

May 26, 2017
The Times, Nikkei Asian Review

WHO Official: Medicines Should Not Be Priced At The Value Of A Life

WHO assistant director general, Marie-Paule Kieny, urged people to moved away from the notion of value-based pricing and towards fair pricing, telling WHA delegates the WHO is beginning to work on this, then the discussion moves on through pricing of vaccines to other medical products as WHO tries to get to grips with the basics of pricing, which may not necessarily be low if it can be shown it is expensive to produce. Similarly, the notion of delinking the price from the costs of R&D is a further issue, push funding for research being one way to counteract this

May 26, 2017
IP-Watch

‘Wrong to say India’s drug quality is substandard’: Health Minister JP Nadda to TNM

The News Minute interviews Indian Health Minister, JP Nadda, with India having taken a tough stand supporting the delinking of research costs and the accessibility of medicines, he is asked about what India is doing to make affordable medicines a reality

May 26, 2017
The News Minute

Narendra Modi’s generics drugs plan worries health experts, pharma sector

India’s plan to bring in a law to ensure doctors prescribe medicines only by their generic names risks proliferating the sale of substandard drugs in a country where regulation is already lax, doctors and pharmaceutical executives say

May 26, 2017
Live Mint

Drugs Watchdog in London Courted With Spanish Lessons, Childcare

Brexit has sparked a fight to lure the European Medicines Agency away from London with almost two dozen countries extending a list of perks to their pitch to host the EU regulator. Finding a new home for highly trained scientists and researchers who assess drugs and examine factories in Europe is critical for the global pharmaceutical industry and the likelihood of leaving London and uncertainty of a new location is prompting staff departures

May 19, 2017
Bloomberg

How did HIV drugs worth 1.8 billion Naira expire in Nigeria?

The Nigerian minister of health said over $3bn worth of HIV drugs expired in storage. This could mean that Nigeria’s stock of HIV drugs is low. The Minister blamed incompetence and poor knowledge of healthcare workers saying there is no excuse for the waste as it adds to the massive cost involved in the HIV prevention campaign

May 19, 2017
Ventures Africa

Kenya’s First Gay Health Clinic Provides Care Without the Judgment

NBC News speaks to the director of Ishtar, the first health care clinic in Kenya run by gay men that serves a population primarily of gay men. With discrimination still high in the country the clinic is a place where treatment comes without judgement as the staff are drawn from the community too.  At present they are still unable to provide antiretroviral therapy to those who are HIV-positive but they refer members to either an NGO with whom they have an agreement or to a government run facility. Many refuse to go as they are not treated well 

May 15, 2017
NBCNews

Illegal blood banks spreading disease

Illegal blood banks are thriving under the nose of the health department in Pakistan, and spreading diseases like hepatitis, HIV and thalassemia. According to the health department, there are at least 1,600 blood banks across the Punjab province and they need to be regulated. Express Tribune reported that the Punjab Blood Transfusion Authority has never conducted any raids on these illegal banks which sell blood on without a screening process

May 15, 2017
Express Tribune

Trump expansion of abortion ‘gag rule’ will restrict $8.8 billion in U.S. aid

President Trump’s executive order to block U.S. aid to groups abroad that counsel or provide referrals about abortion went into effect Monday and will restrict nearly $9bn in foreign health assistance. Senior administration officials confirmed that Trump’s executive order will hit programmes such as AIDS, malaria and child health. About $6bn of this money supports HIV/Aids services, primarily in Africa, as part of the PEPFAR programme established in 2003. Another initiative expected to be hard hit is the President’s Malaria Initiative 

May 15, 2017
Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Guardian
May 16, 2017
NBCNews, Sky News
May 15, 2017
Devex, Reuters

More disruptions feared from cyber attack; Microsoft slams government secrecy

A global cyberattack has hit more than 1-5 of all UK hospitals, forced a European carmaker to halt some production lines, struck schools in China and hospitals in Indonesia. Capitalising on spying tools believed to have been developed by the U.S. National Security Agency, the assault infected tens of thousands of computers in 104 countries, with Britain’s health system suffering the worst known disruption

May 14, 2017
Reuters
May 13, 2017
Financial Times, Time, Live Mint
May 14, 2017
Hindustan Times
May 12, 2017
New York Times

Roche vs Indian Pharma: The battle for a cheaper cancer drug

On April 25, the Competition Commission of India released an order opening an investigation against Roche for blocking the entry of biosimilar versions of Trastuzumab, globally sold under the brand name Herceptin. The CCI’s 36-page order notes that prima facie it appears that Roche used its dominant position to influence regulators and medical professionals against prescribing the biosimilar versions of Trastuzumab manufactured by several Indian drug makers, including Biocon and Mylan. The two companies complained that Roche’s anti-competitive measures ranged from suing the Indian regulator for granting approval to manufacture biosimilars to selectively using the court’s observations to ‘intimidate’ doctors, chemists and state hospitals 

May 14, 2017
Economic Times

Kenya: Report Lays Bare Kenya's Frail Health Sector

The Kenya Health Workforce Report lays bare Kenya’s ill-preparedness in tackling non-communicable diseases in terms of human resource capacity. For instance, cancer killed 15,714 people in 2015 yet there are only 9 experts in radiology/oncology and 128 in radiology. For all the cases of diabetes there is only one diabetologist. There are only 71 psychiatrists in Kenya, yet the latest mental health report from WHO showed that 4.4% of all Kenyans have a mental health problem of some sort

May 14, 2017
allafrica.com, Daily Nation

WHO members urged to delink R&D from cancer medicine

A number of civil society organizations and health specialists have sent a letter to delegates at the annual World Health Assembly and member states urging them to delink the R&D costs from the prices of cancer medicines. The letter reads ‘none of the 56 novel cancer medicines approved by the U.S. FDA from 2010 to 2016 are included in the WHO Model List of Essential Medicines’

May 16, 2017
International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics

Health Sector Prepares for Antiabortion Policy’s Impact on HIV/AIDS Fight

Health officials and experts said they will monitor how the Trump administration’s expansion of an anti-abortion policy affects a longstanding initiative to beat back the global HIV/AIDS epidemic. How the new policy will affect the U.S. war on HIV overseas will depend in part on which foreign NGOs sign the new clause to receive PEPFAR funding, a senior State department official said. The detailed data PEPFAR regularly collects on the use of its funding would be watched closely for signs that its reach is either being expanded or is being restricted

May 16, 2017
Wall Street Journal

More than half of world's deaths still have no recorded cause: WHO

More than half of all deaths have no recorded cause, making effective health monitoring and policymaking far more difficult, the World Health Organization said. Improved collection of statistics means 27m deaths were recorded in 2015, compared to about a third in 2005. In some countries the improvement in collection is remarkable; Iran now has 90% of all deaths recorded compared with 5% in 1999. WHO says all the data is needed because if countries don’t know what makes people sick and die it is a lot harder to know what to do about it

May 17, 2017
Reuters

Obamacare Helped Americans Detect Cancer Earlier

The number of Americans whose cancers were diagnosed at the earliest stage, when it is most likely to be cured, increased after Obamacare went into effect and more citizens had access to health insurance, a new study has found. Whilst the effect was small, the study found that a higher proportion of new breast, lung and colorectal tumours were detected at stage 1 in 2014 compared with a year earlier. The shift to earlier diagnosis happened primarily in states that expanded Medicaid under the law, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. The researchers followed 273,000 patients under 65, who were diagnosed from 2013-14 with five kinds of cancer that can be detected by screening and the increases in early detection were small but consistent

May 17, 2017
Bloomberg

India's drug pricing regulator clamps down on drug cocktails

India’s drug pricing regulator has demanded explanations from 65 domestic and global drugmakers for selling new forms of essential diabetes and antibiotic drugs without its approval. These companies have launched formulations by altering an essential drug without even applying for price approval from NPPA as required, it said in its website notice. The companies on this list include Sanofi, Abbott laboratories and Indian firms such as Lupin and Sun Pharmaceutical Industries

May 18, 2017
Reuters

U.S. health officials warn of problems with Meridian lead tests

US health officials warned that tests made by Meridian Bioscience Inc may underestimate lead levels in blood drawn from veins, sending the manufacturer’s stock down 9%. The Food and Drug Administration warned laboratories and healthcare professionals not to use any lead testing device made by Magellan Diagnostics. These devices are the only lead testing products cleared by the FDA and account for about half of all lead tests in the United States

May 18, 2017
Reuters

Amazon's Long Shadow Falls on Pharmacies

According to a CNBC report, Amazon is considering a leap into the prescription drug business. It wouldn’t be easy, but the industry and its investors ought not to dismiss the threat. If Amazon offered an experience that improves on existing U.S. mail order options in price or convenience, then it could disrupt retail drug stores. The pharmacy is the golden nugget in the vast majority of retail revenue for America’s biggest drug stores

May 18, 2017
Bloomberg
May 16, 2017
CNBC

Fraud at malaria centre: Global Fund report uncovers ‘systematic’ double billing, nepotism

A report by the Global Fund’s Office of the Inspector General has confirmed evidence of corruption and nepotism at Cambodia’s National Malaria Centre, calling the centre’s oversight ‘dysfunctional and unauditable.’ The report was released ‘quietly’ in March, but passed to The Post this week. It found systematic double billing of donors for field missions conducted by the same staff in different areas during overlapping time periods and the practice of senior staff members hiring unqualified family members. These staff invariably went on field trips, despite lacking relevant antimalarial experience

May 18, 2017
PhnomPen Post

India's drugmakers need more time to meet international standards: industry group

India’s big drug makers will need at least five more years to improve their manufacturing standards and data reliability to a level demanded by international regulators, said a senior official. The industry has struggled to improve factory processes and train staff since 2013, when major violations were found at India’s then largest drug maker Ranbaxy Laboratories. Complaints have ranged from issues over hygiene and maintenance to concerns over falsifying manufacturing related test results and data 

May 17, 2017
Reuters

Sanofi rejects US Army request for ‘fair’ pricing for a Zika vaccine

Sanofi Pasteur has rejected a request from the US Army to set an affordable US price for a Zika vaccine that the company is developing with American taxpayer funds, prompting an angry response from Senator Bernie Sanders. For months, Sanders has pushed the Army to negotiate a more favourable arrangement with Sanofi, who has already received a $43m U.S. research grant. But Sanofi recently refused, according to an Army timeline of events

May 17, 2017
Stat News

Ceaseless Middle East wars forcing change in approach to medical care

The ICRC warned that drawn-out crisis which are plaguing the Middle East could lead to the total collapse of health systems. One example is the disruption to vaccinations. As the children will not be vaccinated, diseases previously thought to be eradicated will simply re-emerge. Resistance to antibiotics because of drug usage in excess of prescribed limits has accelerated. Infections have spread as war has destroyed sanitation and clean water systems and triggered chaotic population movements 

May 16, 2017
Reuters

Over million health workers paid less than Rs 1,000 a month in India

Nearly a million workers, forming the frontline of India’s faltering public health system, are inadequately trained and underpaid, according to an IndiaSpend analysis of health ministry data, imperilling the country’s progress in healthcare efforts. Accredited Social Health Activists considered to be voluntary workers are paid an honorarium by the government and most make about Rs 1,000 a month, less than the cost of a bottle of single malt whisky. They are required to undergo a 23 day training spread across 12 months, but a third of them in north Bihar were not trained at induction and the rest received seven days training or read the manual, according to the study 

May 16, 2017
Business Standard

South Africa: Medics Protest As KZN Health Care System Collapses

The South African Medical Association and public interest law firm SECTION27 warned the Kwa-Zulu-Natal health system is on the point of collapse. On 5th May over a thousand health workers marched tom Durban to highlight the crisis. A memo addressed to the government highlighted the 16 problems which included: shortage of staff caused by unfunded or abolished posts, a lack of medical school graduates, an unwanted overtime policy, failures with equipment procurements, shortages of supplies, problems with medical records and poor management

May 16, 2017