How to deliver pop and drugs, and other news

If there’s a theme to the news that caught our eye this week, it’s the challenging question of how to get drugs and other health supplies to people living in developing countries.

Coke applies supply-chain expertise to deliver AIDS drugs in Africa

Daily Beast, September 25, 2012

If the Coca-Cola company can deliver a bottle of soda to a village deep in the African countryside on a daily basis, why can’t governments and nonprofits figure out how to do the same with life-saving pharmaceuticals?
Read the article.

Man wearing white lab coat travels dirt road on motorcycle.

A health worker in Niger travels between villages. Photo: Umit Kartoglu.

Cervical cancer: El Salvador gets a screening test that women can administer at home

The New York Times, September 24, 2012

A new way to screen poor women for cervical cancer was introduced this month in El Salvador, using a test that was originally developed in China…The new test, called careHPV and made by Qiagen, a Dutch company, is a swab test for the DNA of the papillomaviruses that cause cancer.
Read the article.

Engaging China’s innovators as partners in global health

Impatient Optimists, September 24, 2012

Diagnostics can save lives and save millions of dollars in health costs. Let me give you an example. We can now treat HIV cheaply and effectively using anti-retroviral (ARV) medicines. These drugs are saving and enhancing the lives of millions of people around the world, and diagnostics play a critical role in determining whether someone is infected with the virus, whether they need to go on treatment, or whether they need to switch to more expensive second-line treatments…The unfortunate fact is that the current pipeline for TB diagnostics is sparse, likely because demand for them in wealthier countries—where the burden of TB disease is comparatively small—is relatively limited…We believe that China is uniquely positioned to develop new health technologies that can benefit people in the developing world faster and more effectively than product developers elsewhere. Read the article.

Subsidies help get modern malaria drugs to millions in Africa

National Public Radio, September 19, 2012

Two years ago the United Nations’ Global Fund launched an experiment that aimed to reduce the cost of malaria drugs in parts of Africa where they’re needed most. The idea was to subsidize the cost of drugs, sometimes making them available even cheaper than wholesale. Did it work? The results for the first phase of the pilot were unveiled yesterday in Washington, and they looked pretty good—at least for the short time the project has been up and running. Read the article.

Posted in Cervical cancer, HIV/AIDS, Malaria, Tuberculosis | Permalink

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