Archive for September 2006
This video is worth a few minutes on a work break:
Or Ricky Gervais’s interview with Microsoft management:
Today Yahoo! news reported:
BASEL, Switzerland – Roche Holding AG said Friday it will help
three African companies to produce one of its anti- HIV drugs.
Roche will provide the companies — Aspen Pharmacare in South Africa, and Cosmos Ltd. and Universal Corp. Ltd. in Kenya — with the technical assistance necessary to produce saquinavir, the active ingredient in the Swiss-based pharmaceutical's Invirase treatment. The three companies will produce the drug in Africa and will be allowed to export it to other developing countries around the world. "It is both encouraging and heartening that local African manufacturers are taking steps to increase their capacity to produce and provide HIV medicines locally," said Lembit Rago, a medicine expert at the World Health Organization. Roche said the program allowing production of saquinavir would eventually extend to 25 companies in 14 countries. The drug is used to treat patients who have developed a resistance to initial anti-HIV therapies. The company said it does not file for patent rights in the world's poorest countries. The move, it added, would not affect its pricing policy allowing least developed countries to buy anti-HIV protease inhibitors at cost.
By Vern Weitzel
Describing it as a “life-saving initiative”, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today officially launched UNITAID, an international drug purchasing facility that will provide medicine and treatment against HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis for the poorest people of developing countries who otherwise could not afford them.
“UNITAID can use its purchasing power to leverage price reductions for quality drugs and diagnostics, and accelerate the pace at which they are made available. It can provide a stable and continuous source of financing for health care programmes, particularly in low-income countries”, said Mr. Annan at the launch in New York.
“And it can help reassure developing countries of the long-term commitment of the international community. In this way, UNITAID provides a real and immediate tool to help scale up access to treatment for HIV/AIDS, malaria and TB”.
UNITAID will be funded by innovative financing mechanisms such as a contribution on air tickets, a World Health Organization (WHO) official said today, and the Secretary-General congratulated the Governments of France, Brazil, Chile, Norway, and the United Kingdom
for leading the way in developing the initiative.
Just an FYI – the British Department for Int’l Dev’l’p runs an information center, ID21.org, that produces several newsletters on various aspects of Development. From their health newsletter, I saw this the other week:
Treating diseases of poverty: creating markets for advance drug purchasing
“While new drugs and vaccines are needed to treat diseases of poverty, not enough is being invested in developing these products because of the lack of a demand or market for them. Advance price or purchase commitments potentially offer a solution, yet a number of structure and design issues first need to be resolved...”
One such mechanism, the International Finance Facility for Immunisation (IFFIm), will issue bonds in October to guarantee markets for future vaccines under a plan backed by Britain and seven other countries.