Displaying 1-5 of 5 key documents
Source: Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine | October 2005
This review article outlines the basic principles of traditional Chinese and Indian medicine, and the differences in how these are being integrated into national health systems. The authors discuss progress in drug discovery including traditional medicinal plants and the role of supporting industries — from breeders to manufacturers — in commercialising traditional medicine.
Source: NEJM | January, 2007
Cardiovascular disease accounts for 30% of deaths worldwide and 10% of all years of healthy life lost to disease, and the figures are nearly as high in developing countries — 27 per cent and 9 per cent respectively. This compares with 10% of lives lost worldwide from HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria put together (12% in developing countries). So why have donors not invested as heavily into tackling non-communicable chronic diseases as they have with infectious ones? The authors of this article suggest several reasons: infectious diseases are in some ways easier to solve by a vaccine or drugs so it might seem sensible to use precious funding this way; Western donors may want to see epidemics contained quickly to avoid global spread; pictures of small African children dying of AIDS are more heartrending than a middle-aged man with hypertension, even if that man is supporting a large family; there is a myth that chronic diseases are more costly to prevent than infectious ones. This last issue is one that should be tackled strongly to spread awareness that low-cost methods can have an enormous effect on chronic diseases.
Source: Nature Reviews | January, 2004
Vaccination for infectious diseases is a vital method of prophylaxis, and has transformed modern medicine. By contrast, research into vaccines against chronic diseases has been less successful, in part because of the increased complexity involved.
In this opinion piece, the authors outline the prospects for the development of chronic disease vaccines. These might not need to rely on the traditional method of inducing the body to produce antibodies, but rather on introducing monoclonal antibodies against specific proteins — this has so far worked well against Crohn's disease and rheumatoid arthritis.
The authors outline key hurdles in developing a successful therapeutic vaccine. Safety and efficacy are two obvious ones, but there is a third that is unique to vaccines for chronic diseases. Because these vaccines would block bodily chemicals — such as cytokines or hormones — it would not be acceptable for a vaccine to induce a life-long block (unlike a malaria vaccine, for example, where a lifelong block would be ideal).
These might be particularly useful in developing countries, say the authors. Because prophylaxis with vaccines is already a familiar concept, there should be no problem with patients' compliance, and judicious partnerships between public and private organisations could mean the vaccines are produced cheaply.
Source: International Council of AIDS Services Organisations | July 1999
This background paper describes the basic principles behind two strategies that could be used to bring down the price of drug therapies: parallel importing (bringing drugs from another country) and compulsory licensing (restricting the monopoly rights of existing patent holders to permit generic drug production).
Other means of lowering drug prices are also briefly discussed. The paper aims to provide people with sufficient information to participate fully in the debate surrounding international trade laws and access to essential drugs (especially HIV-related medications). The report is also available in French and Spanish.
Other means of lowering drug prices are also briefly discussed. The paper aims to provide people with sufficient information to participate fully in the debate surrounding international trade laws and access to essential drugs (especially HIV-related medications).
The report is also available in French and Spanish.
Source: UK Department for International Development | September 2001
This background briefing sets out in plain language the development aspects of intellectual property rules, from the UK government’s perspective. It describes the controversies surrounding intellectual property, lists the potential costs and benefits, outlines research into the 'appropriate level' of intellectual property rules, and discusses issues surrounding TRIPS (in particular access to medicines and biodiversity). The paper emphasises the need to maintain the flexibilities in the TRIPS Agreement, which the government believes allow all countries — including developing countries — to implement domestic intellectual property regimes that take account of their local circumstances.