Friday, 30 September 2011

Why we donot have any association for snakebites- a disease of poor ? Lets make one !

Dear Sir,
           Latest release from Global Alliance for Rabies Control say that deaths due to rabies increase from 55,000 to 70,000 now ( Attachment).
We have many organisations for control and treatment of rabies but I donot think there is any for snakebite prevention and control.
I request you all distinguished scholars to start a World Association for Prevention and Control of Snakebites called WAPCS. This would be an important step to draw attention of the policy makers including WHO towards this neglected disease that causes huge financial burden in terms of loss of human lives and that of animals.

I hope some more ideas would come soon and we move towards controlling snakebites and deaths joining hands together.

Thanks and regards,

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Blueprint for making medicines more affordable for everyone -by Claudio Schuftan

Non-communicable diseases – Philip Soos examines the importance of essential drugs and technologies to the world’s poor, a priority action area noted by the Lancet NCD Action Group and the NCD Alliance.
The magnitude and severity of preventable and treatable NCDs – diabetes, stroke, cancer and heart disease – has brought the affordability of medicines to the forefront of global public health.
For more than a decade, a worldwide campaign has been agitating for more timely and affordable access to medicines for the world’s poor.
This is because hundreds of millions of people around the world don’t have access to the medicines they require to combat and alleviate suffering from a plethora of NCDs.

Patently obvious

One of the direct causes of the lack of affordability of pharmaceuticals is the patents system.
Patents are a monopoly granted by the government ostensibly to promote greater levels of research and development (R&D) than would exist without some form of intervention.
But the problem is that monopolistic pricing makes medicines less affordable to individuals.
While traditional forms of protectionism such as tariffs result in markups of 20% to 30%, patents can increase medicine prices by a thousand or even ten thousand percent above market competitive prices.
And monopolistic pricing is not the only hurdle to making medicines more affordable and accessible.
It is compounded by perverse incentives for pharmaceutical companies to spend R&D on creating largely non-innovative medicines for high-income markets.
Add to this, the temptation for pharmaceutical companies to withhold clinical research that indicates negative side-effects of some drugs.
Merck knew before Vioxx was released on the market, for instance, that it substantially increased the incidence of heart attack and stroke, resulting in tens of thousands of preventable deaths in the United States.
It’s pointless to advocate policies that result in cheaper medicines if they are defective so consumers are harmed rather than treated.
But under the patent system, firms are faced with such perverse incentives that are clearly not aligned with the common good.

All over the world

It’s wrong to assume that patents are the sole cause for lack of medicines' affordability.
The lack of a well-functioning public health-care systems and medicine subsidy schemes; sales taxes; poverty; government corruption; and the high cost of on-going medical treatment are also reasons why many individuals and entire populations lack timely and affordable access to pharmaceuticals.
One of the oddities of the access to medicines campaign is that many assume only developing nations are in need of help.
In fact, the affordability crisis also strikes closer to home in many of the wealthier Western nations.
The United States, for instance, lacks a comprehensive national subsidy scheme and there’s an expectation that private insurers provide coverage alongside Medicare and Medicaid.
Despite this, many millions of Americans can’t afford to purchase medicines, which are often sold at grossly inflated prices.
Australia has one of the best medicine subsidy schemes in the world: the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS). But the PBS cannot subsidize every medicine on the market for the simple reason of containing costs.
The PBS will soon cost $10 billion and is expected to continue to grow. And even now there are instances of Australians who cannot afford unsubsidised medicines and are placed at an economic (and health) disadvantage.

True cost

The US pharmaceutical market recently reached US$300 billion in size. It would actually only be worth approximately US$30 billion at competitive market prices.
If medicines were priced at the cost of production under an alternative R&D system, not only would they become more afford but the budgets of government subsidy programs and charities would be able to provide greater coverage and treatment to those who need it.
It’s critical for activists driving the access to medicines campaign to examine the assumptions and justifications that uphold the pharmaceutical patents system.
They shouldn’t accept what the industry and the economics profession say in support of an R&D system that’s grossly inefficient in both economic and social terms.
There are much better systems to promote research and development.
And there’s no plausible rationale for relying on 15th century government monopolies to finance R&D – a creation from the time of the feudal guild system.
Overturning pharmaceutical patents, rather than fiddling around the margins, should comprise a core focus of the access to medicines campaign.
This will help bring our scientific and innovation research structures into the 21st century, and most importantly, improve the affordability of medicines at a time when the world is facing an epidemic of non-communicable diseases.

Thursday, 22 September 2011

RTI help expose P. Chidambaram ?

New York, Sep 22 (IANS) Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee has avoided direct comment on a note from his ministry to the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) saying airwaves for telecom could have been auctioned in 2008 if his cabinet colleague P. Chidambaram had wanted.
Speaking at a high-profile event organised by the Asia Society here Wednesday evening, Mukherjee acknowledged such a note had indeed been written by his office but declined further comment on the matter, saying it was sub judice.
'Today a sensational news item has come and it is through the exercise of the right to information. A note was sent by the ministry of finance to the prime minister. Somebody demanded through the use of right to information to have a copy of that note,' he said.
'And that is being used -- whether legally it can be used or not is a different story -- but the fact of the matter is, somebody has produced that as a piece of evidence in a particular case,' the finance minister added.
'The matter is sub judice. The court is looking into it.'
His comments were in response to a query by former US ambassador to India Frank Wisner on what India was doing to address the issue of corruption....
read on the link above.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Purchase of drug industry in India a danger to poor's health

Dear Friends,
                     The more and more purchase of Indian drug pharma industry by the multinationals is a real danger to the health of the poor people in Asia and Africa. More and more Indian drug industrialists are selling their drug industries for profits, which at this moment may appear to be big to them but the multinationals know how to recover it early by jacking up the prices, So the looser is the common man.
Very soon, patents of many costly medicines are going to expire and then Indian pharma industry can make their generic drugs and sell them cheaper. But if all the pharma is purchased by multinationals who is going to benefit, only those who are investing now. We must oppose this business at the cost of poor.
Also need to be opposed is the tendency of multinational patent holders to bring small alterations in the drug molecules and then say it as new drug, this is to bypass loss of patent, if the drug remains the same over the years.
All these things show that there are nexus, that do not want poor to benefit. We must unearth such nexus and bring happiness to all humanity.

Any comments?.....

Monday, 12 September 2011

Bill to confiscate the property of corrupt

Himachal legislature has passed a bill to confiscate the ill gotten property of the corrupt officials and for this special courts would be set up for trials.

Corruption and poverty are linked

Dear Friends,
                     All of us know that how corruption and poverty are linked and need to bring back money from the corrupt and utilise it for the poor.