KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

Devex Examines U.S. President Obama's Approach To, Logic For Development Policies During Tenure

Devex: Was there an Obama development doctrine?
“For the last eight years, U.S. development professionals have looked to President Barack Obama to steer the country’s aid efforts. As he now leaves office, the development community is left to examine the legacy of the 44th president’s decisions — and the logic that underpinned them. Was Obama’s approach to development guided by a doctrine of its own? If so, what was it?…” (Igoe/Saldinger, 1/19).

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Nikki Haley Would Promote Antiabortion Views As U.S. Ambassador To U.N., She Tells Senate Hearing

Sacramento Bee: Nikki Haley’s test at the U.N.: Is access to abortion a human right?
“If Nikki Haley is confirmed as Donald Trump’s ambassador to the United Nations, the strong opponent of abortion rights could be caught up in controversy over whether to define contraception and safe abortions as a human right for women, especially in developing countries. … In her confirmation hearing Wednesday, Haley told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that she would bring her conservative views into her new role. ‘I am strongly pro-life, so anything we can do to keep from having abortions, or to keep them from not knowing what is available, I will support,’ she said…” (Bergengruen, 1/18).

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Former U.S. Rep. Waxman Expresses Concern Over Appointment Of Katy Talento As Trump Health Policy Adviser

BuzzFeed News: Trump Health Adviser Linked HIV/AIDS Research To Prostitution
“President-elect Donald Trump’s new health policy adviser, Katy Talento, tried to kill funding for HIV/AIDS research by claiming the money was going to support Russian prostitution, and she has suggested women can avoid the Zika virus by having their husbands sleep on top of the covers at night. Former Rep. Henry Waxman, a California Democrat who fought efforts by conservatives to eliminate AIDS research funding during the George W. Bush administration, told BuzzFeed News, ‘This appointment raises a lot of alarm bells’…” (Stanton, 1/18).

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STAT Interviews CDC Director Tom Frieden About Successes, Nation's Public Health Challenges

STAT: Ebola, Zika, and a flu pandemic: a Q&A with departing CDC Director Tom Frieden
“…During [CDC Director Tom Frieden’s] tenure, the country’s premier public health institution faced back-to-back-to-back health crises. The largest ever Ebola outbreak. A multi-state outbreak of fungal meningitis, triggered by contaminated steroid products made by the New England Compounding Center in Framingham, Mass. The Zika epidemic in the Americas. The CDC’s Emergency Operations Center, which is only stood up in times of outbreak responses, operated during more than 90 percent of Frieden’s tenure. As the clock ticks down on his time in office, Frieden, 56, reflected on the frustration and joys of being CDC director, the scariest moment of his tenure, and his thoughts about the public health challenges still facing the country. His remarks were at times candid and at others guarded, particularly when questions touched on the challenges the incoming administration may pose for the agency and his as yet unnamed successor…” (Branswell, 1/18).

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Coalition For Epidemic Preparedness Innovations Formally Launched At WEF With $460M In Investments

The Atlantic: A Global Plan to Defend Against the Future’s Deadliest Diseases
“…[Outbreaks like the Ebola epidemic won’t happen again] if a new international coalition called CEPI — the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations — has its way. CEPI (pronounced ‘seppy’) is a global vaccine-development fund, devoted to readying pandemic defenses during peacetime. With $460 million from the Wellcome Trust, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the governments of Germany, Japan, and Norway, it will fund the development of vaccines against the likely pandemics of the future, testing them as far as possible, and stockpiling millions of doses. When outbreaks happen, the vaccines will be immediately ready for field-testing and mass-manufacture…” (Yong, 1/18).

Bloomberg: Gates Foundation Joins New $460 Million Coalition for Vaccines
“… ‘We have to be ready for a surprise, and that’s why our goal is really platform development,’ said Bill Gates, co-chairman of the foundation, in an interview with Bloomberg in Davos…” (Greifeld/Bass, 1/18).

Bloomberg: Ebola, Zika Push Drugmakers Into Effort to Avert Pandemics
“…Glaxo, the U.K.’s biggest drugmaker, is willing to commit scientists and technology to a proposed biopreparedness facility focused on vaccines that’s estimated to cost $40 million to $50 million a year, Chief Executive Officer Andrew Witty said in a telephone interview…” (Paton, 1/19).

Financial Times: Davos launch for coalition to prevent epidemics of emerging viruses
“…The founding partners expect other donors, including the U.S., U.K., E.U., and India, to provide enough money to make a total of $1bn available for more than five years. Vaccine manufacturers have also expressed enthusiasm about taking part…” (Cookson/Bradshaw, 1/18).

The Guardian: $460m pledged for vaccine initiative aimed at preventing global epidemics
“…Three diseases will initially be targeted: Lassa, MERS, and Nipah. All three are caused by viruses that have come from animals to infect humans and could trigger dangerous global epidemics…” (Boseley, 1/18).

Nature: Billion-dollar project aims to prep vaccines before epidemics hit
“…For the three diseases initially targeted, the CEPI aims to have stockpiles by 2021…” (Butler, 1/18).

New York Times: Donors and Drug Makers Offer $500 Million to Control Global Epidemics
“…The announcement was welcomed by Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, which designs vaccines but must partner with private industry to produce large amounts…” (McNeil, 1/18).

Quartz: A global alliance is investing $500 million to stop the spread of deadly outbreaks we are utterly unprepared for
“…CEPI has signed a memorandum of understanding with the WHO. The alliance will rely on the expertise of the global health body to guide their work…” (Rathi, 1/18).

Reuters: Global coalition aims to outpace epidemics with new vaccines
“…John-Arne Rottingen, interim chief executive officer of the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), said it is designed as ‘a global insurance policy against epidemic and pandemic threats’…” (Kelland, 1/18).

ScienceInsider: A half-billion-dollar bid to develop vaccines against the next viral threat
“…CEPI will now solicit proposals from academic researchers and industry to develop candidate vaccines for its three target viruses. In five years, it aims to take two vaccines for each virus through early human studies so that they’re in the wings and ready for a real-world test as soon as one of these viruses surfaces again…” (Cohen, 1/18).

STAT: Remembering Ebola, coalition targets three viruses with outbreak potential
“…The announcement was made at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. It was at that annual gathering last year that the creation of CEPI, as the organization is called, was announced…” (Branswell, 1/18).

Wall Street Journal: New Initiative Aims to Develop Epidemic-Targeting Vaccines
“…While the initiative won’t turn vaccines into a major moneymaker, it will aim to prevent the financial losses and disruption that occur when pharmaceutical companies must drop other projects to quickly concoct a vaccine, said [GSK CEO] Andrew Witty…” (McKay, 1/18).

Washington Post: New global coalition launched to create vaccines, prevent epidemics
“…Global health experts welcomed the initiative, saying it would complement efforts already underway by the World Health Organization and the U.S. Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), part of the Department of Health and Human Services, which are working on Ebola and Zika vaccines. The United States is not providing funding for CEPI, but it is offering subject expertise…” (Sun, 1/18).

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22 Pharmaceutical Companies Launch Initiative To Advance Access To NCD Prevention, Care

Devex: Pharmaceutical companies launch new initiative to tackle NCDs
“A group of 22 pharmaceutical companies have announced a new initiative aimed at tackling noncommunicable diseases and better assessing their individual, and collective, work to enable better access to care in developing countries. The new initiative, called Access Accelerated, will work toward understanding, piloting, implementing and measuring programs that tackle some of the biggest barriers to access to care for people with NCDs in an effort to contribute to the Sustainable Development Goal target of reducing premature deaths from NCDs by one-third…” (Saldinger, 1/19).

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Most XDR-TB Cases Spread From Person-To-Person, Study Shows

NPR: Why Is Extensively Drug-Resistant TB On The Rise?
“One of the big questions about extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis [XDR-TB] is whether this severe form of the disease is on the rise due to a failure of medications or if it’s spreading through the air. A new study of more than 400 patients in South Africa finds, unfortunately, that the answer appears to be the latter…” (Beaubien, 1/18).

Reuters Health: Person-to-person contact may cause most drug-resistant TB cases
“…Researchers tracked TB that is resistant to at least four key drugs and found that 69 percent of the victims had never received treatment, an indication that they had acquired it from others with extensively drug-resistant TB…” (Emery, 1/18).

STAT: Spread of highly drug-resistant tuberculosis sparks concerns
“…The research, published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine, does not suggest that extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis is spreading rapidly. But it does suggest that, of those tuberculosis cases in South Africa, far more are the result of transmission from person to person than previously known, rather than the result of improper medical treatment…” (Branswell, 1/18).

Wall Street Journal: Study Offers New Clues on Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis
“…The findings show that prevention efforts should focus not just on correct antibiotic treatment, but also on preventing airborne transmission, said Neel Gandhi, associate professor of epidemiology, global health, and infectious diseases at Emory University and senior author of the study. That includes implementing ‘airborne infection control programs in hospitals, health care and other congregate settings,’ he said…” (McKay, 1/19).

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WHO DG Chan Speaks About Global Health Cooperation With China In Xinhua Interview

Xinhua News: Interview: WHO chief looks forward to China’s “particular vision” for global health cooperation
“WHO chief Margaret Chan on Tuesday praised Chinese President Xi Jinping as a ‘visionary and strategic leader,’ saying that she looks forward to talking with him about how China will bring its particular vision for health as a centerpiece for international cooperation. World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Chan made the remarks in a written interview ahead of her meeting with Xi scheduled for Wednesday at WHO’s headquarters in Geneva…” (1/18).

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Editorials and Opinions

Investing In Disease Preparedness Represents 'Valuable Use Of Resources,' Critical To Global Health, Economy

Quartz: Larry Summers: Using the lessons of economics to stop global pandemics before they start
Lawrence Summers, professor at Harvard University

“…As we found during the Ebola epidemic, it is possible to get governments, donor organizations, and pharma companies to work together to produce a vaccine. But that can take months, if not years … There is no market incentive for a firm to leave production capacity unused just in case an outbreak happens. Or for it to invest the considerable sums to develop and test a new drug on the off-chance that it may one day be put to use. This is why the creation of the [Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI)] is so welcome. … CEPI’s plan is to set up a pipeline, capacity, and incentives to fund the development of vaccines for the diseases that present the clearest threat to global health and the global economy — including Ebola, MERS, Nipah, and Lassa. More broadly, it will build capacity to tackle viral threats as and when they emerge, rather than waiting until they have cost thousands of lives and billions of dollars. … Even if you were to only take into account the financial costs of pandemics, there is an exceptionally strong case that the kind of global insurance policy that CEPI offers represents a valuable use of those resources. Once you factor in their appalling human cost — the loss of life and loss of opportunity — that case becomes overwhelming” (1/18).

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U.S. Global Health Funding Should Strengthen Weakened Health Systems Rather Than Target 'Narrow Initiatives'

The Hill: New administration must look to recent past for global health lessons
Noelle Sullivan, assistant professor of instruction in global health studies and anthropology at Northwestern University, board member of Worldview Education and Care, and public voices fellow with The Op-Ed Project

“…Global health has a long history of bipartisan support and is, frankly, good business. … To truly make a difference, global health initiatives must directly target weakened health systems, not narrow initiatives. … Targeted interventions for HIV, tuberculosis, malaria, and newborn resuscitation do save lives. But at what cost to health systems? More lives would be saved if global health funding went towards strengthening health systems instead of focusing narrowly on specific ‘magic bullet’ interventions. Funding recipients, working on the front lines and possessing direct knowledge of capacity needs of a given location, should direct global health priorities for their health systems. Strong primary care systems can better deal with non-communicable disease and trauma — massive yet neglected global health problems for which there are no ‘quick fixes’ — not to mention the next outbreak or crisis. Time will tell how the incoming administration will prioritize funding for global health. However, it’s long been obvious to those of us close to the issue that it’s not just about money, but how money is allocated” (1/18).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

Experts Discuss Importance Of Global Health Security For U.S. Health, Economy

Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks”: Trump administration should be ready for global infectious disease outbreaks from day one, panel says
Rabita Aziz, policy research coordinator for the Center for Global Health Policy, discusses remarks made by Bill Steiger, who was the director of the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Global Health Affairs under the George W. Bush administration, during an event at Georgetown University on pandemic preparedness. During the panel discussion, Steiger discussed how investing in global health security “is very much an ‘America first’ agenda, not only to protect America’s health but to protect America’s economy.” Aziz also highlights remarks made by Hamid Jafari of the CDC, who suggested that “[i]nvesting in global health security is not a political issue” (1/18).

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From the U.S. Government

U.S. Continues To Support Efforts Aimed At Improving Health, Lives Of Adolescent Girls In Malawi

U.S. Department of State’s “DipNote”: Lifting the Roof: How a New Effort Could Change Everything for Girls in Malawi
Virginia Palmer, U.S. ambassador to Malawi; Deborah Birx, U.S. ambassador-at-large for global HIV and AIDS and global health diplomacy; and Cathy Russell, U.S. ambassador-at-large for global women’s issues discuss the challenges that adolescent girls face in Malawi, such as gender-based violence and a lack of access to health care, including sexual and reproductive health services. The authors also discuss U.S. efforts to support these girls “with a comprehensive approach, focusing diplomatic efforts and foreign assistance programs on improving the systems that can make or break outcomes for adolescent girls: education, health, safety, and economic security” (1/18).

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USAID's Survive & Thrive Releases July 2010-June 2016 Progress Report

Survive & Thrive Global Development Alliance: Progress Report (July 2010 – June 2016)
This July 2010-June 2016 report highlights the results achieved by the Survive & Thrive Global Development Alliance, “a public-private partnership established by [USAID] with pediatric, obstetric, and midwifery professional associations, the private sector, and civil society to improve the quality of facility-based maternal, newborn, and child health (MNCH) services in focus countries” (1/18).

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