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Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

U.S. Proposes Changes To Draft U.N. TB Declaration That Advocates Say Would Hinder Treatment Access

STAT: U.S. pushes back on global declaration for TB drugs, a move advocacy groups say will restrict access
“Amid growing frustration over the cost and development of tuberculosis medicines, the U.S. government is pushing changes in global policy at a United Nations meeting this week that patient advocacy groups claim will make access and affordability more difficult for poorer countries. Specifically, the U.S. has proposed language that would negate provisions found in a World Trade Organization agreement, which allows countries to issue compulsory licenses as a way to create lower-cost alternatives to medicines, according to the latest draft version of an agreement…” (Silverman, 7/5).

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Co-Chair Of Australia's Bipartisan TB Caucus Discusses Upcoming High-Level U.N. Meeting In Devex Interview

Devex: A united front in the battle against TB shows Australian politics at its best
“The United Nations General Assembly High-level Meeting on Tuberculosis will take place in New York in September as part of leader’s week, which is considered a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to cement a global strategy to combat and eliminate TB. … [I]n Australia, a bipartisan group of politicians supported by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and opposition leader Bill Shorten is ignoring party lines to call for strong action. … Speaking with Devex, [Labor Senator Lisa Singh, co-chair of the Australian TB caucus,] discussed what the caucus is calling for and the strategies to increase Australia’s investment in this space…” (Cornish, 7/6).

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U.K. DFID Piloting Needs-Based Assessments To Improve Aid Effectiveness In Several Country Programs

Devex: Exclusive: What are DFID’s new country diagnostic pilots?
“The United Kingdom Department for International Development is internally piloting a new needs-based assessment strategy for a number of its country programs, with the aim of better understanding in-country poverty trends, politics, and economics for program design and delivery. … Devex has learned that the pilot countries are Iraq, Zimbabwe, and Kenya, and that the DFID Zimbabwe teams have already begun consultations with NGOs…” (Anders, 7/3).

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Poor Health Care Quality Present In All Countries, Preventing Progress, Raising Costs, Report Says

U.N. News: Dangers of poor quality health care revealed ‘in all countries’: WHO report
“Ineffective health care is a global phenomenon which increases the burden of illness and wastes scarce resources, U.N. experts said on Thursday. In a new report on the subject, the World Health Organization (WHO) and partners cited problems with delivering quality health care across all member states…” (7/5).

United Press International: WHO: Poor health care stymies progress, raises costs
“…Unnecessary treatment based on inadequate diagnoses or other errors and inadequate facilities and providers was present in all countries across the economic spectrum, the World Health Organization said in a release Thursday. … The report, ‘Delivering Quality Health Services — a Global Imperative for Universal Health Coverage,’ comes as all United Nations members have pledged to a goal of achieving universal health coverage by 2030. It is a joint report by the WHO, the World Bank and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development…” (Brokaw, 7/5).

Xinhua News: Poor quality services holding back progress on improving health: WHO report
“…In response, … [the three organizations said g]overnments should lead the way with strong national health care quality policies and strategies; citizens should be empowered and informed to actively engage in health care decisions and in designing new models of care to meet the needs of their local communities. Also health systems should focus on competent care and user experience to ensure confidence in the system, while health care workers should see patients as partners and commit themselves to providing and using data to demonstrate the effectiveness and safety of health care” (7/6).

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Small Particulate Air Pollution Linked To Type 2 Diabetes, Study Shows

The Atlantic: A Frightening New Reason to Worry About Air Pollution
“It’s fairly well known that a bad diet, a lack of exercise, and genetics can all contribute to type 2 diabetes. But a new global study points to an additional, surprising culprit: the air pollution emitted by cars and trucks. Though other research has shown a link between diabetes and air pollution in the past, this study is one of the largest of its kind, and it’s unique because it both is longitudinal and includes several types of controls. What’s more, it also quantifies exactly how many diabetes cases in the world are attributable to air pollution: 14 percent in 2016 alone…” (Khazan, 7/5).

Reuters Health: Air pollution may account for 1 in 7 new diabetes cases
“Air pollution could be responsible for 3.2 million new cases of type 2 diabetes every year globally, suggests a new analysis. … The tiniest form of particulate matter pollution, known as PM 2.5, is already associated with increased risk of heart disease, lung disease, kidney disease, and other noncommunicable diseases ‘and contributed to about 4.2 million premature deaths in 2015,’ the study team writes in The Lancet Planetary Health…” (Harding, 7/5).

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More News In Global Health

Canadian Press/The Star: ‘Hell’ of fighting drug-resistant tuberculosis cause some patients to abandon treatment (Sagan/Kane, 6/29).

Global Press Journal: In DRC, Married Women Receive Preferential Access to Birth Control (Mutombo, 6/25).

Newsweek: Remote Amazon Yanomami Tribe Threatened by Measles Outbreak (Spear, 7/5).

NPR: VIDEO: Are We Headed Toward A Post-Antibiotic World? (Beaubien, 7/2).

NPR: ‘Unimaginable’ Suffering In South Sudan. Is There Any Hope? (Lu, 7/5).

NPR: Trying To Stop Suicide: Guyana Aims To Bring Down Its High Rate (Rawlins/Bishop, 6/29).

Thomson Reuters Foundation: India’s ‘worst water crisis in history’ leaves millions thirsty (Banerji, 7/6).

U.N. News: Yemen: ‘No justification for this carnage,’ says UNICEF chief, as children in need now outnumber population of Switzerland (7/3).

VOA News: 1.3 Million Afghan Children at Risk From Polio (Gul, 7/2).

Xinhua News: Hunger, malnutrition reach record levels in South Sudan: U.N. official (6/29).

Xinhua News: WHO urges Kenya to increase domestic investment to eradicate TB (7/4).

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Editorials and Opinions

Global Fund Should 'Change Its Narrative' To Include UHC

The Lancet: Offline: Can the Global Fund survive?
Richard Horton, editor-in-chief of The Lancet

“France will host the Sixth Replenishment Conference for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria in 2019. … The Fund’s executive director, Peter Sands, together with the chair of the Board, Aida Kurtović, must seize the opportunity to write a new narrative for the Fund to enable it to adapt to its new political and economic environment. … The 2019 replenishment cannot be business as usual. … The present era is about one big idea — sustainability. In health, that means universal health coverage (UHC): strong health systems based on effective primary health care. AIDS-focused institutions, including the Global Fund, must broaden their mandates to address this larger objective of global health. This means an ‘ATM plus’ strategy: AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria plus UHC. … The next four months will be a time to decide whether the Global Fund has the courage to change its narrative. It will also be the time when Europe has the opportunity to lead not only the strengthening of the Global Fund, but also the birth of a new era of global leadership for the continent” (7/7).

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Accelerating Progress Toward Tobacco-Free World Requires 'Commitment Of All Stakeholders'

The Lancet: Progress towards a tobacco-free world
Editorial Board

“Last week, global anti-smoking efforts made substantial progress. Australia won a landmark victory in a major trade dispute over its plain packaging for cigarettes … Additionally, the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) announced that the Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products would enter into force … Unprecedented legal actions against tobacco were also reported in China and Japan. … [B]ut such progress does not warrant complacency given the continuing global tobacco epidemic and huge gap in the full implementation of the WHO FCTC in many countries. … Achieving [the goal of a tobacco-free world] will require a turbo-charged approach that complements FCTC actions with strengthened U.N. leadership, full engagement of all sectors, and increased investment in tobacco control. … [A]mbitious targets are achievable if political will remains strong at the global, regional, and national levels. Progress towards a tobacco-free world can be accelerated much more with the full commitment of all stakeholders, from governments to health care services, and especially health professionals” (7/7).

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Governments, Health Systems Must Support Nurses To Make Progress Against NCDs

Devex: Opinion: How nurses can lead the fight against NCDs
Annette Kennedy, president of the International Council of Nurses and member of the WHO Independent High-Level Commission on NCDs

“…Given their long-term nature and complex causes, there is one group of health care professionals that is especially well-placed to managing the challenge of [noncommunicable diseases (NCDs)]: Nurses. … With their person-centered approach to care, nurses instinctively put the needs of populations first, not just in a headline-grabbing crisis but also in those that unfold slowly behind-the-scenes, such as NCDs. Equipped with a holistic mindset, nurses can readily contend with the many drivers of NCDs … [The following] are three examples of how nurses are driving progress in disease prevention, health promotion, and treatment. 1. Lead in prevention … 2. Be a trusted coach … 3. Circumvent obstacles … [A]s the burden of NCDs increasingly weighs on countries, governments, and health care, systems must step up their efforts to nurture nurses to fulfill their full potential” (7/5).

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Opinion Piece, Letter Discuss New Drug Development For Neglected Diseases, Antibiotics

Forbes: Drug Development For Neglected Diseases Has Stagnated
Joshua Cohen, independent health care analyst

“There’s good news on neglected diseases. Donors of diagnostics and medications … are fulfilling the obligations laid out in the 2012 London Declaration. … But elsewhere progress has been limited. … Partly as a result of continued limited funding earmarked for neglected disease drug development, the numbers of drugs and vaccines in the pipeline have been about the same since 2011 as they were in the 10 years prior to 2011. Also, implementation of innovative policy measures, such as the priority review voucher, have not led to appreciable increases in numbers of new drugs in clinical development, approved products, or improved access. … Closing the gap in funding may spur further successful development of drugs currently in the pipeline. Furthermore, adjustments to the priority review voucher program may be needed to incentivize R&D in new molecular entities and biologics” (7/5).

Financial Times: Letter: Drugs companies are rising to the challenges of research into superbugs
Thomas Cueni, director general of the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations

“I respectfully disagree with Jim O’Neill’s comments on pharmaceutical companies’ inaction on combating antimicrobial resistance … Pharmaceutical companies are not only active in R&D, but are taking many other tangible steps across the continuum of care — from prevention, monitoring, and screening to treatment. … Actions taken by governments to support innovation today have an immediate impact on companies’ investment and therefore also influence the development and availability of treatment options 10 or 15 years from now. We are encouraged by action taken last week by the U.S. Congress in the introduction of legislation that offers the first substantial incentive for the development and introduction of new anti-infective medicines offered by any government to address AMR. The legislation offers an important model on how to sustainably incentivize end-to-end antibiotic and vaccine development, while balancing important public health stewardship provisions. Finding creative and sustainable solutions to AMR requires thinking outside the box and the full impact of industry’s efforts can only be made through collaborations with governments” (7/3).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

Policy Expert Discusses USAID Procurement Reform, Ways Agency Can Connect Evidence With Interventions

Center for Global Development: As USAID Thinks about Procurement and Program Design, It Should Keep Evidence in Mind
Sarah Rose, policy fellow at CGD, discusses procurement reform at USAID and “how procurement and program design can help ensure USAID’s interventions are informed by evidence and/or build in opportunities to generate evidence.” Rose offers “three recommendations for how USAID can address this disconnect between evidence and procurement” (7/5).

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CSIS Releases July 2018 Issue Of Global Health Policy Center Monthly Newsletter

Center for Strategic & International Studies: Global Health Policy Center Monthly Newsletter: July 2018
In the July 2018 CSIS Global Health Policy Center Newsletter, J. Stephen Morrison, senior vice president and director of the CSIS Global Health Policy Center, highlights publications, podcasts, and past and upcoming events hosted by CSIS. The newsletter includes links to an event at CSIS on lessons learned from the five-year Saving Mothers, Giving Life (SMGL) initiative; a podcast hosted by Morrison, who speaks with Elhadj As Sy, secretary general of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), about the organization’s role in humanitarian response and preparedness; and another podcast hosted by Morrison, who speaks with Christos Stylianides, European commissioner for humanitarian aid and crisis management and European Union Ebola coordinator, about the differences between the 2014 and current Ebola outbreak responses and Europe’s role (7/5).

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Report Says Rapid Diagnostic Tool Critical To Containing Recent DRC Ebola Outbreak

IDSA’s “Science Speaks”: Report finds responsive research, innovative technology, training critical to controlling DRC Ebola outbreak
Antigone Barton, senior editor and writer of “Science Speaks,” discusses a report published in Clinical Infectious Diseases outlining the importance of a new Ebola rapid diagnostic tool in identifying the virus strain causing the recent outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo (7/5).

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Experts Discuss Ways To Reduce Road Traffic Crashes, Injuries, Deaths At Global Health Forum

BMJ Opinion: Richard Smith: Reducing global road traffic crashes and injuries
Richard Smith, former editor of The BMJ, highlights a recent global health forum at St. Mary’s Medical School addressing global road traffic crash prevention and response. Smith summarizes remarks by Seema Yalamanchili, clinical research fellow and trauma surgeon at Imperial College; Mark Wilson, clinical professor and consultant neurosurgeon at Imperial College and medical director of GoodSAM; and Donald Redelmeier, senior scientist for the Evaluative Clinical Sciences, Trauma, Emergency, and Critical Care Research Program at Sunnybrook Research Institute (7/6).

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PLOS Medicine Publishes Special Issue On Climate Change And Health

PLOS Medicine: Climate Change and Health
“Climate change and the impacts on health are being increasingly reported and documented. … Throughout July PLOS Medicine is publishing a Special Issue on climate change and health. Guest edited by Dr. Jonathan Patz (University of Wisconsin-Madison) and Dr. Madeleine Thomson (Columbia University), the issue focuses on topics including the health effects of extreme heat and flooding, food system effects, non-communicable disease risk, such as air pollution, infectious disease risks, and the health benefits of greenhouse gas mitigation policies. The issue has a particular focus on evidence-based studies focused on policy-relevant work on adaptation and mitigation options” (July 2018).

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From the U.S. Government

New Issue Of Global Health: Science And Practice Journal Available Online

Global Health: Science and Practice: June 2018
This new issue of the online journal features pieces on various topics, including an editorial on lessons learned from the use of long-lasting insecticidal nets for malaria control programs in Myanmar and Nigeria; a commentary on improving global health programs through systematic program reporting; and an article on the policy complexities of implementing universal health coverage in Francophone sub-Saharan Africa (June 2018).

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