KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

Media Outlets Examine President-Elect Trump's Potential Development, Global Health Policies

Devex: What happens now? 5 questions about U.S. aid under Trump
“…There are two reasons for cautious — and relative — optimism among development professionals. First, Trump passed up a chance to say he would entirely eliminate U.S. foreign aid programs as part of his larger push to shed government spending and bureaucracy. … Second, the Republican Party platform — thanks to significant bipartisan outreach by aid advocates and a group of pro-development Republicans in Congress — does not dismiss the role of U.S. foreign assistance. … But there is already at least one major area of concern in development circles. Trump has a stated disregard for the threat posed by climate change…” (Igoe, 11/11).

The Guardian: U.S. aid for women’s sexual health worldwide under threat
“Hundreds of millions of dollars in U.S. aid that helps prevent child and maternal deaths and reduces unintended pregnancies worldwide could be at risk under a Donald Trump administration, campaigners and think tanks have warned…” (McVeigh, 11/12).

The Guardian: Will Trump honor pledge to ‘stop sending aid to countries that hate us’?
“Concerns that Donald Trump will dramatically cut U.S. aid spending and oversee a withdrawal from global development have sent shockwaves through NGOs and others who fear what the impact of his presidency will be on the world’s largest donor of international humanitarian and development funding. … For those hoping cuts will not happen, some solace too might be had from the relative bipartisan support of development policy…” (Quinn, 11/13).

PBS NewsHour: Science and technology under a Trump presidency
“…NewsHour spoke with experts about what a Trump presidency might mean for science, climate change, technology, and health policy. Some arenas are dark — like throw-away-the-light-switch dark — but others may be less dire than his opponents might think…” (Akpan/Tiffany, 11/11).

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CDC Increasingly Addressing Global Health Issues To Improve Domestic Medical Care, Safety

PRI: The CDC is stepping up in the global fight against infectious disease
“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia, is increasingly focused on health concerns outside the United States as the world becomes more interconnected. And its international mission goes well beyond fighting global infectious diseases like Zika and HIV. For instance, CDC Director Tom Frieden says drug resistance is making it difficult to administer modern medical care. … Another nightmare scenario CDC studies is the creation of dangerous organisms that could be released accidentally, in the case of a research experiment gone wrong, or intentionally, in biological warfare or a terrorist attack…” (Strong, 11/11).

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World's Largest Drug Companies Not Doing Enough To Improve Access To Medicines In Poor Nations, Index Shows

Financial Times: Big pharma failing to do enough for poor countries
“Some of the world’s biggest drug companies are failing to do enough to provide medicines to poor countries, and the industry as a whole has made almost no progress in making treatments more affordable, the latest Access to Medicine Index has revealed…” (Viña, 11/13).

Forbes: New Pharma Rankings On Global Access To Medicine
“…[The] non-profit research group, based in the Netherlands, is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the U.K. Department for International Development, … the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and several NGOs; they accept no funding from pharmaceutical companies. They report these findings as an index or report card, ranking companies on these parameters: management of access to their medicine, market influence, and compliance, research and development, pricing, manufacturing and distribution, patents and licensing, capacity building, and product donation…” (Stone, 11/13).

The Guardian: GSK tops list of drug firms improving global access to medicine
“GlaxoSmithKline has come [out on] top of a league table that monitors the availability of medicine in developing countries, with fellow U.K. drugmaker AstraZeneca making it into the top 10. … Overall, drugmakers have 850 products on the market for the 51 worst diseases in low- and middle-income countries. They are developing another 420. But only five percent of products are covered by pricing strategies that were deemed affordable for different population groups within countries…” (Kollewe, 11/14).

New York Times: Which Big Drug Companies Are Helping the Poor? Here’s the List
“…The list was created by Wim Leerveld, a Dutch former pharmaceutical executive, and grew with early support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Dutch and British governments. At first, many drug companies ignored its requests for information. Now, virtually all cooperate. Some have created global health divisions and even compete to do well on the list…” (McNeil, 11/13).

Reuters: Drugmakers improve access for poor, GSK ranked top
“…Jayasree Iyer, executive director of the Amsterdam-based Access to Medicine Foundation, said drugmakers were becoming more sophisticated in addressing the issue but more needed to be done on pricing…” (Hirschler, 11/13).

STAT: Which drug makers do a good job getting poor patients access to their medicines?
“…Over the past four years, the number of companies using equitable pricing strategies increased from 16 in 2012, to 18 in 2014, to 19 in 2016. Ischemic heart disease replaced HIV/AIDS as the disease with the most products with equitable pricing. Gilead Sciences had the highest proportion of products — 50 percent — with equitable pricing strategies that target priority countries…” (Silverman, 11/13).

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Recognizing World Diabetes Day, News Outlets Examine Disease's Rising Rates In Nigeria, Guatemala, China

Deutsche Welle: Diabetes on the rise in Nigeria
“…According to the World Health Organization (WHO), diabetes will become the seventh leading cause of death by 2030. … [M]any of those who have diabetes are poor Nigerians whose income is hardly sufficient to meet the expense needed to manage the disease. Dr. Adedoyin Ogunyemi, a public health physician, blames changing lifestyles, especially poor nutrition, as among the key factors responsible for the high rate of diabetes in Nigeria…” (Mwakideu, 11/14).

Global Health NOW: The People Behind the Numbers: Diabetes Lessons from Guatemala
“…Almost every week, it seems, new numbers are released telling us the situation is bad and only getting worse: 415 million people have diabetes around the world — 80 percent living in low- and middle-income countries — according to the International Diabetes Federation; others respond that these official figures may severely underestimate the diabetes burden; and earlier this year a study in the premiere diabetes journal concluded that the rate of diabetes is higher in poor countries, for reasons ill understood…” (Flood, 11/10).

Wall Street Journal: China’s Diabetes Problem: From 1% to 10% in 36 Years
“…About 10 percent of Chinese adults live with diabetes, and nearly half of all adults are prediabetic, a condition in which blood glucose levels are higher than normal, according to the World Health Organization. That compares with a diabetes prevalence that was less than one percent in 1980. China’s rapid economic development and urbanization in the past three decades have created wealth and new lifestyles, including a growing love for fast food and sugary drinks. All of that has led to obesity and many health issues…” (Wang, 11/14).

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Indigenous Australians Continue To Be Disproportionately Affected By HIV, STIs, Study Shows

ABC Online: Indigenous HIV rates double while falling among wider population, new research shows
“Indigenous Australians continue to be disproportionately represented in HIV and sexually transmitted infection (STI) rates compared to the wider population, new research has found…” (Mayers, 11/14).

The Guardian: HIV infection rate in Indigenous men doubles in five years
“…The proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders diagnosed with HIV was double that of non-Indigenous men, surveillance data collated by the Kirby Institute at the University of New South Wales and published on Monday found. Rates also doubled among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders aged over 35 in the past five years, with 10 diagnoses per 100,000 Indigenous people in 2015…” (Davey, 11/13).

VICE: Numbers of Indigenous Men With HIV Have Doubled in Five Years
“…The report also found that Indigenous men were more susceptible to sexually transmitted infections in general: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people experience far higher rates of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and infectious syphilis compared to non-Indigenous Australians…” (Gillespie, 11/14).

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Much Of Brazil's $230M In Zika Funding Misused, Unspent, Auditors Say

Washington Post: Brazilian states have millions of dollars to fight Zika. Why isn’t it getting spent?
“…Brazil’s government has authorized hundreds of millions of dollars to slow the spread of transmissible diseases such as Zika — with $230 million made available to states in the past two years alone. But auditors have discovered that a lot of that money has either been misused by state authorities or not spent…” (Lopes, 11/12).

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Prevention Actions On Pneumonia, Diarrhea Could Save More Than 1M Child Lives Annually, UNICEF Report Says

U.N. News Centre: Tough action on pneumonia and diarrhea can save more than one million lives annually — UNICEF
“According to the latest statistics from the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), pneumonia and diarrhea kill some 1.4 million children each year, mostly in middle- and low-income countries, despite the fact that these illnesses are largely preventable through straightforward and cost-effective solutions. The findings are part of a report that was released [Friday], One is Too Many: Ending Child Deaths from Pneumonia and Diarrhea…” (11/11).

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Devex Interviews CEO Of Medical Technology Firm Masimo About Participation In PPP Working On Pneumonia

Devex: Giving oxygen to the fight against pneumonia
“…The [public-private partnership] — known as the United for Oxygen Alliance — is the first consortium working on pneumonia, and has 15 members in total, including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the United Nations, Path, Philips, the Pneumonia Innovations Team, Save the Children, UNICEF, and U.S. Agency for International Development. Masimo, a U.S.-based medical technology firm, is one of the alliance’s co-founders and technical partners, and will be supplying its pulse oximetry technology … Devex spoke to Masimo’s founder and CEO, Joe Kiani, on the eve of World Pneumonia Day on Nov. 12 to find out more about his company’s technology and the alliance…” (Edwards, 11/11).

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Editorials and Opinions

President-Elect Trump's 'America First' Approach Does Not Have To Hurt Foreign Policy, Aid

Devex: Opinion: Foreign aid under Trump’s ‘America-first’ doctrine
Alex Thier, incoming executive director of the Overseas Development Institute

“While policy details are thin, President-elect Donald Trump’s likely views on foreign aid and development assistance can be summed up in two words: America first. … It is conceivable with a Trump presidency and Republican-controlled Congress that U.S. foreign aid spending and policy will take a major hit. At its most extreme, this could mean the abolishment of the U.S. Agency for International Development, or its absorption into the Department of State, a recurrent conservative proposal. … This, however, would be a misguided approach. U.S. foreign aid is much more effective, and efficient, when USAID is strong. … The big losers will likely be investments in multilateral institutions; democracy, rights and governance; women and girls; and climate. … Putting America first does not need to be at odds with good development policy. … In the broader scheme of things, ending extreme poverty is great for America and a sound investment in our security and economic future. We can only hope the new administration realizes this sooner rather than later” (11/11).

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International Development Community Must Continue To Prioritize Compassion In Work

The Guardian: Does Trump’s election mark the end of compassion in aid?
Deborah Doane, writer and consultant on international development and sustainability

“It comes as no surprise that a further victim will emerge from Donald Trump’s victory in this week’s U.S. election. Aside from climate change, migrants, and refugees, foreign aid will suffer. The world’s largest donor — in absolute terms, if not as a share of GNP — can be expected to put a final nail in the coffin of compassion for those beyond its borders. … The international development community needs to get noisy and move away from the center ground. It needs to be willing to sacrifice short-term income potential in favor of aligning with social movements that can rebuild compassion … To invoke lasting compassion, we need to inspire compassion and that doesn’t come through meekness. … The only thing that will work in the face of a Trump-Brexit world is building solidarity and love for others and shouting it from the rooftops. Fortunately, those who work in development have that in spades, and now is the time to tap into our less rational instincts. It’s time to base everything we do on reminding ourselves that compassion is our currency. No more. No less” (11/11).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

USGLC Paper Examines Potential Implications For Foreign Policy Under Trump Administration

U.S. Global Leadership Coalition: After Tumultuous Election, Foreign Policy Direction Less Clear
In a 2016 U.S. election analysis, the USGLC writes, “During the campaign, there were many questions about the unorthodox policies of President-elect Donald Trump’s foreign policy and now with Republicans controlling the White House, Senate, and House, it is unclear what will happen come January on a range of foreign policy issues. … Check out our top election takeaways, profiles of the new faces in Congress, and what to expect next year. Highlights include: 1. Top Election Takeaways; 2. The New Administration; 3. The 115th Senate; 4. The 115th House; 5. What’s Ahead for the International Affairs Budget; and 6. Profiles of New Members of Congress…” (11/9).

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Blog Post Examines Lessons For Global Health Metrics In Election Polling Analysis

Humanosphere: What election surprises can teach us about global health metrics
Katie Leach-Kemon, policy translation specialist at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) and Humanosphere contributor, writes, “Donald Trump’s victory took the world by surprise [last] week. Like Brexit, most commentators, polls, and election modelers were wrong. Understanding what went wrong will be the subject of much debate over the next few weeks. It also holds valuable lessons for those who use and study global health metrics. … To better understand what global health professionals should take away from this election surprise, I sat down with Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation professor Theo Vos, a key member of the Global Burden of Disease research team at the IHME…” (11/11).

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Workshop At World Health Summit Examines Challenges Of Health Care In Conflict Settings

BMJ Blogs: Seema Biswas: Conflict is a global health challenge
Seema Biswas, editor in chief of BMJ Case Reports, and colleagues, write, “One of the most important global health challenges we all face is the effect of conflict on health.” They describe a workshop held at a recent World Health Summit “which focused on the human cost of conflict, the danger to health care personnel and health care infrastructure in conflict zones, and the mitigation of driving and sustaining factors of conflict, in order to promote stability and development to protect some of the world’s most vulnerable communities…” (11/11).

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