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Also In Global Health News: Developing Countries’ Drug Demand; GHI Event; Kenya’s HIV/AIDS Treatment; Zimbabwe’s 30 Years Of Independence; TB Project

Demand For Drugs In Developing Countries Will Continue to Grow, Report Finds

“Drug sales may grow at least 5 percent worldwide in each year through 2014 as increasing demand in developing countries offsets price drops tied to generic competition, according to [the research company] IMS Health Inc.,” Bloomberg/Business Week reports. “Driving much of the growth in developing countries is China, which is set to become the third-largest pharmaceutical market next year, behind the U.S. and Japan. … The top disease areas for growth will be in diabetes, cancer, HIV, and multiple sclerosis, IMS said, ” the news service writes (Pettypiece, 4/20).

BMJ News Examines Aims Of GHI

BMJ News reports on the aims of President Barack Obama’s Global Health Initiative (GHI), as described by senior members of his administration during a forum hosted by the Kaiser Family Foundation last Wednesday. The article details the officials’ comments about creating programs that are sustainable and country owned; an emphasis on targeting the health needs of women and girls; and how the U.S. would work to implement GHI programs targeting marginalized populations, such as men who have sex with men (Roehr, 4/19). A webcast and transcript of the event are available online.

East African Examines Kenya’s Efforts To Adopt WHO HIV/AIDS Treatment Guidelines

The East African reports that Kenya is looking to align its HIV/AIDS strategy along with the updated WHO HIV/AIDS treatment guidelines released in November. This would require additional funds “over the next four years to boost its budget for anti-retroviral (ARV) drugs administered to AIDS patients,” the publication reports. According to the newspaper, “354,000 people living with HIV [in Kenya] are on treatment, but still, a significant number of patients are yet to be reached considering that an estimated 600,000 HIV patients in the country need the drugs. … Under the third strategic plan prepared by [the National AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Infection Control Programme], a target had been set to reach at least 80 percent of the eligible patients by 2013” (Butunyi, 4/19).

Media Outlets Report On Zimbabwe’s 30 Years Of Independence

“Zimbabweans celebrated when a bloody liberation war that killed 27,000 people ended, but as the country marks 30 years of independence there is little cause for joy,” Agence France-Presse reports in an article examining several challenges facing the country. “In 1980 Zimbabwe was a country full of hope,” according to Deon Theron, president of the Commercial Farmers’ Union. “Now we can’t even feed oursel[ves]. How are we independent if we have to rely on other countries to feed us and yet we are one of the leading exporters of maize?” (Timse, 4/17).

These days, “one in three families depends on remittances from relatives abroad and the U.N.’s World Food Program feeds nearly three million Zimbabweans,” the National Post writes in an article looking at the reign of President Robert Mugabe, “who has ruthlessly ruled Zimbabwe without interruption since it won independence 30 years ago” (Goodspeed, 4/16). The Central Statistical Office said the country’s annual inflation increased six-fold from -0.7 percent in February to 3.5 percent in March because of rising food prices, a second AFP article reports (4/17). The BBC published a series of graphs with data about HIV prevalence, infant mortality rates and other aspects comparing life in Zimbabwe now to 30 years ago (4/19). 

Collaborative Effort Among Scientists Yields New Details On TB Genome

SciDev.Net examines a collaborative effort between scientists to pool genetic data about Mycobacterium tuberculosis through a program launched by India’s Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in 2008. Samir Brahmachari, director-general of CISR, “said that for the first time TB scientists, research students and five private companies had used online tools to combine their work to show the links between the 4,000 genes of M. tuberculosis and the proteins for which they code,” according to the news service. SciDev.Net adds, “The project has already yielded a molecule that could form the basis for a drug to fight TB. Rajesh Gokhale – director of India’s Institute of Genomics and Integrated Biology – and his team have given the molecule to pharmaceutical company Jubilant Chemsys for development” (Sreelata, 4/16).

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