Cost of medicines a killer in developing countries

Abstract: Even essential medicines are not finding their way to developing countries... Every seven years, hundreds of people from all over the world - academics and people involved in health administration - meet to evaluate and discuss ways in which essential medicines can be used more effectively in non-industrialised, lower and middle-income countries. The third ICIUM (International Conference for Improving Use of Medicines) was held last month in Antalya, Turkey. Speaking on 8th December at a feedback session from ICIUM 2011, Dr Hans Hogerzeil, Professor of Global Health at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands, and the former Director for Essential Medicines and Pharmaceutical Policies for the World Health Organisation (WHO), presented an appeal for government regulation to address two of the major problems identified at the conference: the highly inflated costs of essential medicines for some of the world's poorest communities -

Fall in funding to combat neglected diseases

Abstract: A global downturn in funding is threatening research into neglected diseases... Potential new treatments and vaccines for diseases including malaria and tuberculosis may never reach patients because of a downturn in international funding for research into "neglected" diseases, a new study has warned. After 10 years of steady increases, global support for research and development for innovative drugs, vaccines, and diagnostics that largely affect the poor in developing countries fell by 4 per cent to $3bn last year, according to the G-Finder report produced by Policy Cures, a non-profit group. The drop threatens a number of research programmes that have entered clinical trials in humans and offer considerable promise to improve prevention and treatment for up to 31 diseases. Mary Moran, the organisation's director, said: "It's time for governments to step up to the plate, otherwise we risk losing a decade of investment that is