Jul 20 2009

Obama, Sanger, Ginsburg and Holdren: the common thread

Category: abortion,government,healthcare,Obama,race,racismharmonicminer @ 9:49 am

Read it all.

Jul 20 2009

From Russia with love : Part 1

Category: Uncategorizedharmonicminer @ 9:11 am

Pharmaceutical Firms Need Incentives to Create Drugs and Vaccines against Emergent Threats

Pharmaceutical firms need incentives, including lucrative patents, to keep creating drugs and vaccines against emergent threats such as the H1N1 influenza pandemic, the World Health Organisation’s head said on Tuesday.

“Progress in public health depends on innovation. Some of the greatest strides forward for health have followed the development and introduction of new medicines and vaccines,” said WHO Director-General Margaret Chan said.

Chan, who last month declared a full pandemic underway from the H1N1 virus, said that patents can help ensure that companies develop medicines to “stay ahead of the development of drug resistance” in diseases like malaria and tuberculosis.

The discovery of isolated H1N1 infections that resist the anti-viral Tamiflu, made by Roche and Gilead, and the global scramble to secure flu vaccines have shown the importance of robust research and development, Chan said.

“Innovation is needed to keep pace with the emergence of new diseases, including pandemic influenza caused by the new H1N1 virus,” she told a meeting on intellectual property and health, a contentious issue that has divided rich and poor nations, Reuters reports.

Even the Russians seem to understand something Obama does not: without the incentive of profit, pharmaceutical innovation slows or stops. Along with other kinds of medical innovation, of course.