So has India won the patent war with Big Pharma? Not really. As I wrote when the Novartis ruling came down, India won a battle but the war likely continues.
Nathan MyhrvoldTom Paulson My buddy Todd Bishop at Geekwire reports that Nathan Myhrvold, with support from Bill Gates, has appointed…
Jacobs piece goes into much greater depth and agrees that many things are indeed improving in Africa. But he also notes that there is a tendency for many to overstate, over-enthuse, on all this because of the belief that sending out positive messages will help make it so.
Charles Kenny celebrates that Walmart sells really cheap stuff, which he says helps the poor. It does, yes. But not explored in much detail is how Walmart gets its stuff so cheap – which includes having stuff made in unsafe factories overseas by people making pennies an hour.
Bangladesh, with 5,000 such factories and millions of garment industry workers, is second only to China as a global exporter of clothing. The garment industry is seen by many Bangladeshi officials and business leaders as one of the nation’s brightest economic prospects.
A decades’-long struggle to produce a synthetic version of one the world’s favored drugs for treating malaria, artemisinin, was celebrated as a victory for poor people. But now is being criticized as an assault on poor farmers. Global supply of artemisinin, which until now has been produced from harvest of the plant sweet wormwood, has been erratic in both quantity and supply. Hundreds of millions of people fall ill with malaria every year with an estimated 650,000 deaths — mostly in children.
The goal of this project, led by Seattle-based PATH in collaboration with the French drug firm Sanofi, was to supplement the global supply with this synthetic version. PATH officials told me that Sanofi’s ultimate production goal would likely only meet one-third of the global need, but the scientist who developed the synthetic drug said the goal is to totally replace dependence on the natural crop.
Malaria remains one of the world’s biggest killers and also a massive economic drag on poor countries, poor families. One of our best weapons against this scourge is a drug known as artemisinin, which is harvested from the plant sweet wormwood and, as a crop, is about as predictable as corn or hog futures.A major new initiative to be launched tomorrow in Italy by Seattle-based PATH in collaboration with the French drug maker Sanofi aims to do industrial production of synthetic artemisinin.
Panama City, Panama – With double-digit economic growth, canal expansion, subway construction, and an ever-thickening bristle of glass towers, Panama City is on the verge. Among those positioned to capitalize on Panama’s vision as a thriving “hub of the Americas” are the city’s four major private hospitals, variously boasting the latest, first, largest, and best in technologies, design, credentials, and affiliations. Panama is one of a growing number of countries exploring medical tourism as a promising import.
The Indian Supreme Court has rejected a drug patent application by the international pharmaceutical firm Novartis, an event that merited coverage by the New York Times, BBC and many other media – news which you might think is mostly a matter for the business page or drug industry insiders. In fact, the case may represent one of the most difficult dilemmas in global health. It is a fight that is far from over.
It was inspirational, and fun, to see all those kids jumping up and down with enthusiasm for doing something aimed at helping others. These kind of events can plant a good seed, overcome indifference and perhaps create another young humanitarian entrepreneur who launches a venture aimed at righting a wrong somewhere in the world. But the business side of this group raises some questions.