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  1. 1
    299615

    Public health, innovation and intellectual property rights: unfinished business [editorial]

    Turmen T; Clift C

    Bulletin of the World Health Organization. 2006 May; 84(5):338.

    The context for this theme collection is the publication of the report of the Commission on Intellectual Property Rights, Innovation and Public Health. The report of the Commission -- instigated by WHO's World Health Assembly in 2003 -- was an attempt to gather all the stakeholders involved to analyse the relationship between intellectual property rights, innovation and public health, with a particular focus on the question of funding and incentive mechanisms for the creation of new medicines, vaccines and diagnostic tests, to tackle diseases disproportionately affecting developing countries. In reality, generating a common analysis in the face of the divergent perspectives of stakeholders, and indeed of the Commission, presented a challenge. As in many fields -- not least in public health -- the evidence base is insufficient and contested. Even when the evidence is reasonably clear, its significance, or the appropriate conclusions to be drawn from it, may be interpreted very differently according to the viewpoint of the observer. (excerpt)
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  2. 2
    283242

    Debt, adjustment and the politics of effective response to HIV / AIDS in Africa.

    Cheru F

    In: Global health and governance. HIV / AIDS, edited by Nana K. Poku and Alan Whiteside. Basingstoke, England, Palgrave Macmillan, 2003 Dec. 109-122.

    Today in much of Africa economic growth has slowed and living standards for the majority have suffered in the face of rising unemployment and mass poverty, resulting in incomes that are presently below the 1970 level. One problem that has been the focus of much attention and contention over the past 20 years is the huge foreign debt owed by African countries to bilateral donors and multilateral institutions. Debt servicing is consuming a disproportionate amount of scarce resources at the expense of the provision of basic services to the poor. In order to receive help in servicing their debts, countries must agree to implement structural economic reforms. This often entails drastic cuts in social expenditures, the privatisation of basic services, and the liberalisation of domestic trade consistent with WTO rules. These policy decisions have had a direct impact on the capacity of African countries to promote, fulfill and protect the right to health of their citizens. This is further compounded by ill-conceived privatisation of basic services such as water and health services, without any regard for the ability of the poor to access these essential services at a cost they can afford. Finally, adherence to WTO trade rules, which often comes as an extension of liberalisation policy, hampers the capacity of African governments to produce or purchase less expensive generic drugs for their citizen without fear of retaliation from the developed countries. (author's)
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