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Foreign Desk | September 20, 2002, Friday
Cheap Vaccine Sought for Africa
(NYT) 269 words
Late Edition - Final , Section A , Page 9 , Column 1
ABSTRACT - Aid agencies urge major drug companies to produce low-priced meningitis vaccines
for Africa, where new strain of meningitis--W135--threatens to add to death toll of more than
25,000 a year; in so-called meningitis belt, from Senegal to Ethiopia, millions of people are at risk
from new strain; World Health Orgn will meet with private and government agencies next week in
Burkina Faso to determine how to cope with high vaccine costs and fears of new epidemics;
participants will include main meningitis vaccine manufacturers: Aventis, Chiron and
GlaxoSmithKline; vaccine that protects against four strains, including W135, sells for $5 a dose in
Middle East and up to $50 a dose in United States; activists say $1 a dose would be reasonable
for Africa and would cover production costs (M) Aid agencies urged major drug companies today
to produce low-priced meningitis vaccines for Africa, where a new strain of meningitis threatens
to add to the death toll of more than 25,000 a year.
Millions of people from Senegal to Ethiopia -- the so-called meningitis belt -- are at risk from the
new strain, W135. Meningitis, a brain infection, sickened 12,000 in Burkina Faso in West Africa
this year, killing 1,500, officials of the aid agencies said.
27, 2002, Tuesday
& Fitness | April 23, 2002, Tuesday
Desk | March 21, 2002, Thursday
New List of Safe AIDS Drugs, Despite Industry Lobby
By DONALD G. McNEIL Jr. (NYT) 1210 words
Late Edition - Final , Section A , Page 3 , Column 1
ABSTRACT - World Health Orgn releases its first list of manufacturers of safe AIDS drugs, move
that could help bring down price of AIDS medicines for poor countries; list includes Cipla Ltd,
large Indian producer of generics, and three smaller European ones; decision represents setback
for pharmaceutical multinationals who want only patent-holders to decide what discounts to
offer on their most expensive and profitable products (M) In a move that could help bring down
the price of AIDS medicines for poor countries, the World Health Organization today released its
first list of manufacturers of safe AIDS drugs, which included a large Indian producer of generics
and three smaller European ones.
The decision represents a setback for the pharmaceutical multinationals who want only
patent-holders to decide what discounts to offer on their most expensive and profitable products.
The medicines on the list are approved for United Nations purchase, and it will encourage price
competition in poor nations by telling health officials which of hundreds of generics suppliers
make safe drugs.
Editorial Desk | January 3, 2002, Thursday
Health Aid for Poor Countries
(NYT) 582 words
Late Edition - Final , Section A , Page 22 , Column 1
ABSTRACT - Editorial, citing key role played by disease in keeping poor nations poor, cites Prof
Jeffrey Sachs's study for World Health Organization that showed dramatic rise in health spending
by both rich and poor nations on health of poor would produce huge economic and human
benefits; urges increased United States aid On the list of factors keeping poor countries poor --
bad governance, war, natural disasters -- a prominent place must go to disease. By the most
conservative estimates, malaria robs sub-Saharan Africa of 6 percent of its economic strength, and
the actual figure could be even higher than 50 percent. As AIDS spreads, the situation will be
even more devastating. Disease cuts the lifespan of workers and reduces productivity. High infant
mortality compels families to have many children; the families are thus able to spend less on the
health and education of each child, and mothers are kept from joining the work force. Disease
discourages tourism and investment.
The health of the world's poorest nations is normally and properly measured in lives. Now, a
new study commissioned by the World Health Organization puts a dollar figure on the rewards of
improving health among the globe's poor. It makes a compelling argument that a dramatic increase
in health spending by both rich and poor nations would produce huge economic and human
Desk | December 21, 2001, Friday
Diagnosis of World's Health Focuses on Economic Benefit
By DANIEL ALTMAN (NYT) 492 words
Late Edition - Final , Section W , Page 1 , Column 1
ABSTRACT - World Health Organization proposes spending $101 billion annually in medical
research and treatment to save 8 million lives in developing world and $186 billion in world
income now lost to illness; international contributions by governments, including $10 billion a
year from US, would finance implementation of proposals; plan will probably meet strong
opposition in US Congress (M) For $101 billion a year in medical research and treatments, eight
million lives could be saved annually in the developing world, and $186 billion a year in world
income now lost to illness could be recovered. So concludes a report on economics and health
released yesterday by the World Health Organization.
The committee that drafted the report, led by Jeffrey Sachs of Harvard University, studied how a
combination of foreign aid and impoverished governments' own funds could improve the health of
people in emerging economies. The initiatives would tackle AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis and other
diseases common in developing countries.
Desk | September 1, 2001, Saturday
African Nations Widen Medical Help to Women With H.I.V.
(NYT) 592 words
Late Edition - Final , Section A , Page 6 , Column 1
ABSTRACT - african nations widen medical help to wor Clinics in Brazzaville will provide free
treatment to pregnant women with H.I.V. starting on Monday, part of an effort to block
mother-to-child transmission in a country that is one of the hardest hit by AIDS, which is caused
And Ghana said it is in negotiations in partnership with the World Health Organization to start
direct manufacturing of drugs to treat the virus.
Desk | June 22, 2001, Friday
TECHNOLOGY; New Global AIDS Fund May Copy TB Drug-Buying Plan
By MELODY PETERSEN (NYT) 695 words
Late Edition - Final , Section C , Page 4 , Column 3
ABSTRACT - World Health Organization officials say price of drugs for tuberculosis fell by more
than one-third when agency set up program for buying them in bulk and asked drug companies to
compete against one another to offer best price; price reductions are significant becasue program
for buying large quantities of tuberculosis drugs could serve as model for buying AIDS drugs for
Africa and other developing countries; lower prices also mean that many more people with
tuberculosis can be treated with drugs for same amount of money; photo (M) The price of drugs
for tuberculosis fell by more than one-third when the World Health Organization set up a
program for buying them in bulk and asked drug companies to compete against one another to
offer the best price, agency officials said yesterday.
The price reductions are significant because the program for buying large quantities of
tuberculosis drugs could serve as a model for buying AIDS drugs for Africa and other developing
Desk | May 3, 2001, Thursday
Novartis Agrees To Lower Price Of a Medicine Used in Africa
By MELODY PETERSEN (NYT) 789 words
Late Edition - Final , Section C , Page 1 , Column 5
ABSTRACT - Novartis agrees to cut price of Riamet, its powerful malaria drug, to World Health
Organization to fight disease in Africa; price will be about $2 for full treatment; in Western
markets, price is about $20 (M) In a sign that the debate on drug prices in the third world is
shifting from AIDS to other life-threatening diseases, Novartis, the Swiss drug company, has
agreed to cut significantly the price of a powerful medicine needed to fight malaria in Africa.
David Alnwick, who manages the World Health Organization's malaria efforts, said that Novartis
had agreed to sell its drug, Riamet, to the W.H.O. for about $2 for a full treatment; in Western
markets, the price is about $20.
To the Editor:
Re ''How to Distribute AIDS Drugs,'' by Carol Bellamy (Op-Ed, March 26): Unicef's offer to take the lead in setting up a global procurement and distribution system for AIDS drugs is a significant step in the fight against AIDS.
Unicef has the expertise to coordinate the bulk purchase and quality certification of AIDS drugs, including generics, and to ensure equitable distribution. The World Health Organization must also assist, as it has been mandated, by advising countries on how to overcome patent and trade barriers hampering drug access.
But Unicef and the World Health Organization, like all United Nations agencies, are only as strong as their donor and member states make them. Wealthy nations as well as poor countries facing the AIDS pandemic must now step forward to provide both the financial commitment and political will necessary to turn this plan into a reality.
NICOLAS DE TORRENTE
Doctors Without Borders
New York, March 27, 2001
Desk | May 18, 2000, Thursday
Patent Holders Fight Proposal on Generic AIDS Drugs for Poor
By DONALD G. McNEIL Jr. (NYT) 596 words
Late Edition - Final , Section A , Page 5 , Column 1
ABSTRACT - Brazil asks world health authorities to set up database of prices of all anti-AIDS
drugs, move that would allow poor countries to shop for best deal worldwide; proposal upsets
large pharmaceutical companies because database would have to include drugs made in countries
like Brazil, India and Thailand, whose laws disregard many drug patents and where generic
versions of most important--and most expensive--AIDS drugs are sold for pennies per dose;
Brazil makes its request before World Health Assembly; observers from Doctors Without
Borders and Act Up both strongly support Brazilian initiative (M) Brazil caught world health
authorities by surprise today by asking them to set up a database of prices of all anti-AIDS
drugs, a move that would allow poor countries to shop for the best deal worldwide.
The proposal has upset the world's large pharmaceutical companies because the database would
have to include drugs made in countries like Brazil, India and Thailand, whose laws disregard
many drug patents. Companies in those countries, and some others, make generic versions of the
most important -- and most expensive -- AIDS drugs and sell them for pennies per dose.
Desk | April 6, 2000, Thursday
Desk | November 28, 1996, Thursday
U.N. Reports 3 Million New H.I.V. Cases Worldwide for '96
By LAWRENCE K. ALTMAN (NYT) 828 words
Late Edition - Final , Section A , Page 10 , Column 1
ABSTRACT - Over three million people, mostly under age 25, have become newly infected with
AIDS virus this year, officials of United Nations and World Health Organization say; they stress
need for more vigorous programs to prevent further spread of virus because it is being transmitted
in all countries (M) More than three million people, mostly under age 25, have become newly
infected with the AIDS virus this year, officials of the United Nations and the World Health
Organization said today. They stressed the need for more vigorous programs to prevent further
spread of the virus because it is being transmitted in all countries.
The new cases bring to nearly 23 million the total number who are infected. In the 15 years since
the discovery of AIDS, an additional 6.4 million people -- 5 million adults and 1.4 million children
-- have died. Of those deaths, 1.5 million will have occurred in 1996.