Decontrol Of Drug Prices

THE wolves are baying at the door, once again calling for further decontrol in the prices of drugs. Since comprehensive price controls were imposed on drugs in 1979, drug companies have continuously clamoured for their … Read more

Profiteering on Human Misery

For the first time, the International AIDS Conference will be held on the African continent in South Africa — in a country where a significant proportion of the population has AIDS. It is being held … Read more

People’s Health Assembly

BETWEEN December 4 to 8, a major International Conference on Health was held in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The event was the culmination of a two-year long co-ordinated International effort. It was attended by about 1,500 delegates … Read more

Ten Years of Reforms: The State of the Health Sector

With the introduction of the Structural Adjustment Policies in 1991 there has been a major shift in the government’s policy towards  social sectors like health. These policies sought to — by way of fiscal austerity … Read more

Lamentations on the Billionth Baby

The arrival of the billionth baby in India has been greeted with the expected responses. International financial institutions, NGOs, the Indian Government and assorted political parties have seen this as an opportunity to reaffirm their … Read more

Genes in Private Hands

Biology’s Big Moment  Many call it biology’s big moment — the equivalent of setting foot on the moon. In June, next year, after a decade of work by thousands of researchers across the globe, we … Read more

Drug Donations From US Charity or Waste Disposal?

ANY major disaster, natural or man-made, is invariably followed by reports of massive donations of medicines, usually from the US, made by “charitable” institutions. There have been reports of a large number of US charity … Read more

The Origin of the AIDS Virus

IN the early eighties, doctors in the United States were confronted with an outbreak of mysterious diseases most often seen when the immune system is damaged. Soon this trend manifested itself in Western Europe. As … Read more

The Brave New World Of Genetics

AFTER the reading of the human genome, there are daily advances that research on genetics is reporting: from chimpanzee-human differences to a new world free of disabilities, superior intelligence and human happiness, all implanted into … Read more

Finding Medicines For The Poor: A Step Forward

ANALYSTS have, for long, referred to the “10/90 gap”, according to which only 10 per cent of investment in R&D of new drugs is aimed at the so-called “orphan diseases,” which afflict 90 per cent … Read more

Data Exclusivity:Implications For Public Health

IN recent months there has been substantive lobbying by a section of the pharmaceutical industry in India – led by the multinational sector – and pressures from the US to provide for what is known … Read more

Avian Flu of Death

IN the last two years about 60 deaths in four countries (Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand and Cambodia) have been reported due to the dreaded “avian flu”.  On the face of it, not something that would appear … Read more