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[e-drug] MSF: Ten Stories That Mattered in Access to Medicines in 2010

E-DRUG: MSF: Ten Stories That Mattered in Access to Medicines in 2010
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Dear E-druggers

Through its Campaign for Access to Essential Medicines, Medecins Sans
Frontieres (MSF) has been closely following the developments in the world
of access to medicines, vaccines and diagnostics. Here is a selection of
the ten stories that mattered in 2010.

Among the positive stories of 2010 - two crucial new medical tools could
benefit people in developing countries:  a new vaccine could prevent the
worst meningitis epidemics in Africa if there is political will to
vaccinate broadly in all 25 affected countries, and a new test for
tuberculosis could improve diagnosis, while reducing the time it takes to
detect drug-resistant forms of the disease from nearly three months to less
than two hours.

Further, new research on the treatment of severe malaria in children leaves
no doubt that artesunate injections should be used instead of quinine, but
guidelines and treatment protocols now need to change.  After several years
of campaigning by MSF, the Medicines Patent Pool was established, and
received strong political backing from the US ; but for access to
affordable medicines to be boosted by this new mechanism, drug companies
will now need to make their drug patents available. And after campaigning
since 2007 for improved quality of food aid directed at children under two
years, MSF is seeing international food donors starting to review and
adjust their policies.

But 2010 was also marked by setbacks.  Flying in the face of mounting
evidence that better and earlier HIV/AIDS treatment is the best way to
tackle the pandemic, international donors are turning their backs on AIDS,
causing funding to stagnate and threatening the advances made over the last
decade. At the same time, prices for newer drugs are set to go through the
roof because of damaging trade policies being pushed by the European Union.
MSF has mounted a global campaign to get the EU to back down, and people
have taken to the streets in Asia, Africa and Europe in support, but the EU
will not relent.

With outbreaks in a number of African countries claiming thousands of
lives, the resurgence of measles is an unsettling sign that basic
vaccination coverage is not as broad as it should be.  Meanwhile, efforts
to tackle fake medicines are veering off-course: instead of protecting the
public from the dangers of poor quality medicines, these initiatives pose a
great risk to access to affordable generic medicines upon which millions of
people around the world rely.  Finally, the ongoing neglect of tropical
diseases shows no sign of abating, as South Sudan tackles its largest kala
azar epidemic in close to a decade.

To see the full list with photographs:
http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/publications/article.cfm?id=4936&cat=special-report



_____________________________________________

Kind regards,

Michelle Vilk

Coordination and Communications Assistant
Medecins Sans Frontieres
Campaign for Access to Essential Medicines
Rue de Lausanne 78
1211 Geneva, Switzerland
Tel: + 41(0) 22 849 89 02
Fax: + 41 (0) 22 849 84 04
michelle.vilk@geneva.msf.org

www.msfaccess.org
Follow us on Twitter:  http://twitter.com/MSF_access
Join us on http://www.facebook.com/MSFaccess

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