- WTO Accepts Rules Limiting Medicine Exports to Poor Countries
In a controversial decision on August 30, 2003, the World Trade Organization agreed to complex rules limiting the export of medications to developing countries. Reaction to the decision so far has shown a complete disconnect between trade delegates and the WTO, both of which praise the new rules as a humanitarian advance, and those working in treatment access in poor countries, who believe that they will effectively block treatment from reaching many who need it. We have prepared a background paper that analyzes this decision and its implications and offers the opinions of key figures on both sides of the debate. It is clear that the rules were largely written for and probably by the proprietary pharmaceutical industry, and imposed on the countries in the WTO mainly by the United States. The basic conflict is that this industry does not want the development of international trade in low-cost generic copies of its patented medicines -- not even for poor countries where little or no market exists. Yet millions of people die each year without medication for treatable conditions such as AIDS, and drug pricing remains one of several major obstacles to controlling global epidemics.
- Nevirapine Reduced Mother-to-Child Transmission Better Than AZT -- At 70 Times Less Cost
A follow-up of a Uganda study shows that a single dose of nevirapine to the mother in labor and a single dose to the infant shortly after birth continues to show excellent results when the infants reach 18 months -- despite breast feeding for 99% of the infants, and some HIV transmission that occurred as a result.
- Treatment Interruption: Study Found Poor Result for Highly Treated, Highly Resistant Patients
A four-month treatment interruption did not help patients who were not controlling their virus because it had extensive resistance to HIV drugs.
- New Guidelines for Avoiding Heart Disease by Managing High Cholesterol, Triglycerides, or Related Problems in HIV
These guidelines, based on new heart guidelines for the general public and including HIV-specific issues, have many useful suggestions.
ISSN # 1052-4207
Copyright 2003 by John S. James. Permission granted for noncommercial reproduction, provided that our address and phone number are included if more than short quotations are used.