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CGD Policy Blogs


Moving Upstream: Gates Funds PATH Pneumo Project

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has made a $75 grant to PATH to develop low-cost vaccines for pneumococcal disease. As reported in the Seattle Post Intelligencer:

The goal of the PATH project is to explore a new approach that would stimulate immunity using basic proteins commonly found on the surface membranes of all pneumococcal serotypes.

Let Us Not Forget Our ABCs

A recent article in the Washington Post ("Gilead AIDS Drug Shows Prevention Promise") heralds promising new scientific results that use of an anti-retroviral drug among healthy people may prevent transmission of HIV/AIDS. Trials in monkeys showed complete protection despite repeated exposure to HIV over the course of more than three months, and according to the article "if larger tests show the drugs work, they could be given to people at highest risk of HIV—from gay men in American cities to women in Africa who catch the virus from their partners."

Congo-Brazzaville: Too corrupt for debt relief or too indebted to fight corruption?

After a bitter fight between the World Bank's board of directors and Bank President Paul Wolfowitz, Congo-Brazzaville was allowed to reach decision point in the HIPC program on March 9. The deal was almost held up after reports that Congo’s President Denis Sassou-Ngueso spent $300k at a New York hotel, but this scandal wasn’t enough to convince debt relief diehards that Congo wasn’t perhaps the most worthy recipien

The Defeat of Guinea Worm

The New York Times today describes the progress being made in the defeat of Guinea worm.

Now, thanks to a relentless 20-year campaign led by former President Jimmy Carter, Guinea worm is poised to become the first disease since smallpox to be pushed into oblivion. Fewer than 12,000 cases were found last year, down from 3 million in 1986.

The Economist on Advance Market Commitments

Today's Economist has an article about Advance Market Commitments which describes criticisms of the idea by Oxford economist, Andrew Farlow. (The full text of the Economist article is below).

The article mentions three of Dr Farlow's concerns:
- that the terms might create an incentive for less effective vaccines
- that drugs companies might use bribes to increase their share of the valuable market
- that the promise of future purchases might not be credible