*This post is co-authored by Michael Bernstein
CGD Policy Blogs
It's much easier to tell if a child gets a vaccination than it is to tell if a pregnant woman gets proper prenatal care. The first you can easily observe, and therefore count or measure; the second is trickier. But determining the appropriateness of a health service involves first defining what is considered to be high-quality is and then being able to measure it. There are lots of good ideas about how to do both, but it is not nearly as standardized as measuring number of assisted deliveries or utilization rates at clinics.
Pop quiz: What disease killed John Keats at age 26, John Harvard at 30, Simon Bolivar at 47, Puccini's Mimi right after "Sono Andati?" - and now kills 4,400 people every day, most in the prime of their lives? Answer: TB, an ancient scourge whose current manifestations demonstrate both the highs and the lows of global public health.
Last week, the United Nations released its biannual population projections (World Population Prospects: The 2006 Revision). In it, the UN reported something that we are painfully aware of: we are getting older. The U.S. is the only major developed country that is not yet aging, and the UN projections indicate that one in four people in the world will be over 60 in 2050.
Intellectual property rights have been in the news quite a bit recently in light of the ongoing controversy over Novartis' pursuit of patent rights for its cancer drug Gleevec in India as well as Abbott's announcement that it will not register any new drugs in Thailand following the government's decision to iss
There have been several interesting articles on the vaccine front recently:
- The U.S. State Department has devoted an entire issue of eJournalUSA to the subject of life-saving vaccines.
- The Banker shares an analysis of the International Finance Facility for Immunization from the perspective of the financial and investment community.
Conditional cash transfer (CCT) programs have been implemented in many Latin American countries as strategies to reduce poverty and increase human capital. Rigorous impact evaluations often accompanying these interventions demonstrate their important potential to improve social welfare among poor families.
The vaccine industry is looking healthier and happier than it has in years, according to The Economist, thanks to the combination of new science, new money and new recognition of the value of prevention. The advances in adjuvants - ingredients in vaccines that make the antigens go further and work better - and new ways to deliver vaccines without needles, such as nasal sprays mean that genuine innovations are hitting the market.