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India’s Disputed Ruling on Pharmaceuticals and Patents

This post originally appeared on the Peterson Institute for International Economics blog.

On April 1, the Indian Supreme Court rejected the attempt by Novartis, the Swiss pharmaceutical company, to patent a new version of the leukemia drug Glivec. The latest verdict follows previous rulings that granted compulsory licenses to an Indian generic drug manufacturer for a kidney cancer drug (Nexavar) patented by Bayer. Five important questions are raised by these rulings.

The Paper-to-Policy Pipeline: Reflections from Evidence Live 2013

Alongside Victoria Fan, I recently attended the Evidence Live conference in Oxford, hosted by the BMJ and Oxford’s Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine (CEBM). While the conference’s clinical focus was outside my normal global health/economics comfort zone, I was immensely impressed by the rigor, candor, and nuance of discussion, particularly around tough issues like publication bias and conflict of interest.

A New Era for MCC Threshold Programs

MCC has entered a new era for its threshold program.  Honduras is set to become the first country to implement a new model of the program which is expected to help a country become compact eligible by allowing it to demonstrate its willingness to tackle tough reforms addressing policy constraints to growth in partnership with MCC.  There is potential for valuable insight from this approach, but it has some limitations: the threshold program experience may not translate directly to a future compact experience, and any insight gained will only be relevant for countries that have a shot at compact eligibility based on other criteria.

Interview with WTO Candidate Herminio Blanco

My guest on this week’s Wonkcast is Herminio Blanco, Mexico’s former minister of trade and industry, and one of the nine candidates to become the next director general of the World Trade Organization. Minister Blanco tells me the WTO is facing several challenges, and his experience negotiating numerous trade agreements including NAFTA, combined with more than a decade of experience in the private sector, equip him with the skills needed to push the WTO forward.

From March Madness to April Anxiety: The WTO Leadership Contest Heats Up

The madness of the US NCAA basketball championship  is in full swing and getting lots of attention in Washinton, but a globally more significant competition is entering the final stages in Geneva. Just as 68 US college basketball teams were winnowed to a sweet sixteen, and soon to an elite eight, and so on, nine candidates for director-general (DG) of the World Trade Organization (WTO) will soon be trimmed to a fab five, then a dynamic duo, and, by May 31, a champion to lead the world trade system.

Sizing Up China's Role in Global Health Aid to Africa

At a panel session during the 4th Conference of the Consortium of Universities for Global Health (CUGH) held in Washington, DC, a group of distinguished speakers and leaders on health in China – from the China Medical Board, top universities and the Ministry of Health – were tasked with discussing and elaborating on China's role in global health. The speakers briefly discussed China's history in international health activities (their first deployment of medical teams to Africa dates back to 1963!), different kinds of partnerships in global health - particularly among universities, and examples of current and upcoming initiatives. In sum, the panel suggested a promising future for China’s role in global health.

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