Posts tagged science

An MSF doctor in Batil camp, South Sudan, uses an iPhone to examine a patient’s throat. He had developed symptoms of Hepatitis E a month prior, but only came to the clinic after he had tried traditional medicine and saw no improvement. MSF responded to an outbreak of deadly Hepatitis E in the camp in February; there is no cure but symptoms are treatable. Photo by Shannon Jensen

An MSF doctor in Batil camp, South Sudan, uses an iPhone to examine a patient’s throat. He had developed symptoms of Hepatitis E a month prior, but only came to the clinic after he had tried traditional medicine and saw no improvement. MSF responded to an outbreak of deadly Hepatitis E in the camp in February; there is no cure but symptoms are treatable. Photo by Shannon Jensen

Photo: Patients in the waiting area at Koutiala Hospital in Mali. Mali 2012 © Venetia Dearden
Conference Briefing Paper: Medical Innovations for Neglected PatientsThere are three fundamental problems with medical innovation today. 
First, global public health needs are not in the driving seat. Regardless of how great the needs may be, where commercial potential is weak, there is little “pull” to develop new technologies. The innovation cycle is broken, with few or no incentives for the development of effective, safe, quality, suitable and affordable health technologies—leading to needless suffering and death. 
Second, as a result, developing countries must often “make do” with innovation that primarily caters to conditions in developed countries. Medical tools are too often developed first for developed countries and only rolled out in resource limited settings in a second stage. 
Third, even when there is enough of a profit incentive to drive innovation—for example when diseases affect both developed and developing countries alike—the resulting products are too often priced out of reach. 
Medical innovation must aim to change practice, for the benefit of patients. But ideas, knowledge and inventions can only benefit patients who have access to the fruits of innovation. What is needed, therefore, is not just innovation—but both innovation and access.
Download the full report here.

Photo: Patients in the waiting area at Koutiala Hospital in Mali. Mali 2012 © Venetia Dearden

Conference Briefing Paper: Medical Innovations for Neglected Patients
There are three fundamental problems with medical innovation today. 

First, global public health needs are not in the driving seat. Regardless of how great the needs may be, where commercial potential is weak, there is little “pull” to develop new technologies. The innovation cycle is broken, with few or no incentives for the development of effective, safe, quality, suitable and affordable health technologies—leading to needless suffering and death. 

Second, as a result, developing countries must often “make do” with innovation that primarily caters to conditions in developed countries. Medical tools are too often developed first for developed countries and only rolled out in resource limited settings in a second stage. 

Third, even when there is enough of a profit incentive to drive innovation—for example when diseases affect both developed and developing countries alike—the resulting products are too often priced out of reach. 

Medical innovation must aim to change practice, for the benefit of patients. But ideas, knowledge and inventions can only benefit patients who have access to the fruits of innovation. What is needed, therefore, is not just innovation—but both innovation and access.

Download the full report here.

You’ll hear using the phrase “treatment is prevention” often this week as we report from the International AIDS Conference, so we thought we would explain what that means. Learn more about the profound implications of this scientific breakthrough.

You’ll hear using the phrase “treatment is prevention” often this week as we report from the International AIDS Conference, so we thought we would explain what that means.
Learn more about the profound implications of this scientific breakthrough.

Fighting Neglect: Chagas:

Chagas is a parasitic disease found on the American continent, where it affects an estimated 8 to 10 million people and claims up to 12,500 lives every year.

Learn more about Chagas and other neglected diseases.

If new evidence of similar magnitude of mortality reduction was found for a major childhood killer in Europe or the USA, and the new treatment cost just an extra $2, there would be a clear plan to ensure a rapid change in policy and practice. With over 2000 deaths from severe malaria every day, the need for a coordinated international response to support African countries to make the switch is clear.
Nathan Ford, the medical coordinator for MSF’s International Campaign for Access to Essential Medicines in MSF on World Malaria Day: Improving treatment for severe malaria