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Global Health Policy Blog

CGD experts offer ideas and analysis on global health issues and how better policies can improve well-being for everyone. Also check out our Views from the Center blog and US Development Policy blog.

 

Photo of pills

On World AIDS Day, a Moment for Celebration and Self-Reflection

On World AIDS Day, December 1, we honor the advocates that transformed HIV/AIDS from a death sentence to a chronic disease. These activists bequeathed a golden age of global health—a boom in money and programs that is sustained today, evidenced by the recent reauthorization of PEPFAR. But as UNAIDS recognized last year, we still have miles to go despite this extraordinary mobilization. Even today, 40 percent of people in need still lack lifesaving antiretroviral treatment.

A hand reaching for medicine on a pharmacy shelf

Are Other Countries to Blame for High US Drug Prices?

Back in February, the US Council of Economic Advisers issued a white paper on drug pricing implying that other rich countries should stop “free riding” off American innovation by negotiating drug prices to unfairly low levels after the US fronts the research and development costs. Perhaps in response, President Trump recently announced a proposal to bring down US drug prices. But until the US corrects the structural flaws in its own healthcare system, these efforts are bound to fall short.

virus

Financing Outbreak Preparedness: Where Are We and What Next?

This week, global leaders gathered at the 5th Global Health Security Agenda Ministerial Meetings in Bali under the overarching theme of “advancing global partnerships” for greater health security. Alongside this event, the World Bank hosted a discussion on preparedness financing at the country level. The panel acknowledged that while countries have begun to pay more attention to pandemic preparedness, much work remains to increase domestic and donor support to national preparedness systems. As the discussions wrap up in Bali and the World Bank heads to its IDA18 midterm review in Zambia next week, we share a few thoughts.

pills

Entrepreneurship on the Rise in the Medical Supply Chain in Africa: A Tale of Four Pharmacy Disruptors

The IFC estimates that by 2030, developing countries will need up to $210 billion per year in new investment for health care assets to meet the growing healthcare demands of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This will require the current level of investment in healthcare in developing markets to triple. What may be almost as important as the money itself, however, is the prospective opportunity to catalyze the entrepreneurial spirit that is seeping its way into African markets. Here we look at how this entrepreneurialism is being leveraged in the pharmacy and supply chain space.

empty pill bottles

Call a Spade a Spade: Venezuela is a Public Health Emergency

Health outcomes in Venezuela are approaching emergency-like levels as services, medicines, and food become increasingly inaccessible. Venezuela’s under-5 mortality rate in 2016 already rivaled Syria’s, a Grade 3 emergency according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Since then, Caritas has estimated that 11.4 percent of children under 5 in Venezuela suffer from moderate or severe acute malnutrition.

Ambassador Deborah Birx speaking at CGD. Photo by Kaveh Sardari

PEPFAR’s New Targets for Local Implementation: Commendable in Theory, Complicated in Practice

In July, United States Global AIDS Coordinator Deborah Birx made a striking commitment: under her leadership, the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) would direct at least 40 percent of its funding to host country governments or organizations by the end of 2019—rising to 70 percent by the end of 2020. The bottom line: PEPFAR’s local targets are commendable in theory, but we suspect their application in practice will prove complicated. Below is our take on the related issues—and some recommendations for PEPFAR to forge the most effective path forward.

adorable baby

Time to Deliver: New Ebola Findings Highlight the Need to Improve Evidence and Interventions for Pregnant Women

On July 23, an outbreak report in The Lancet Infectious Diseases documented the case of a female Ebola survivor who transmitted the virus to family members more than year later. This raises new questions about how pregnancy may impact the presentation of Ebola virus disease (EVD), not just for women in the near term but across multiple pregnancies, and potentially as the source of new outbreaks.

What You Should Know About Global Health Financing Transitions: Five Key Takeaways

In recent years many global health institutions—particularly Gavi and the Global Fund—have adopted eligibility and transition frameworks for the countries they support. These frameworks lay out criteria under which countries will lose eligibility for their support, and, typically, a gradual timeframe to phase out external financing. The question of how these transitions will play out in practice—and whether global health progress will be put at risk through premature or poorly planned transitions—is a hot topic in global health.

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