Ideas to Action:

Independent research for global prosperity

Publications

 

November 4, 2008

Tripping Over Health: U.S. Policy on Patents and Drug Access in Developing Countries (White House and the World Policy Brief)

The United States can play an important role in promoting global development while simultaneously advancing American interests and prosperity. Intellectual property (IP) rights, such as patents and copyrights, provide protection against unauthorized copying and are therefore fundamental to creating a policy environment conducive for innovation. But this protection creates challenges for developing countries by limiting access to needed products and by misaligning incentives for innovation. The next U.S. president should come down clearly in favor of a new policy that better balances public health needs in developing countries with private incentives for innovative activities.

Carsten Fink
September 5, 2008

Opportunities for Presidential Leadership on AIDS: From an "Emergency Plan" to a Sustainable Policy (White House and the World Policy Brief)

U.S. spending on global AIDS is widely seen as a significant foreign policy and humanitarian success, but this success contains the seeds of a future crisis. Treatment costs are set to escalate dramatically and new HIV infections continue to outpace the number of people receiving treatment. Three bad options thus loom ahead for U.S. foreign policy: indefinitely increase foreign assistance spending on an open-ended commitment, eliminate half of other foreign aid programs, or withdraw the medicine that millions of people depend upon to stay alive. CGD senior fellow Mead Over provides another option: implementing a sustainable policy that concentrates on prevention in order to drastically cut new infections while sustaining the reduction in AIDS-related deaths.

August 4, 2008

Seizing the Opportunity on AIDS and Health Systems

Donors spend billions of dollars to fight HIV/AIDS in developing countries, but poor integration between donors and host country health systems risks undermining international efforts to prevent and treat AIDS. In this analysis, CGD’s HIV/AIDS Monitor argues that donors need to pay more attention to their overall effect on health systems, finding that the big international donors often create duplicate AIDS-specific systems that competitively draw on the health resources of developing countries. The report recommends taking specific steps to more broadly improve health information systems, improve supply chain systems, and strengthen the health workforce.

Nandini Oomman , Michael Bernstein and Steven Rosenzweig
May 5, 2008

Prevention Failure: The Ballooning Entitlement Burden of U.S. Global AIDS Treatment Spending and What to Do About It - Working Paper 144

U.S. global AIDS spending is helping to prolong the lives of more than a million people, yet this success contains the seeds of a future crisis. Escalating treatment costs coupled with neglected prevention measures mean that AIDS spending is growing so rapidly that it threatens to squeeze out U.S. spending on other global health needs, even to the point of consuming half of the entire U.S. foreign assistance budget by 2016. Mead Over argues that AIDS treatment spending could quickly become a global entitlement since withdrawing funding for life-saving drugs would mean death for the beneficiaries. He offers suggestions for avoiding a ballooning AIDS treatment entitlement, including greatly stepped-up prevention efforts.

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April 17, 2008

New PEPFAR Data: The Numbers Behind the Stories

The President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) is the single largest funder of global AIDS relief programs, but it does not regularly release data on how its money is spent. In this report, CGD's HIV/AIDS Monitor Team analyzes a newly available dataset of PEPFAR funding. They find, among other things, that only 30% of funds in 15 focus countries have gone to local organizations. They urge PEPFAR to regularly publish such funding data to improve transparency and strengthen coordination with host country governments and other stakeholders, and they suggest actions PEPFAR should take to improve the effectiveness and sustainability of its programs.

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Nandini Oomman , Michael Bernstein , Steve Rosenzweig and Jonathan Pearson