Two innovative technologies for early infant diagnosis of HIV newly prequalified by WHO will allow many more infants to be diagnosed quickly and placed on life-saving treatment.
The products, Alere™ q HIV-1/2 Detect (made by Alere Technologies GmbH) and Xpert® HIV-1 Qual Assay (made by Cepheid AB) can be used to diagnose infants in as little as an hour, instead of sending a sample to a laboratory, which can take weeks or months to return a result.
Launch of new guidance to make children’s medicines safer and more effective
To address the gap in children’s medicines, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) today release new guidelines for health care professionals prescribing or supplying medicines for children when no authorised product exists. The guidelines are available to all countries and professionals on the two organisations’ web sites.
People worldwide depend on the correct and competent behavior of a number of institutions and on manufacturers when they take their medicines. Those medicines must be of good quality, safe and effective. But largely due to human error, or, in some cases, pure profiteering, it happens that those institutions and manufacturers do not carry out their work adequately. The possible result of this is that risky or ineffective medicines may come to market, endangering patients or, at best, wasting precious health resources on treatments that don’t work.
Two resolutions related to access to health products were passed at the 69th World Health Assembly between 23-28 May. These resolutions aim to make quality health products more widely available and affordable and to reduce medicines and vaccines shortages in countries. In addition, the first ever list of Assistive Health Products was launched at a side event hosted by several governments.
Surveying insulin availability and pricing: vital to treating diabetes
Collecting data on the availability and price of medicines is a crucial step in improving access to diabetes medicines like insulin, which is vital for the survival of people with Type 1 diabetes. The prevalence of diabetes has been steadily increasing for the past three decades and is growing most rapidly in low- and middle-income countries. The percentage of deaths attributable to high blood glucose or diabetes is almost 52% in low-income countries, compared with 23% in high-income countries.