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Global project to map drug resistance and tackle “superbugs” is launched

The Global Burden of Disease AMR project is a collaboration between the UK government, the UK health research charity the Wellcome Trust, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the University of Oxford, and the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, an independent research centre at the University of Washington, Seattle.

Over the next four years the project will gather and publish data on the spread and effects of antimicrobial resistance around the world.

Developing world needs access to low cost pharmaceutical information from reliable sources

Hafeez and Mirza have assessed how seriously (or not) pharmaceutical companies take their responsibility to provide information on request to prescribers in Pakistan.1 Two of their conclusions are that “providing information on drugs is not a priority for companies in Pakistan” and that “the decision to respond to a request for more information therefore seems to depend on how favourable it might be to the interests of the company.” These conclusions are particularly worrying because the biased information from drug companies is often the only type of information that prescribers have acces

Decisions on WHO's essential medicines need more scrutiny

An informal article in this week's BMJ (2 August) looks at the WHO Essential Medicines List and how it is compiled and maintained.
'WHO suggests that essential medicines should be available within functioning health systems at all times, in adequate amounts, in the appropriate doses, with assured quality, and at a price the individual and the community can afford.'
The authors recognise that the list, first introduced in 1977, "has led to global acceptance of essential medicines as a powerful means to promote health equity'.
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