Media/Policy Watch [to 4 April 2015]

Media/Policy Watch

Council on Foreign Relations
Accessed 4 April 2015
Chinese Pharma: A Global Health Game Changer?
31 March 2015
The twenty-first century shift in geoeconomic power toward Asia has also spurred a rebalancing in global pharmaceutical research and development (R&D) investment toward emerging economies. China is currently the world’s second-highest investor in R&D and is poised to overtake the United States in R&D spending by 2023. Determined to become a world leader in the pharmaceutical sector, China spent $1.17 billion on promoting life and medical sciences in 2012—nearly ten times its 2004 level of investment. With U.S. funding for medical research on the decline, the surge in Chinese funding has prompted many policymakers to ask if the country’s pharmaceutical industry could be the next game changer for global public health and access to medicine (ATM)…

The Huffington Post
5 Crucial Lessons From The Recent Measles Outbreak
1 April 2015
While the United States is overwhelmingly vaccinated against preventable viruses like measles, mumps and rubella (on account of them coming altogether in one shot), there are certain pockets around the country where vaccination rates are dipping below the 95 percent needed to maintain herd immunity. These under-vaccinated communities, coupled with travelers bringing the measles over from other countries, have resulted in an unusual amount of measles cases — 644 cases over 23 outbreaks in 2014, and in 2015 to date, 178 cases over four outbreaks. These numbers represent the greatest levels of measles that America has ever seen since measles was first eradicated from the country, in 2000.
The size and scope of the biggest outbreak this year, which links 131 cases to exposure at the Disneyland theme park last December, has focused the nation’s attention like a laser to the tiny communities scattered around the U.S. that have chosen to skip vaccinating their children, without medical justification. In the story below, three infectious disease experts weigh in on what America has learned by turning an ear toward these communities and keeping a wary eye on the growing number of infections…