Media/Policy Watch

Media/Policy Watch
This watch section is intended to alert readers to substantive news, analysis and opinion from the general media and selected think tanks and similar organizations on vaccines, immunization, global public health and related themes. Media Watch is not intended to be exhaustive, but indicative of themes and issues CVEP is actively tracking. This section will grow from an initial base of newspapers, magazines and blog sources, and is segregated from Journal Watch above which scans the peer-reviewed journal ecology.

We acknowledge the Western/Northern bias in this initial selection of titles and invite suggestions for expanded coverage. We are conservative in our outlook in adding news sources which largely report on primary content we are already covering above. Many electronic media sources have tiered, fee-based subscription models for access. We will provide full-text where content is published without restriction, but most publications require registration and some subscription level.

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BBC
http://www.bbc.co.uk/
Accessed 5 November 2016
UK forms global infection response team
1 November 2016
The UK has created a specialist team of health experts who can be deployed anywhere around the world within 48 hours if a disease outbreak strikes.

The aim is to stamp out infections like Ebola before they spread far and wide.
The scientists, academics and clinicians will be funded by £20m from the government over five years.

When not responding to an immediate emergency, the rapid response team will assess future disease threats and train colleagues from home and abroad.

Public Health Minister Nicola Blackwood said the Ebola crisis highlighted the need for such a team.
“Ebola shook the world and brave experts from the UK led the global response in Sierra Leone. The ability to deploy emergency support to investigate and respond to disease outbreaks within 48 hours will save lives, prevent further outbreaks and cement the UK’s position as a leader in global health security.”

Public Health England will run the project with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine…

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Forbes
http://www.forbes.com/
Accessed 5 November 2016

Is It Fair To Reward Medicaid Patients For Receiving Flu Shots?
Peter Ubel, Contributor

Big Pharma Has Broken Its Social Contract: How To Restore Fairness In Drug Pricing
Kenneth L. Davis, Contributor
The pharmaceutical industry must restore the social contract governing its business practices and lower drug prices so Americans can better afford medication.

Why The Approach To Drug Pricing Has To Change Now
1 November 2016
By Joseph Jimenez, CEO of Novartis
As CEO of one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies, I believe that we need a new perspective on drug pricing: As an industry, we must shift to a model that focuses on value and outcomes delivered, both to patients and to health systems.

New Measles Study Shows Why Anti-Vaccination Thinking Is Deadly
30 October 2016
New research on fatal measles complications shows how the failure to vaccinate not only endangers the patient, but also everyone else susceptible to the disease. Subacute sclerosing panencephalitis (SSPE) is a neurological disorder that can develop years after someone has measles, and it is fatal 100% of the time. Previously it was thought rare at about one in 100,000 post-measles cases. But recent research in Germany shows that it occurs in one in 1,700 children infected with measles before they turned five, and a new study finds the incidence can be as many as one in 600 for infants who contract measles before they’re vaccinated. The findings were presented at IDWeek 2016, the annual meeting of the Infectious Diseases Society of America…

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Fortune
http://fortune.com/
Accessed 5 November 2016
Here’s What We Could Be Doing to Stop Pandemics Like Zika and Ebola
1 November 2016
…A boiling pot of global conditions, like ubiquitous travel and the growing populations of developing cities, have led to an outbreak of pandemics like Ebola, Zika, SARs, and even the flu over the past decade.

But while the global health industry and national governments and regulators have made a lot of progress, there’s still much more that these groups can do together to better plan, fund, and organize the battle against emerging pandemics, said a group of experts at Fortune’s Brainstorm Health conference in San Diego, Calif. on Tuesday night.
Once an outbreak occurs, the response is all about speed, said Bruce Gellin, director of the U.S. National Vaccine Program Office.

GSK’s CEO Explains How Big Pharma Can Help the Poor and Still Make Money
2 November 2016
Capitalism and doing good don’t have to be mutually exclusive.
Big pharma has been a persistent villain in the public’s consciousness over the past year in the wake of exorbitant drug price hikes, including on ancient medications. But drug makers don’t necessarily have to conform to some Monopoly man caricature to be successful, according to the chief executive of pharma giant

Outgoing GSK chief Sir Andrew Witty laid out a straightforward manifesto to drug pricing, especially when it comes to vaccines, at Fortune’s Brainstorm Health conference on Wednesday. His message: Pharma can do good while still turning a profit.

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New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/
Accessed 5 November 2016
Colombia is Hit Hard by Zika, but Not by Microcephaly
By DONALD G. McNEIL Jr. and JULIA SYMMES COBB OCT. 31, 2016
BARRANQUILLA, Colombia — This tropical city on the Caribbean coast may hold the answer to one of the deeper mysteries of the Zika epidemic: Why has the world’s second-largest outbreak, after Brazil’s, produced so few birth defects?

In Brazil, more than 2,000 babies have been born with microcephaly, abnormally small heads and brain damage caused by the Zika virus. In Colombia, officials had predicted there might be as many as 700 such babies by the end of this year. There have been merely 47.
The gap has been seen all over the Americas. According to the World Health Organization, the United States has 28 cases — almost all linked to women infected elsewhere. Guatemala has 15, and Martinique has 12.

Had the rest of the Americas been as affected as northeastern Brazil, a tidal wave of microcephaly would be washing over the region. Most experts say that will not happen, but they are at a loss as to why…

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Washington Post
http://www.washingtonpost.com/
Accessed 5 November 2016
Washington state polio-like cases linked to rare syndrome
Eight of nine children hospitalized in Washington state for a polio-like illness have a rare syndrome that causes varying degrees of limb weakness, state health officials confirmed on Friday.
Lisa Baumann | AP | National | Nov 4, 2016