Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations
NPR’s ‘Morning Edition’ Features Discussion on Access to Anti-AIDS Drugs
NPR's "Morning Edition" today features a discussion on the issues surrounding access to anti-AIDS drugs in Africa and other poor nations. NPR's Richard Harris points out that the majority of people in African nations are unable to afford medicines for a variety of treatable diseases, such as malaria, and that activists in the United States and elsewhere have not pushed extensively for cheaper prices for these medications. Harvard University economics professor Michael Kremer said that most Americans do not suffer from malaria and other diseases common in Africa; therefore, awareness of these problems has not been acute. However, he noted, since HIV/AIDS is a problem in the United States, people here can identify with its detrimental impact, and the same activist community that pushed for better HIV treatments in the United States has now turned its focus to Africa. On the topic of the WHO/WTO
summit taking place this week in Norway, Daniel Callahan, director of international programs at the Hastings Center, an independent research institute, said that discounts by pharmaceutical companies are not enough to get drugs to all who need them. "If there were a lot more people putting money into [fighting HIV] besides the drug companies ... maybe we can begin to make a dent in this thing," he said. Harris concluded that the summit "isn't likely to result in a firm commitment to solutions, but at least the parties are all sitting down" (Edwards, "Morning Edition," NPR, 4/10). An audio file of the full conversation will be available later today at http://search.npr.org/cf/cmn/cmnpd01fm.cfm?PrgDate=04/10/2001&PrgID=3.
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