Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Listen: Access to essential medicines in the US and around the world

High drug prices force 1 in 6 Americans to ration their use of needed medicines

Measuring access to essential medicines in the US and around the world
By Luke Vargas   
Published June 26, 2017

Luke Vargas: Earlier this year, an expert panel of the World Health Organization updated something called the Essential Medicines List, a collection of the most effective medicines used to treat the most prevalent health conditions. To save lives, extend life expectancies and raise billions out of poverty, essential medicines need to be made available. How well is the world doing in that quest? What about here in the U.S., and where does the principal of health access figure in the health reform push in Washington?  We’re coming to you today from U.N. headquarters in New York as we look at the life-and-death topic of health access, and in particular at access to the world’s most essential medicines.

Wake” is a weekly foreign policy broadcast produced by Talk Media News and hosted by Luke Vargas from our studio at U.N. Headquarters in New York.

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The following is a complete transcript of Episode 11, “Essential Medicines.”
Luke Vargas: Can you highlight some of the changes that have been made to the list recently? There are some pretty basic “essential medicine,” things like oxygen, or charcoal powder or aspirin, but are the medicines being added in 2017 much more complex?
Suzanne Hill: Indeed. A couple of recent changes just to highlight – so for example, two years ago in 2015, for the first time medicines used for treating Hepatitis C – direct-acting antivirals were added. So the very expensive product such as sofosbuvir was added. This time around the latest combination product for Hepatitis C were included, because they offer the option of treating all types of Hepatitis C with a single regiment, with a single pill per day. That was one example....

Read transcript, here.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017
WHO Essential Medicines List - New advice on use of antibiotics; adds meds for hep C, HIV, tuberculosis, cancer

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