Clinical Professor, Don Downing, along with 40 UW Pharmacy students, 2 Seattle physicians, 2 additional Seattle pharmacists, and a physical therapist came together to provide global medical care in the remote village of Namanji, Nicaragua, from June 16th through June 22nd 2014. Supported by Seattle-based Global Brigades, these self-funded students and providers provided care to almost 900 patients – many of whom traveled great distances to receive basic health care.
In low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), health systems have historically focused on the prevention and treatment of highly prevalent and frequently fatal acute infectious illnesses such as malaria, diarrhea, and respiratory infections. However, due to changes in health risks, LMIC are experiencing an increasing burden of chronic non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in addition to the existing problems of infectious diseases.
Andy Stergachis traveled to Mumbai, India in March to emphasize the need for give a talk titled, “Active Surveillance in Pharmacovigilance” at a Drug Information Association India sponsored conference March 21-22, 2014. The conference, which focused on pharmacovigilance, was targeted to professionals in a range of disciplines from risk management and regulatory affairs, to clinical and regulatory personnel.
A new report on drug and vaccine safety in global health, co-authored by Thomas Bollyky, Senior Fellow, Council for Foreign Relations, and Andy Stergachis, is now available. Funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, this report is the product of the Safety Surveillance Working Group, a year-long initiative to develop a practical, scalable strategy for improving drug and vaccine safety in low- and middle-income countries.
The Global Medicines Program has been awarded a three-year grant from the Barr Foundation to evaluate a pharmacy assistant (PA) training program in Malawi. Joseph Babigumira will lead the study to evaluate the potential impact of the training program on morbidity and mortality due to illnesses that are the highest contributors to mortality among children under five years of age in Malawi – malaria, pneumonia, and diarrhea.
Andy Stergachis, along with faculty from Ukraine, conducted a 5-day training workshop titled, “Pharmacovigilance of Medicines for HIV/AIDS and Tuberculosis in Ukraine” December 9-13, 2013 in Kiev. The training workshop was developed and offered by the Ukraine National Training Center (UNTC), with support from the UW International Training and Education Center for Health (I-TECH). In addition to Stergachis, the faculty consisted of the head of infectious diseases, Gromashevskiy Institute of Epidemiology and Infectious Diseases of National Academy of Medical Sciences of Ukraine (NAMSU); the Head of the Physiology Department, Yanovsky Institute for and Pulmonology of NAMSU; and the Director of the Department of Post-Registration Surveillance, State Expert Center of Ministry of Public Health of Ukraine, which is their national pharmacovigilance center.
UW School of Public Health faculty attended the Institute of Medicine meeting held on September 12-13, 2013 in Washington, DC. Titled “STRENGTHENING MEDICINES REGULATORY SYSTEMS ABROAD: ADAPTING MESSAGES FROM RECENT IOM CONSENSUS STUDIES FOR DISEASE CONTROL PRIORITIES, THIRD EDITION”, the meeting attendees included Dean Jamison, Professor of Global Health and Principal Investigator (not pictured) Rachel Nugent, Clinical Associate Professor of Global Health and Project Director; Ramanan Laxminarayan Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics & Policy; Public Health Foundation of India and Affiliate Professor of Global Health; and Andy Stergachis, Professor of Epidemiology and Global Health and Director, Global Medicines Program. Also attending the meeting was Margaret Hamburg, US FDA Commissioner, and Mikel Arriola, Commissioner, COFEPRIS, Mexico.
The good news is that drug manufacturers are stepping up to the plate by offering generic versions of brand name drugs. For example, generic Viagra is a cheaper alternative to the popular erectile dysfunction treatment called Viagra.