Global Health Matters

19 September 2017 - By Thomas Cueni & Paola Barbarino
September is World Alzheimer’s Month, an international campaign to challenge the stigma that surrounds dementia, a disease that affects almost 150,000 people in Switzerland. It is the third most frequent cause of death in the country, costing over CHF 7 billion a year – and as many as 400,000 predominantly ...
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18 September 2017 - By Thomas B. Cueni
I have not forgotten the Chinese taxi driver who wanted to sell me a Rolex for $100 in Singapore a while back. Nor have I forgotten his absolute fury when I laughed and told him that if I wanted to buy a fake Rolex, I could have done it in ...
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29 August 2017 - By Thomas B. Cueni
Fair pricing activists applauded the news earlier this month that the FDA approved another drug to cure hepatitis C. That this new medicine is cheaper and treats people quicker than the existing hepatitis C drugs goes to show how fast healthy competition can change the outlook on health spending. Not long ago, ...
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6 June 2017 - By
The most indisputable of all facts on global health is that we’re living longer and healthier lives than ever, and in an era of continuous health improvement. What were once considered life-threatening diseases are now manageable conditions, and not just for patients, but for our health systems also. Where Hepatitis ...
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2 June 2017 - By Thomas B. Cueni
In January 2016, more than 100 companies and industry associations had signed a Declaration on Combatting Antimicrobial Resistance at the World Economic Forum in Davos, followed by a Roadmap of several big pharma at the UN High-Level Meeting in September 2016 – a common framework of principles for global measures to curb the development of antibiotic resistance. ...
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29 May 2017 - By Thomas B. Cueni
Thinking about how to be a healthy older person is like thinking about glaciers crashing into Arctic seas as a result of climate change. Too far away to imagine, and we’ll worry when the effects reach our doorsteps. In reality, the challenge is here today asking all of us, at ...
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24 May 2017 - By Cyntia Genolet
As falsified medicines are debated this week at the World Health Assembly, IFPMA shares what the biopharmaceutical is doing to combat this risk to individual and public health.    If there’s one place not to take a gamble, it’s on whether or not a medicine is real or falsified. Yet ...
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20 May 2017 - By Thomas B. Cueni
  I must admit I had been somewhat skeptical about the "WHO Fair Pricing Forum" held last week in Amsterdam. There were multiple reasons for my apprehension. One concern was clearly that the notion of “fair” is pretty much in the eye of the beholder, another was that none of ...
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27 April 2017 - By Thomas B. Cueni
Over the course of my lifetime, human lifespan extended by three decades.  Today we hope to lead healthy lives well into our 80s. Now I have to declare a vested interest in this topic:  I am an aspiring role model for active and healthy ageing (I’m past 60 and look ...
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25 April 2017 - By Thomas B. Cueni
As we look forward to hosting the Geneva Pharma Forum during current World Immunization Week, finding solutions to pre-empt or mitigate vaccine shortages is top-of-mind here at IFPMA and for our members. What’s more, recently the first Access to Vaccines Index (ATVI) was published – a set of report cards ...
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21 April 2017 - By Thomas B. Cueni
After 30 years in the world of policymaking and business, there is not much that can faze me; but it is fair to say that nothing could have prepared me for meeting Agnes. This has been a week when Geneva played host to ministers, scientists, WHO officials, philanthropists and business ...
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Angkor Thom. Siem Reap Cambodia
7 April 2017 - By Thomas B. Cueni
The name Kantha Bopha is well known in Switzerland. Beat Richner, pediatrician, cello player, and savvy fundraiser, has been working there tirelessly for over 20 years on his life-long project. He had already worked at the Children's Hospital in Phnom Penh in the early 70’s, then the terror of the ...
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4 April 2017 - By Thomas B. Cueni
Animal testing has been and will remain controversial. Whereas most people accept the need to test new medicines or vaccines on laboratory animals before they are authorized for human use, it is also widely accepted that there is a need to strike the right and careful balance between expected benefit ...
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20 March 2017 - By Thomas B. Cueni
It is quite amazing how health policy discussions are often held in a distorted and simplified manner. Nowhere does this apply more than in discussions on drugs and the pharmaceutical industry. Although a large portion of public health spending is accounted for by hospitals, doctors, other health care personnel, and ...
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16 March 2017 - By Thomas B. Cueni
(This is a re-posting that was first published on Monday 13 March in the Basler Zeitung) ‘Vets are expensive. Antibiotics are cheap.’ In a nutshell, this was a quote extracted from last week’s BBC report of the growing global problem of antimicrobial resistance highlighting the plight of overuse of antibiotics on ...
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