January 23, 2014

Research Roundup: What we’re reading this week

Senior Program Assistant

In this regular feature on Breakthroughs, we highlight some of the most interesting reads in global health research from the past week.

The Guardian wrote about the importance of the World Health Organization’s prequalification of medicines program (PQP): “The PQP has been a fantastic success story, giving a stamp of approval to good quality generics and allowing the governments of developing countries to buy effective versions of essential drugs they can afford.” However, the article argues that if the program is to become more sustainable, it needs to diversify its funding.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has entered into two partnerships with South African institutions to develop new drugs and vaccines against HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria. The multi-year, multimillion-rand partnerships are with the Medical Research Council's Strategic Health Innovation Partnerships and the University of Cape Town's Drug Discovery and Development Centre.

The Saving Lives at Birth: A Grand Challenge for Development program has submitted a fourth round of requests for applications. The challenge seeks to identify and develop transformative approaches that integrate new technologies, better service delivery models, and improved “demand side” innovations that empower pregnant women and their families.

Bill and Melinda Gates dispel three myths that block progress for the poor in their 2014 annual letter. The co-founders of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation address why poor countries aren’t doomed to stay poor, why foreign aids isn’t a big waste, and that saving lives doesn’t lead to overpopulation.