July 15, 2012

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.

GHTC member the American Foundation for AIDS Research has issued a brief analyzing the human impact that widespread budget cuts, or sequestration, would have on US-funded global health programs. The brief concludes that a “proportionate cut in US Global Health Initiative funding through sequestration would have minimal impact on deficit reduction … The human impact of such cuts in US investments, however, would be devastating.”

The director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Francis Collins, also discussed the effect of sequestration on biomedical research. He testified before the Health Subcommittee of the Energy and Commerce Committee, saying that sequestration “could do serious damage to the progress that we now see in medical research [at the NIH].”

The European Medicines Agency has issued a recommendation that the Hexaxim childhood vaccine is safe for use outside of the European Union. Developed by Sanofi, the vaccine offers protection against six World Health Organization priority diseases.

A recent article in USA Today looks at the potential of a widely used HIV/AIDS drug, Truvada, as a possible tool to prevent HIV transmission.

In an effort to make foreign assistance more transparent, the US Agency for International Development has made its foreign assistance obligation and expenditure data available online on the Foreign Assistance Dashboard.

An experimental four-in-one HIV/AIDS drug called Quad is found to be safe and effective after going through a three-phase clinical process. The Lancet published the research following a recommendation in May by a US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisory panel to approve Quad for previously untreated adults infected with HIV-1. A final decision is expected from the FDA by August.

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