Reed Elsevier, HP to Launch International Health Initiatives; Pharma Drives More R&D for New Drugs to Fight Neglected Diseases - Health Minute for January 22, 2013



Reed Elsevier has launched the Reed Elsevier Environmental Challenge for innovative proposals to ensure safe water and improved sanitation for at risk communities in developing countries.

The first-prize winner will be awarded $50,000 and the second prizewinner will receive $25,000 in addition to a feature in Water Research, the official journal of the International Water Association. All shortlisted candidates will receive access to Reed Elsevier scientific online publications and databases. The Challenge was launched last week at the first International Water Summit in Abu Dhabi. The IWS is a new global platform for promoting water sustainability and the water-energy nexus in arid regions.

HP’s Enterprise Services Group has signed a $27 million agreement with the National Centre for Health Information Systems, a department of the Polish Ministry of Health that is working to develop an e-health environment for the country. HP experts will build and deploy a portal for collecting, analyzing, and sharing digital health records across Poland to improve patient service and facilitate better health policy decisions at the government level. In addition, HP will build a portal that patients can use to access their electronic health records. The join effort will also include applications for use by health service providers, pharmacies, and public health insurance payers.

The campaign to develop new drugs for traditionally neglected diseases is gaining steam. An industry organization has surveyed the field and found 132 R&D programs under way last year, a 40% increase over the year before. The vast majority of the programs, 112 of the 132, are being conducted in partnerships with key pharma players, according to the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations. 15%—20 programs—are being driven entirely by individual companies. Some pharma companies do the work themselves or finance outside groups that do the work. Lilly helps fund the Infectious Disease Research Institute in Seattle, which is doing early-stage work on new TB drugs. Sanofi, GlaxoSmithKline and AstraZeneca are among the most active companies, according to the report. Seven years ago, the industry association could find only 30 R&D programs in progress for neglected diseases, a roster of ailments that afflict poor populations unable to afford the medicines that drive profitability in the industry.

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KEYWORDS: Reed Elsevier, Reed Elsevier Environmental Challenge, International Water Association, HP, Polish Ministry of Health, new drugs, neglected diseases, R&D, International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations, Sanofi, GlaxoSmithKline, astrazeneca, 3bl Media, Health, Health Minute

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