Archive for October, 2013

Motorcycle Simulator Technology and Traffic-Related Injury Prevention: Global Health Potential

Road traffic related fatalities account for over 50% of the global deaths for individuals between ages 15 and 44 and ranks 11th in the cause of death for all age groups. It’s future impact is equally dismal: within the next decade road traffic related morbidity is projected to be the 6th leading contributor global fatalities and 3rd leading contributor to global Disability-Adjusted Life Years, disproportionately impacting the overall global burden of disease. However, national-level traffic safety intervention by global health organizations lacks programmed efforts to include vehicle simulation-based technologies as a key element of comprehensive national traffic safety programs. This is particularly true for two wheel vehicles in low and middle income countries (LMICs). Importantly, US resources in diplomacy settings are also subject to loss because of deployment into these risky settings, lack of adaptability to traffic cultures and systems locally, and limited skills training. The United States Marine Corps has utilized two wheel motorcycle simulation based technologies as part of a comprehensive education and training strategy to reduce fatalities and injuries amongst military personnel operating motorcycles off-duty. Positive experiences with motorcycle vehicle-simulator training program indicate further potential to validate impact on injury rates and efficacy of motorcycle simulator technology both for those assigned abroad and for relevant LMICs personnel. Other international professional and charitable organizations contending with similar risks abroad would also benefit from shared advances in traffic safety training utilizing motorcycle simulators. By improving traffic safety in these environments, health care resources can be shifted from expensive reactive, acute care trauma settings to investments in longer term public health infrastructures, medicines, and outreach.

Technology and Global Health: Spy vs. Spy and SPOCs to Promote Global Drug Supply Safety

New anti-tampering technologies and security features along with coding of individual medicine packages can aid in identifying and then reducing harm associated with counterfeiting of medicines. Equally important, however, is effective communication be…

Dangerous Science: Online Promotion of Unproven Stem Cell Therapies and Global Health Risks

Stem cell-based therapies represent a potential pathway for a new era of 21st century regenerative medicine. In support of this new form of treatment, a global multibillion-dollar research endeavor is currently underway in an effort to establish a scie…

Technology and Medicine: Academic Dishonesty and Risks to Global Health

Technology has promoted global health. Yet advancing technology has also allowed physicians and trainees to cheat, and inappropriate experimentation with medical technology has resulted in study patient deaths. Further, journal editors have not made significant inroads in employing technology to identify dishonesty. Unfortunately, this continues to be strongly within the culture of the profession. Due to corruption of medicine, global health promotion will be severely retarded by falsified and suspect data that lower-and-middle income countries cannot afford to reproducethemselves and must rely upon for clinical decisionmaking. Further, clinical environments that facilitate dishonesty will result in poorer patient care. In addition, emerging markets rely on research to produce advanced therapeutics such as biosimilars that will be used by developed and developing economies, compounding the potential risks of dishonesty globally. By employing relevant antiplagiarism technology and accessing funding sources for all parties including authors, reviewers, and journal editors; “honesty” accreditation that includes mandated participation by journals; and external audits and whistleblowing of dishonesty, medical culture globally can move toward honesty and take advantage of technological evolution to promote global health.

Assessing the history and value of Human Genome Sciences

Human Genome Science (HGS) aspired to dominate the emergent field of genomics by discovering expressed gene sequences and developing therapeutic and diagnostic products based on proprietary genes. While HGS’ accomplishments fell short of their own lofty expectations, by the time HGS was acquired by GlaxoSmithKline, the company had extensive intellectual property and had launched a product with >$1 billion market potential. Nevertheless, HGS’ acquisition price was less than the total capital investments in the company. This work examines HGS’ history and accomplishments in the context of the business plan described by the company at their IPO. We focus specifically on the company’s valuation over time, which was highly correlated with general market indices, but negatively correlated with metrics of technical or clinical progress. The history of HGS points to the challenge of accounting for the value created by a science-based business plan. Earnings-based metrics, present value calculations, and “fair value” assessments did not account for HGS’ progress in executing their stated business plan. This work highlights the critical need for accounting practices that credit value to the progress of translational science and enable investors to profit from such investments.

Competition Regulation and Recombinant Drugs in India

The recombinant drug industry is growing at almost 20% rate in India. The long term growth of this sector depends upon the innovation as well as competition and market. The structure, conduct and performance of firms in market plays a very important ro…