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Illicit online pharmacies selling counterfeit drugs in a global virtual marketplace remain a critical problem in global health. Yet they continue to operate with little regulation while growing numbers of consumers access the Internet for health information that may lead them to purchase dangerous drugs online. This global social problem requires immediate action to protect patient safety and public health. Public–private partnerships models represent a potentially effective way to address this issue through promoting mechanisms of collaboration and coordination of multiple stakeholders.

Full details at the Journal of Commercial Biotechnology

The global drug supply chain has resulted in tremendous vulnerabilities. Despite individual country efforts, both developed and resource-poor countries have experienced tremendous challenges with ensuring safety of the drug supply. In this piece, the formation of a novel public–private partnership (PPP), the Partnership for Safe Medicines (PSM), is described to illustrate the issues involved in creation of a successful stakeholder-based PPP. It then expands this discussion to the unique concerns when establishing global PPPs, describing the formation of the PSM-India. The formation of these partnerships may guide future efforts to create PPPs to address other public health and patient safety issues.

Full details at the Journal of Commercial Biotechnology

Despite some law enforcement successes, organizations engaged in counterfeiting continued manufacturing, distributing and selling a wide range of unsafe medicines during the past year. This article will identify some of these successes that were made possible due to a public–private partnerships, as well as some of the challenges facing patients around the world. It also outlines the activities of the Pharmaceutical Security Institute, which engages through member companies and independently in public–private efforts to combat the problem of counterfeit drugs. These efforts may serve as models for innovative public–private partnerships that may be effective in coordinated, global efforts to protect the safety of the drug supply.

Full details at the Journal of Commercial Biotechnology

Many potentially useful medicines arise from developing countries’ biodiverse environments as well as from indigenous community knowledge. This bioprospecting has become an important strategy in drug discovery and development. However, global intellectual property rules have resulted in biopiracy, where public and private entities have exploited natural and ethnic resources without benefit sharing with indigenous peoples. Sovereign-based approaches have not led to adequate biodiversity management. There is tremendous opportunity for public-private partnerships to fill this void. Coupling pharmaceutical companies with indigenous peoples, civil society organizations, and country academics, long term, trust-based relationships can provide equitable benefits sharing and effective biodiversity management.

Full details at the Journal of Commercial Biotechnology

We describe a new trust-based global health security initiative known as CORDS: Connecting Organizations for Regional Disease Surveillance. Initiated and managed by the Nuclear Threat Initiative with support of The Rockefeller Foundation, Fondation Mérieux and the Skoll Global Threats Fund. CORDS is a non-governmental platform to transform dialogue among public health, veterinary and wildlife professionals from multi-country infectious disease surveillance networks. It also links with the World Health Organization, World Organization for Animal Health and other global partners in managing cross-border emerging infectious disease threats and building disease surveillance capacity. The public–private partnerships of CORDS create a global social fabric and continuity of disease experts based upon trust.

Full details at the Journal of Commercial Biotechnology

Global health issues that transcend geopolitical borders are altering the nature of global health governance. Sovereign nations are more connected than ever and increasingly exposed to trans-border health risks. Traditional global health governance may not account for involvement of multi-level global health actors such as civil-society organizations, private philanthropies and new intergovernmental alliances. In addition, private entities have engaged with governments to form new public–private partnerships to further common global health objectives. As these new partnerships evolve, new approaches to transparent and accountable global health governance are necessary to assure effective, equitable and ethical actions addressing global health challenges.

Full details at the Journal of Commercial Biotechnology