Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Update on Myriad BRCA1 and BRCA2 Case

The case of Myriad in the patentability of human genes has been a concern for many who believe in equal access, as it stops people from getting access to a more advanced step in testing for breast and ovarian cancer. It has been an issue brought up many times by many in the health industry. Originally, in 2010, the case for patenting these genes resulted in a ruling of these genes as "un-patentable."

In a more recent development, an appeal's court, the previous ruling was overturned, allowing the patents to stand. This is now being appealed to a higher federal district court.

The supreme court is putting pressure on the appeals court from the previous case to overturn their ruling, especially after they ruled a medical test unpatentable earlier this year.

Check out this article in the NY Times for more information: Here

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Introducing: Clint Smith

A FreeWord alumnus, Clint Smith is one of our highly anticipated speakers/ presenters for the "Second Annual Global Health Conference: Fight 4 Equal Access." A picture is worth a thousand words so how many is a video worth?

If you enjoyed that piece, you would surely not want to miss out on the superb performance that he is going to give at the conference. For detailed information about the conference click here.

In the meantime, you may satisfy yourself by watching more of his videos. :)

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Tiyatien Health

Tiyatien. Pronounced tea-ya-tine. Origin:  Kwa, the local dialect in southeast Liberia. Meaning: both ‘truth’ and ‘justice’. 

TiyatienHealth is an organization bringing health workforce and care to remote villages in post-war Liberia, where more than 60% of the nation's rural population lacks access to essential health care. Founded on collaboration between Weafus Quitoe, a community health worker, and Dr. Raj Panjabi, a Harvard-trained physician, the organization trains community members and former patients to serve as health workers, delivering medical and social services to communities previously considered unreachable.

A recent post on their website highlighted an important issue in health: an individual's state of mind.  Members of Tiyatien Health are bringing attention to the burden of mental, neurological, and substance-abuse (MNS) disorders.  While often neglected, MNS disorders contribute greatly to the global burden of disease.  A healthy community must not only have access to physical health care, but mental health care as well.  More information on MNS and proposed plans for addressing this global issue can be accessed here. Tiyatien’s focus on mental and physical health in addition to their sustainable model for delivering health services makes the organization truly worthy of its name-Tiyatien.