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Is ketamine about to become inaccessible in low-income countries?

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A storm is brewing with the potential to create a global “public health crisis”, denying access to safe surgery and anesthesia for roughly a billion people in low-income countries.  The issue at stake? Access to ketamine, the anesthetic of necessity in most low-income countries. The Commission on Narcotic Drugs, the central drug policy-making body within […]

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Eliminating the Harms of Counterfeit and Substandard Medicines in Anesthesia

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Poor-quality medicines are found all over the world, and can be of poor quality for a variety of reasons: they might be made with poor-quality chemicals, they may contain toxic substances instead of the proper active ingredients, they may contain inactive or ineffective preparations, or they might be deliberately mislabeled. The World Health Organization calls […]

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The War on Drugs: Implications for the Treatment of Pain

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Today, a colleague, Amir Attaran, and I have a paper published in PLoS Medicine where we discuss some of the international legal constraints that hinder the availability of one of the world’s most basic and essential medicines: morphine. The paper, titled “The Inadequate Treatment of Pain: Collateral Damage from the War on Drugs” provides a […]

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Medical Devices – Innovation and Questions

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The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) recently published an interesting commentary on the need (and a present void) for balancing regulation to ensure patient safety, while promoting and enhancing innovation to address pertinent health concerns, in the realm of medical device development. The commentary focuses largely on surgical innovations – notably, prosthetics hips – […]

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The Sodium Thiopental Shortage in North America: An Opportunity to Bring Global Access to Anesthetics Into the Discussion

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Pharmacopolitics and anesthesia rarely go hand-in-hand. Many of the campaigns seeking enhanced access to essential medicines focus on therapeutics, vaccines and treatments. Anesthetics fall into a somewhat different world than antibiotics or antiretrovirals. While anesthetics are arguably therapeutic, most of the drugs used don’t actually lead to an end-therapeutic goal in the same way that […]

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