Cervical Cancer Vaccines will Be Available for $4.50 in Poor Nations
Pharmaceutical companies Merck and GlaxoSmithKline will provide cervical cancer vaccines for as little $4.50 a dose in poor countries to fight high rates of deaths from cervical cancer.
The drugs Gardasil and Cervarix, made by Merck and GlaxoSmithKline respectively, prevent human papillomavirus (HPV), which is a leading cause of cervical cancer. In developed nations deaths caused by cervical cancer are uncommon, but cervical cancer is the most fatal form of cancer in women in poorer nations. On average 275,000 women die from cervical cancer a year and 85% are from poor nations.
Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunizations (GAVI) will be purchasing and distributing the vaccines. The executive director said in a statement, "By 2020 we hope to reach more than 30 million girls in more than 40 countries." GAVI board member and former Health Minister of Rwanda told reporters, "Developing countries bear an increasing burden of cervical cancer and it is only right that our girls should have the same protection as girls in other countries."
Media Resources: Businessweek 5/9/2013; New York Times 5/9/2013; Reuters 5/9/2013
8/28/2015 Alaska Court Protects Abortion Access for Low-Income Women - The Alaska Superior Court struck down a state law yesterday that would have severely limited abortion access for low-income women in Alaska.
The state's Superior Court also struck down a Department of Health and Social Services regulation that placed narrow specifications on Medicaid coverage for abortions, requiring that Medicaid-funded abortions be determined by a physician to be "medically necessary." Last year, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Planned Parenthood sued on behalf of the Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, claiming that the narrow definition of "medically necessary" arbitrarily established conditions designed to restrict the ability of low-income women to access abortion services.
The law was temporarily blocked last July by an Alaskan state court judge.
Superior Court Judge John Suddock ordered yesterday that the state be blocked from implementing this regulation, ruling that it placed an undue burden on low-income women seeking abortion services in Alaska.
"By providing health care to all poor Alaskans except women who need abortions, the challenged regulation violates the state constitutional guarantee of 'equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law'," the ruling read.
"We applaud the superior court for striing down these cruel restrictions on women's health and rights that violate the Alaska Constitution," said Chris Charbonneau, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands. . . .
8/26/2015 Saudi Women Prepare to Vote for the First Time - The fight for gender equality is making slow but notable progress in Saudi Arabia, where women will be allowed to vote for the first time in upcoming December elections.
This shift in Saudi law came in 2011, when a royal decree announced that women would be allowed to vote and run in local elections beginning in December of 2015. . . .