Health Privacy Summit

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On June 5 and 6 the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law and Patient Privacy Rights co-hosted a two-day health privacy summit on the Georgetown University Law Center campus.

This year’s discussions included the challenges of ensuring personal control over health information in the face of rapid global deployment of healthcare IT and online technologies. The annual summit is the only forum in the world for high-level, thoughtful discussions about the most urgent national and international health privacy issues and solutions.

For more information about the summit, click here.

For Day One of the webcast, click here.

For Day Two of the webcast, click here.

For a full list of speakers, click here.


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Health Implications of Coca-Cola Investment in Myanmar?

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Sean Havey / The Irrawaddy

Sean Havey / The Irrawaddy

This post was written by Benn McGrady, Project Director of the O’Neill Institute’s Trade, Investment, and Health Initiative.  It was originally published on the O’Neill Institute’s Trade, Investment, and Health Initiative Blog.  Any comments or questions about this post can be directed to bm363@law.georgetown.edu.  

To much fanfare in the US media Coca-Cola has announced approval of a joint venture with a local bottler in Myanmar to resume bottling coke in the country. The fanfare might be explained partly by a photo of Madeleine Albright chugging a coke at an inaugural ceremony there. Albright’s endorsement gives Coca-Cola some great political cover against those who might criticize it on human rights grounds because she played a role in the design of trade and other sanctions against earlier regimes. Christian Science Monitor even ran a well placed article about how Albright has been removed from a ‘blacklist’ in Myanmar.

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A Surprising U.S. Intervention at the 66th World Health Assembly Breathes Life Into a Proposed WHO Biomedical R&D Treaty

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For those hoping for a biomedical research and development treaty, the 2013 World Health Assembly (WHA) concluded with a glimmer of hope.  The WHA both called for greater study into current research and development trends and adopted an unexpected U.S. proposal to convene a series of advisory meetings, tasked with developing demonstration projects intended to gauge the likely efficacy of a convention.

A WHO treaty on biomedical research and development has been under consideration for nearly a decade. Debate began in earnest, however, when the WHO Consultative Expert Working Group: Research and Development (CEWG) backed the proposal.  Most controversially, the CEWG report proposed the establishment of a pooled financing mechanism, which would collect contributions from Member States.

Debate at the 2012 WHA was heated, with most of the controversy centering on the mandatory contributions (set at a suggested 0.01% of each country’s GDP).  The United States took particular exception to this plan, stating that it could not “support any proposal that would put in place a new financing mechanism that could be characterized as a globally-collected tax.”  Although many influential low- and middle-income countries were vocal in their support of a convention, strong resistance from the United States, European Union and Japan effectively postponed any progress on the treaty until 2013. The end result was a resolution which simply “welcomed” the report and called for further meetings, which would result in a “substantive item dedicated to the follow up of the CEWG report” at the 2013 WHA. Read More

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O’Neill Institute Blog on Trade, Investment, and Health

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Please check out the O’Neill Institute’s blog on Trade, Investment, and Health

Part of the O’Neill Institute’s Initiative on Trade, Investment, and Health, the blog examines current and emerging issues at the intersection of these fields.

Recent posts include:

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Mobile Phones as a Tool for Providing South African Mothers with Maternal Health Information

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This post was written by Annie Wattenmaker, an intern at the O’Neill Institute and a rising sophomore at the University of Virginia. Any questions or comments can be directed to alw8ew@virginia.edu.

MAMA, the Global Alliance for Maternal Action, has turned into a global movement that uses mobile technology to improve the health of mothers in developing countries. Mothers now use MAMA all throughout South Africa, where they receive daily text messages that provide maternal health tips. Now, instead of having to trek to a clinic, women can receive many messages each week about their baby’s development.

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The views reflected in this blog are those of the individual authors and do not necessarily represent those of the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law or Georgetown University. This blog is solely informational in nature, and not intended as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed and retained attorney in your state or country.

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