Making money appear

December 22, 2006 at 1:26 pm (Sarah's Posts)

Quick thought about a program that reminded me about our discussion about how the pot of money for public health programs isn’t fixed.  About a month ago, I heard Clinton and Sonia Gandhi speak at an event to launch a pediatric ARV program in Delhi.  They both spoke quite a bit about UNITAID, an organization started by the gov’ts of France, Brazil, Chile, Norway and the United Kingdom. My understanding is that there is now an “air-ticket solidarity levy” on airplane tickets (somewhere between 1-40 euro depending on the country, the ticket price, and a few other factors).  That money is going into the UNITAID pot, which is used to buy drugs for malaria, TB, and HIV/AIDS.  By consolidating drug purchasing, they have been able to pressure drug companies into giving lower prices for these drugs. It is also a continuous funding source, which assures more stable care.  I don’t know much about their distribution process, but I believe that is where organizations like the Clinton Foundation come in.  My friend who is working for the Delhi branch was personally delivering pediatric ARVs to a clinic as Clinton was doing his lecture circuit.  Nothing too amazingly novel, but I thought it was a good example of how thinking outside the box can pull in money where it “didn’t exist” before.


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