Friday, 1 November 2019

Tuberculosis drug price slashed in global push to thwart killer disease

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French pharmaceutical giant Sanofi slashed the price of a key anti-tuberculosis (TB) drug on Thursday (Oct 31), boosting the battle against the world's deadliest disease alongside the US launch of tests for a new treatment.

The initiatives came as the United Nations seeks to galvanise the campaign against TB, which killed 1.5 million people last year and saw 10 million more infected.

Scientists, who hailed Sanofi's decision to cut the price of its rifapentine drug by two thirds, said the medical shield offered by such treatments would be crucial to the UN aim of eradicating the disease by 2030.

"This lifesaving drug has, until now, been completely unaffordable in developing countries," said Lelio Marmora, head of Unitaid, a global health initiative that helped broker the landmark deal between the firm and the Global Fund.

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New daycare centre for the terminally ill gives them support

One of just three palliative daycare services listed by the Singapore Hospice Council, Dover Park's palliative daycare service for patients with terminal illness and their caregivers, was officially opened yesterday.

The daycare is free and provides free transport and meals for its patients.

Mr Timothy Liu, chief executive officer of Dover Park Hospice, which runs the daycare, said the service is funded by the Ministry of Health and the hospice. The latter funds the daycare through donations.

Mr Liu said: "Daycare is an important aspect of palliative care, and it is subsidised to ensure it is affordable to patients who will benefit from it."


My photo - Dragonfly

A public domain photo by me

Forum: Highlight examples of good behaviour so others can learn

I am proud to be Singaporean because the majority of us are well behaved and kind. Like any other society, there is a small minority who do not conform.

I have often been offered help without even asking for it.

For example, a middle-aged man who had overheard me and my friends discussing how to get to an MRT station pointed us in the right direction.

In another instance, a young woman walked up to me to help when she noticed I was fumbling with the ATM.

While it is good to be made aware of our shortcomings, it is better to have a balanced view. Being too critical of ourselves will work to our disadvantage.

We may not be the best-behaved people but we are not the worst.

A recent sea cruise gave me the chance to notice how well behaved Singaporeans are compared with passengers from other countries.

Of course, we did not tell off those passengers. They may have had a reason to behave differently from us. And as Asians, we did not show our disapproval outright.

There is a noticeable difference in social behaviour among Singaporeans of different generations. It takes time for society to change.

I believe that social behaviour improves with economic development. In Singapore's case, the economy developed so rapidly that there was no time for graciousness to catch up.

But we should highlight examples of good behaviour so that those who appear to be less gracious will eventually catch up.

Yeo Boon Eng


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