Stewart M. Patrick

The Internationalist

Patrick assesses the future of world order, state sovereignty, and multilateral cooperation.

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Showing posts for "International Health"

Ebola Reveals Gaps in Global Epidemic Response

by Stewart M. Patrick and Guest Blogger for Stewart M. Patrick
Health workers screen patients for the Ebola virus at a local government hospital in Kenema, Sierra Leone, on June 30, 2014. Health workers screen patients for the Ebola virus at a local government hospital in Kenema, Sierra Leone, on June 30, 2014 (Tommy Trenchard/Courtesy Reuters).

Coauthored with Daniel Chardell, research associate in the International Institutions and Global Governance program.
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Protecting the Global Supply of Medicines

by Stewart M. Patrick
A Peruvian official examines seized counterfeit pills through a magnifying glass in Lima in August 2010. A Peruvian official examines seized counterfeit pills through a magnifying glass in Lima in August 2010 (Mariana Bazo/Courtesy Reuters).

Today, IIGG releases a new policy innovation memorandum entitled “Designing a Global Coalition of Medicines Regulators.” This policy memo assesses the regulatory landscape of the global supply chain for medicines and proposes that a multilateral coalition of regulatory authorities would substantively improve the ability of public regulators to keep pace with a dynamic global marketplace. Here is an excerpt: Read more »

The Global Debate Over Illegal Drugs Heats Up

by Stewart M. Patrick
Mexican soldiers look as 134 tonnes of marijuana are incinerated at Morelos military base in Tijuana October 20, 2010 (Courtesy Jorge Duenes/Reuters). Mexican soldiers look as 134 tonnes of marijuana are incinerated at Morelos military base in Tijuana October 20, 2010 (Courtesy Jorge Duenes/Reuters).

Having been frozen for four decades, a long-deferred debate over the “war on drugs” is finally heating up. Ever since the Nixon administration, the dominant paradigm informing U.S. and global policy towards narcotics has been prohibition. That failed approach is now being challenged by a slew of influential reports, path-breaking national policies in the Western Hemisphere, and state-level experiments within the United States. Just how turbulent the debate has become was clear at yesterday’s roundtable on the future of international drug policy, hosted by the Center for Strategic and International Studies. The United States will need to chart a new policy course if it hopes to retain credibility and influence as global attitudes toward drugs continue to evolve. Read more »

Guaranteeing That Our Medicines Are Safe: Building a Global Coalition of Regulators

by Stewart M. Patrick
FDA Building 21 stands behind the sign at the campus's main entrance (Courtesy of the United States Food and Drug Administration). FDA Building 21 stands behind the sign at the campus's main entrance (Courtesy of the United States Food and Drug Administration).

Coauthored with Jeffrey Wright, research associate in the International Institutions and Global Governance program.

Two decades ago, the vast majority of legal drugs consumed in the United States were produced domestically. Today, 80 percent of the active ingredients in medicines used by Americans are fabricated abroad. Home-grown medicines industries have exploded in developing countries like Brazil, India and China. As a result, medicines are compounded many times and cross multiple borders before they reach U.S. pharmacy shelves. Domestic oversight agencies, including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), are therefore unable to supervise medicines’ production from start to finish, and many foreign counterpart authorities struggle to monitor and enforce adequate standards. Read more »

There’s a Fly in My Soup! Can Insects Satisfy World Food Needs?

by Stewart M. Patrick
Locusts and worms are seen on a spoon after being cooked with olive oil for a discovery lunch in Brussels September 20, 2012. Organisers of the event, which included cookery classes, want to draw attention to insects as a source of nutrition. (Francois Lenoir/ Courtesy Reuters) Locusts and worms are seen on a spoon after being cooked with olive oil for a discovery lunch in Brussels September 20, 2012. Organisers of the event, which included cookery classes, want to draw attention to insects as a source of nutrition. (Francois Lenoir/ Courtesy Reuters)

What world traveler hasn’t declined at least one local “delicacy”? A decade ago in Oaxaca, Mexico, I turned up my nose at chapulines, a steaming plate of toasted grasshoppers. “Tastes like chicken,” my waiter smiled unconvincingly. But overcoming disgust for “edible insects” may be the easiest way to meet global food needs, according to a fascinating, if occasionally stomach-churning, report from the UN’s Food and Agricultural Agency (FAO), based, of all places, in Rome. Read more »

Introducing the Global Governance Report Card

by Stewart M. Patrick
Screen shot of the Global Governance Report Card page. Click www.cfr.org/reportcard to access the report. Screen shot of the Global Governance Report Card page. Click www.cfr.org/reportcard to access the report.

As Mayor of New York, the late Edward Koch famously asked constituents, “How’m I doing?” He got an earful. But he valued the instant feedback and even adjusted occasionally. As we commemorate Earth Day, we might ask the same question of ourselves – but on a planetary scale. When it comes to addressing the world’s gravest ills, how are we doing? Read more »

Coughing Dragon, Sneezing Elephant: China, India, and Global Health Governance

by Stewart M. Patrick
H1N1 in China

The recent H7N9 flu scare in China has shown once again that we live in “an epidemiologically interdependent world.” If so, the future of global health will depend mightily on the evolving policy choices and growing material capabilities of the world’s emerging powers. My insightful colleague Yanzhong Huang explores the implications of these trends in a fascinating new CFR paper, “Enter the Dragon and the Elephant: China and India’s Participation in Global Health Governance”. Read more »

Dispelling Myths About Foreign Aid

by Stewart M. Patrick
Flood victim Haji Usman holds praying beads as he sits outside his makeshift tent covered by weather sheet donated by USAID in Dadu, Pakistan in September 2010. (Akhtar Soomro/Courtesy Reuters) Flood victim Haji Usman holds praying beads as he sits outside his makeshift tent covered by weather sheet donated by USAID in Dadu, Pakistan in September 2010. (Akhtar Soomro/Courtesy Reuters)

Unsurprisingly, foreign aid has once again become a political football in this year’s primary season. Today’s GOP presidential candidates regularly bash it, echoing “Mr. Republican” Robert Taft—who dismissed overseas assistance more than six decades ago as “pouring money down a rat hole.” Read more »

The Health of Nations: New Interactive Disease Map

by Stewart M. Patrick

Michael Quinones, 10, looks up at the nurse as she prepares to administer a shot of the H1N1 vaccine to him, in Arlington, Texas November 24, 2009. (Jessica Rinaldi/Courtesy Reuters)

Laurie Garrett, my irrepressible colleague at the Council on Foreign Relations, likes to push boundaries. It’s certainly worked for her. She’s the only person to have received all the country’s major journalism awards—the Pulitzer, Peabody, and Polk trifecta. Her just completed e-book, I Heard the Sirens Scream: How Americans Responded to the 9/11 and Anthrax Attacks, is selling faster than Tickle-Me-Elmo at Christmas. Not content with her burgeoning print and e-book empire, she’s recently gone Hollywood—as a scientific consultant for the critically acclaimed Steven Soderbergh film, Contagion.

This week she’s achieved another landmark. Her CFR Global Health program has released a user-friendly interactive map on the web that tracks “Vaccine-Preventable Disease Outbreaks” around the world. For the past three years, Garrett and her colleagues have been collecting and plotting global data on the incidence of several common infectious diseases that  should be headed for extinction, given their vulnerability to inexpensive and effective vaccines. The five most prevalent are measles, mumps, whooping cough, polio, and rubella. The entire database—to which experts and journalists are invited to contribute—is searchable by disease, region, and year. Read more »