- NBR - The National Bureau of Asian Research

Expert Interviews

CHA tackles challenging topics in global health policy by leveraging its unique network of top experts.


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Shifts in Japan’s Life Science and Health Care Policy

Yuji Yamamoto (MinaCare) discusses Japan’s revised policies toward its life science sector and assesses the government’s new efforts to leverage the sector as a key driver of economic growth.

A Chinese Perspective on National Life Science Innovation and Leadership

Yiwu He (Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation) compares and contrasts the environments for innovation in the life sciences in the United States and China. He argues that China’s life science sector is likely to benefit over the long term from significant financial investments from the government and private funds that allow for R&D failures over the short term.

Ebola: Implications for Asia and Global Health Innovation

BT Slingsby (Global Health Innovative Technology Fund) discusses what makes the 2014 Ebola outbreak so different, why no approved tools yet exist to prevent and control the disease, and what the implications of the outbreak are for the United States, Asia, and global health R&D.

The Value of Product Development Partnerships

PDPs target neglected diseases whose solutions lack commercial incentive and which disproportionately affect people in developing countries. Rob Lin (Infectious Diseases Research Institute) explains the value of the PDP model to global health R&D, criticisms of the model, and its significance for the U.S.-Asia relationship.

Can China’s Model of State-Led Economic Development Pick Life Science Winners?

Joseph Wong (University of Toronto) analyzes the advantages and disadvantages of China’s model of state-led economic development for the evolution of the country’s domestic life sciences sector.

TB in 2014: Reasons for Optimism and Vigilance

Despite substantial progress in preventing, diagnosing, and treating tuberculosis (TB), the disease continues to pose a grave threat to health in the Asia-Pacific and worldwide. In advance of World TB Day (March 24), NBR spoke with Dr. Mario Raviglione (World Health Organization) about recent developments in fighting this disease.

The Globalization of China’s Life Sciences Industry

Ka Zeng (University of Arkansas) provides an analysis of Chinese government actions and policies that depart from international trade norms. She suggests that the country’s policies in life science R&D and drug commercialization may be as disruptive as they have been in clean technology.

Sino-U.S. Relations Through a Life Sciences Prism

Yanzhong Huang (Council on Foreign Relations) analyzes China's policies toward its life sciences sector and considers their impact on political and economic relations with other Asian countries and the United States.

China’s Off-the-Chart Air Pollution

Rising levels of air pollution have accompanied three decades of phenomenal economic growth in China. Daniel K. Gardner (Smith College) spoke with NBR about the seriousness of China's air pollution, the health implications for the Chinese people, the impact on the country's economy, and the influence of domestic environmental NGOs.

Implications of China's First WHO-Prequalified Vaccine

Jiankang (Jack) Zhang (PATH) discusses why the WHO's announcement marks a historic milestone for both China and global health and the implications for China's engagement on health issues in Africa and other parts of the world.

Disruptive Forces in the Global Life Sciences Sector

Asia's engagement and investment in the life sciences industry has been rapidly increasing. Benjamin Shobert (NBR Senior Associate) explains the political and economic implications of evolving global leadership in this sector and offers recommendations for U.S. and international policy toward Asia.

The Politics of Healthcare

Tadataka Yamada (Takeda Pharmaceuticals) addresses the political and economic complexities of maintaining functional health systems as demographics shift and costs rise. He offers a unique perspective on rethinking the role of hospitals and physicians, drawing on examples from the United States, United Kingdom, Japan, and Ethiopia.

H7N9 Flu in the Asia-Pacific: Risks, Responses, and the Consequences of Better Surveillance

As of late April, China's state-run Xinhua news agency had reported 126 human cases of H7N9, a novel strain of bird flu that has been the cause of 24 deaths nationwide. In light of the unfolding events, NBR spoke with Jeremy Farrar (Oxford University) about the context of, and responses to, the outbreak.

China's Healthcare Reforms: Addressing Discontent while Creating a Consumer Economy

China recently announced changes to the country's FDI catalog to encourage foreign investment in the healthcare sector. Benjamin Shobert (Rubicon Strategy Group) discusses China's healthcare reform efforts and opportunities for foreign investors.

Controlling the TB Epidemic in India and Globally

Madhukar Pai (McGill University) discusses promising developments in global efforts to eliminate TB, including breakthroughs in diagnostics, a new FDA-approved drug, and renewed government commitment to work with the private sector on controlling TB in India, which struggles with the highest burden of TB in the world.

Affordable Solutions: Strengthening Disease Prevention and Detection through Appropriate Technologies

Victor Shi, Asia Pacific President of QIAGEN, addresses disease prevention efforts in developing countries and underscores the economic case for utilizing new diagnostic technologies to drastically reduce disease and maximize country resources.

Health Technology Innovation in Japan: Challenges and Opportunities in Turbulent Times

Kenichi Matsumoto, Chairman and CEO, Sakura Global Holding Co. Ltd, discusses the current economic challenges, opportunities, and critical next steps for the health-related private sector in Japan, as the Japanese government, faced with a rapidly aging population, strives to reduce healthcare costs.

Relief Efforts in Japan One Year Later: Reflections and Lessons Learned

Sumie Ishii, Managing Director, Japanese Organization for International Cooperation in Family Planning (JOICFP), discusses the acute health needs that women faced, and continue to face, following the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan. She also examines Japan’s successes and challenges in coordinating relief efforts between sectors.

Improving the Diagnostic Ecosystem: A Critical Step in Controlling the TB Epidemic in India and Globally

India has the highest burden of TB in the world, and faces the ever-present threat of multi-drug resistant TB strains. Madhukar Pai (McGill University) discusses TB prevention efforts in India, focusing on recent breakthroughs in TB diagnostic technology and the current barriers to the adoption of effective diagnostic tools in the region.

Technologies for Health: Assessing Affordability

With the increasing number of health technologies on the market, how can policymakers accurately assess the affordability of these technologies? David Heymann (Center on Global Health Security, Chatham House) discusses the key challenges in assessing affordability and sheds light on the potential impact of Asia’s increasing growth in domestic R&D and manufacturing of health technologies on emerging markets.

India’s Technology Sector: Paving the Way for Innovative New Approaches to Healthcare

What factors are driving India’s emergence as a health technology leader? Kanav Kahol of the Public Health Foundation of India discusses the country’s thriving culture of innovation, its growing leadership in health-technology fields, and the future role of India and Asia in health technology development.

Beyond Borders: New Growth and Direction for Japan’s Pharmaceutical Industry

What global and domestic trends are pushing the Japanese pharmaceutical industry to look to emerging economies for new market potential? BT Slingsby of Eisai Co. discusses new business models, market trends, and the challenges and opportunities awaiting Japanese pharma in the developing world.

Pandemic Flu Preparedness: How Far Have We Come in the Last Five Years?

How will recent developments in pandemic flu preparedness better equip high-risk countries, such as those in Southeast Asia, for future outbreaks? NBR spoke with Dr. Peter Clevestig and Rachel Irwin of SIPRI about these questions and more, including the WHO’s new Pandemic Influenza Preparedness Framework and the interplay between human and animal health.

A New Global Framework to Bring Vaccine Pricing into the 21st Century

Why is a new global pricing framework for vaccines needed? NBR spoke with Ambassador Mark Dybul (Georgetown University) about these questions and more, including how the growth of middle-income nations like India and Indonesia renders the current model outdated and what the consequences will be if a new framework is not established.

Diagnosing Inaccuracy: New WHO Policy Shift to End Ineffective TB Practices

Why does TB continue to prevail in Asia, and what are the implications of the recent World Health Organization (WHO) policy recommendation to ban blood tests to diagnose active TB? Dr. Mario Raviglione (Stop TB Department, WHO) addresses these questions and more, including what policymakers must do to curb the spread of TB.

Thailand's New National Vaccine Strategy

Following last week’s 2011 Pacific Health Summit on vaccines, NBR spoke with Yot Teerawattananon (Thailand’s Health Intervention and Technology Assessment Program) about Thailand’s new national vaccine strategy. Dr. Teerawattananon discusses Thailand’s vaccine infrastructure, potential challenges to the plan, and the role of middle-income countries in vaccine manufacturing.

Development as a Security Strategy in Pakistan

How can economic development serve as a powerful and effective tool for promoting security? Dr. Erfa Iqbal (Government of Pakistan) discusses specific development projects underway in rural Pakistan, the impact of these initiatives, and how governments and the private sector can best foster security through sustainable local economies.

Moving Forward: Relief Efforts, Health System Reforms, and Japan’s Role in Global Aid

How should the events of March 2011 influence Japan’s role as a global aid donor, as well as affect health system changes at home? NBR spoke with Dr. Kiyoshi Kurokawa (Health and Global Policy Institute) about this and other questions related to relief efforts and the Fukushima situation.

Healthcare Reform and Disaster Preparedness Planning in Japan

NBR spoke with Dr. Makoto Aoki about Japan’s healthcare needs and care coordination for affected populations following the March 11, 2011 crisis. Dr. Aoki explains that many of the challenges encountered in relief and recovery efforts point to core issues in Japan’s healthcare system and disaster preparedness planning, both of which he feels would benefit from reform.

The Current Vaccine Wave and Global Health

In advance of the June 2011 Pacific Health Summit on vaccines, NBR spoke with Dr. Adel Mahmoud (Princeton University) about major trends and achievements in the vaccine field over the last two decades. Dr. Mahmoud explores the impact of, and challenges surrounding, new vaccines, including pricing policies, financial structures, and the increasingly prominent role of emerging market manufacturers.

A Pivotal Moment for China & Vaccine Manufacturing

In advance of the June 2011 Pacific Health Summit on vaccines, NBR spoke with Dr. Jiankang Zhang (PATH) about China’s vaccine industry and international engagement, and the implications of WHO "pre-qualification" of China’s national regulatory system for vaccines, which allows Chinese manufactured vaccines to compete for UN tenders.

Expanding Vaccine Manufacturing Capacity and Potential

In advance of the June 2011 Pacific Health Summit on vaccines, NBR Center for Health and Aging spoke with Dr. Nigel Darby (GE Healthcare), a key leader in the global healthcare and pharmaceutical industry, about the latest trends in the field of global vaccine development, manufacturing, and technology.

Health Implications in the Aftermath of Japan’s Crisis

NBR's Center for Health and Aging spoke with Dr. Francesco Checchi (London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine), an expert on infectious disease surveillance and control in crisis-affected populations, about the health implications for Japan from the recent tsunami and the ongoing nuclear crisis in Fukushima. Read the interview.

Navigating Fukushima

Dr. Scott Davis has directed a joint partnership between his affiliate institutions and the Radiation Effects Research Foundation (RERF) in Hiroshima and overseen major research projects at the Chernobyl Power Station and the Hanford Nuclear Site. In this interview he discusses the potential radiation effects and other health impacts of Fukushima as well as lessons Chernobyl can offer.

APEC Health IT Report: Leveraging Advances in Health IT

“Leveraging Advances in Health IT” by NBR highlights observations and recommendations from leaders gathered at the August 2009 workshop on how health IT can help combat infectious diseases and improve health care delivery in the Asia-Pacific.

Health Information Technology and Policy Lab: HIT Briefing Book

CHA’s library of Health Information and Technology (HIT) case studies for 2007 range from analyses of HIT adoption in different countries to overviews on key elements of HIT. Functional case studies on specific surveillance systems, for example, are also included.

Scaling Up and Sustaining Nutrition Interventions: Lessons Learned from Success in the Asia-Pacific Region

"Scaling Up and Sustaining Nutrition Interventions: Lessons Learned from Success in the Asia-Pacific Region" by Micronutrient Initiative experts outlines experiences, opportunities, and lessons learned in scaling up interventions in the Asia-Pacific region to address the global burden of undernutrition. This paper is cited in the Progess Towards Nutrition document in the Gates Foundation "Living Proof" project.

Leveraging Information and Communication Technologies for Sustainable Development in Rural India

“Leveraging Information and Communication Technologies for Sustainable Development in Rural India” by the Rural Technology Business Incubator (RTBI) explores one organization’s model and approach to development, and provides a brief analysis of lessons learned over the past few years.

Leveraging Advances in Health IT

In August NBR welcomed leaders from science, policy, and industry to Singapore to discuss how HIT can help combat infectious disease in the Asia-Pacific through improved disease surveillance and healthcare delivery. Emphasis was placed on avian influenza, HIV/AIDS, and tuberculosis. The APEC Health Working Group and the National Bureau of Asian Research co-presented the meeting.