PAHEF Continues to Lead Discussion in Mexico about Biotechnological Medicines

PAHEF continued its commitment to advancing health in the Americas by leading the discussion about the present and future impact of biotechnology on human health and its importance for Latin American societies at a meeting of the Safe Biotech Initiative Advisory Board meeting. PAHEF is a founding member of the board and Edward Kadunc, PAHEF’s president, moderated the discussion in Mexico City on November 12th. He highlighted the initiative’s recent accomplishments, which include securing partnerships with a number of Mexico’s prominent medical groups, patient groups, and hospitals to jointly host educational workshops; the first of which is scheduled to be held later this year.

The Advisory Board
The advisory board is comprised of academics and medical practitioners who are experts in the field. Working together, they ensure that patients and physicians are well-informed about the use of biotechnological medications. Since biotech is an emerging science, it is crucial to inform stakeholders about the benefits as well as risks of these medications.

To date, the advisory board has produced four educational papers intended for use by medical practitioners. In addition to a paper that provides a general overview of biotechnological drugs, the papers address the effective and accurate use of biotechnological medicines for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, oncology, and endocrinology.

Additionally, drawing upon their technical expertise, the advisory board also has worked with the Mexican regulatory authorities to provide their recommendations on the current draft of legislation regarding the safety and efficacy of biotechnological medicines. The advisory board plans to communicate its message about safe biological medications to an even broader audience in 2011, thereby helping to improve patient safety in Mexico regarding this unique class of drugs.

What are Biotechnological Medications?
Biotechnological medications are made up of complex molecular structures. Unlike commonly known and used chemical-based medicines, biotechnological medications are living systems that have been altered by means of biotechnology. To date, innovative biotechnology has made it possible to detect, and in some cases treat, diseases such as cancer, diabetes, and cystic fibrosis.

The Safe Biotech Initiative just one example of how PAHEF educates key stakeholders on issues impacting health at the national level.


A Sample of Recent PAHEF Projects in the Region