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Pharmacol Res ; 166: 105472, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1084633


The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has now rapidly spread around the world, causing an outbreak of acute infectious pneumonia. To develop effective and safe therapies for the prevention and treatment of COVID-19 has become the major global public health concern. Traditional medicine (TM)/herbal medicines (HMs) have been used to treat multiple epidemics in human history, which brings hope for the fight against COVID-19 in some areas. For example, in China, India, and South Korea with traditional medication history and theory, the governments issued a series of guidelines to support TM/HMs in the medication of COVID-19. In contrast, other countries e.g. North American and European governments are typically silent on these practices, unless to warn of possible harm and overselling. Such difference is due to the discrepancy in culture, history and philosophical views of health care and medication, as well as unharmonized policies and standards in the regulation and legalization of TM/HMs among different areas. Herein, we reviewed the responses and scientific researches from seven selected countries on the policies and legalization of TM/HMs to treat COVID-19, and also analyzed the major challenges and concerns to utilize the traditional knowledge and resource.

Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/therapy , Complementary Therapies/legislation & jurisprudence , Drug Approval/legislation & jurisprudence , Global Health/legislation & jurisprudence , Medicine, Traditional , Plant Preparations/therapeutic use , Healthcare Disparities/legislation & jurisprudence , Humans , Policy Making
BMJ Glob Health ; 6(1)2021 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1042484


The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed social inequities that rival biological inequities in disease exposure and severity. Merely identifying some inequities without understanding all of them can lead to harmful misrepresentations and deepening disparities. Applying an 'equity lens' to bring inequities into focus without a vision to extinguish them is short-sighted. Interventions to address inequities should be as diverse as the pluralistic populations experiencing them. We present the first validated equity framework applied to COVID-19 that sheds light on the full spectrum of health inequities, navigates their sources and intersections, and directs ethically just interventions. The Equity Matrix also provides a comprehensive map to guide surveillance and research in order to unveil epidemiological uncertainties of novel diseases like COVID-19, recognising that inequities may exist where evidence is currently insufficient. Successfully applied to vaccines in recent years, this tool has resulted in the development of clear, timely and transparent guidance with positive stakeholder feedback on its comprehensiveness, relevance and appropriateness. Informed by evidence and experience from other vaccine-preventable diseases, this Equity Matrix could be valuable to countries across the social gradient to slow the spread of SARS-CoV-2 by abating the spread of inequities. In the race to SARS-CoV-2 vaccines, this urgently needed roadmap can effectively and efficiently steer global leadership towards equitable allocation with diverse strategies for diverse inequities. Such a roadmap has been absent from discussions on managing the COVID-19 pandemic, and is critical for our passage out of it.

COVID-19 , Health Equity/legislation & jurisprudence , Health Policy , Healthcare Disparities/legislation & jurisprudence , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/therapy , COVID-19 Vaccines , Global Health , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
Ann Fam Med ; 19(1): 63-65, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1024386


To date, short-term funding and policy fixes for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic have focused on saving the current health care system; policies have not maximized the population's health, prioritized the safety net, nor addressed the fundamental problems that have hindered our nation's response for our most vulnerable neighbors. We need to plan more lasting equity-specific reforms now. I explain 3 lessons that should inform reforms to the health care delivery and payment systems to reduce health disparities and maximize the public's health: (1) Proven roadmaps and processes for reducing health care disparities already exist, as do themes of successful interventions. Implement them; (2) Payment reform needs to create a business case for health care organizations to address social determinants of health and implement care interventions to reduce health disparities; (3) We as a nation need to have hard conversations about whether we truly value the opportunity for everyone to have a healthy life.

COVID-19 , Health Care Reform , Health Policy , Healthcare Disparities/legislation & jurisprudence , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , United States