Talk:Amir Attaran

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Jump to navigation Jump to search made substantial additions and deletions to this page. The new additions were, while not including references, appear to be reasonable given the contributors apparent detailed knowledge of Attaran. I have asked them to provide refs and if the unreg contributor was Attaran himself to identify himself as such. I have re-instated the more critical deletions which no explanation was provided for. --Bob Burton 17:07, 15 May 2005 (EDT) was back again making further postings with unreferenced claims. I'm relocating the bulk of the key unsubstantiated points here since sources haven't beed added since May. --Bob Burton 18:48, 4 Sep 2005 (EDT)

His coauthors include development economist Jeffrey Sachs, and Nobel peace prize laureate Shirin Ebadi.

All his sources of research financing are fully disclosed in his peer-reviewed publications.

and is a critic of the WHO's Roll Back Malaria campaign, having earned international recognition for a seminal 2004 paper in The Lancet which forced WHO to transform the treatment of malaria from older and ineffective drugs to newer highly effective ones, which WHO credits with saving a large number of childrens' lives.

Attaran was also the intellectual force behind a novel plan to voluntarily share a pharmaceutical patents for AIDS medicines with non-profit foundations, a plan that Doctors Without Borders and WHO warmly endorsed.

Note on Edit dispute

Given the edit dispute over this page, I'm planning on going back though this page next week. At the moment there is a bit too much puff and a little stretching of some points. --Bob Burton 06:35, 8 June 2007 (EDT)

Start Rewrite

I have started to build the refs on Attaran and will work through the text removing the puff and rewriting. Specific points below --Bob Burton 06:29, 17 June 2007 (EDT)

He has been published in journals such as Nature, the Lancet, the Journal of the American Medicial Association, the Yale International Law Journal, and also in the New York Times, the Globe and Mail, and other publications.
Maybe, but better demonstrated by a set of links to online articles that he has published. Not really lead par material.
Among his coauthors and those who have shared his views on human rights and development are Nobel Peace Prize laureate Shirin Ebadi[1] and Jeffrey Sachs [2].
First link dead; seconf link only demonstrates that he Sachs wrote one piece wityh him; this can hardly be invoked to claim that he has shared his views on all "on human rights and development" issues. This is puffery, especially given that Scahs has written elsewhere criticising Attaran's interpretation of data. (See John W. McArthur, Jeffrey D. Sachs, Guido Schmidt-Traub1, "Response to Amir Attaran", PLoS Medicine, November 29, 2005.)

I'll work through the rest of the article inb the next few days. --Bob Burton 06:29, 17 June 2007 (EDT)

More Edit Notes

  • "Attaran is a frequent critic of the unaccountability and poor performance of what he has called the "foreign aid industrial complex", and organizations such as USAID, the World Bank, the World Health Organization, and although his work with Sachs inspired it, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. In several notable instances, his criticisms, which were initially rejected, were later agreed to by the foreign aid industrial complex."
maybe he has called them the "foreign aid industrial complex" but this implies he coined the term which is unsupported; if he didn't it is superfluous; there is no evidence cited to support the claim that his work with Sachs "inspired" the Global Fund to Fight Aids; and the last section is not necessary if the evidence stacks up in subsequent sections.
  • "Dr. Attaran has been a paid consultant to NGOs (e.g. Doctors Without Borders), the United Nations (e.g. the UNDP), the pharmaceutical industry (e.g. Novartis), and an unpaid consultant when requested by various developing country governments (e.g. Brazil, Malawi) and human rights groups (e.g. Amnesty International)."
again, maybe he has been but there is no supporting evidence on this point.
  • "(LL.B., University of British Columbia) and immunologist (DPhil, Oxford)"
haven't found a reference for this yet.
  • "He has been a vocal critic against the humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders in its campaign information on drug patents and medicine access, but has also worked together with them to advance other issues such as the right of malaria patients to artemisinin combination therapy, a cause that MSF strongly supports [3]."
this ref doesn't support the narrative text; again maybe he has but different references are required to support that point.

--Bob Burton 17:59, 17 June 2007 (EDT)

Relocating Pending Rewrite

I have relocated this section pending a rewrite. It is only a partial history of Attaran's advocacy of DDT, which go back to a number of years earlier and the cited refs don't support all the claims. --Bob Burton 01:06, 18 June 2007 (EDT)

Attaran & DDT

Attaran led a team of scientists in a seminal 2004 paper in The Lancet which forced the international aid donors to cease treating malaria with obsolete and ineffective drugs (chloroquine) and to instead use newer and highly effective artemisinin combination therapies, which WHO now agrees has saved a large number of childrens' lives[4]. Attaran also started the international campaign, which involved hundreds of scientists and Nobel laureates, to restore the indoors use of DDT in malaria control, and is credited with drafting the compromise in the Stockholm Convention which prohibited the ecotoxic use of DDT in agriculture, but allowed the life-saving use of DDT in public health [5].

Interestingly, in both the artemisinin combination therapy and the DDT cases, the WHO and other UN agencies now agree with Attaran and have come out in suppport of these tools being used. These and other successful campaigns to raise the standard of care for poor people in the world led the science journal Nature Medicine in 2006 to describe Attaran as "a master at bringing global health agencies to task"[6].