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Table of Contents: January 2010

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Recent high-impact collisions between health research and politics include a US Senate vote to disregard updated US Preventive Services Task Force guidelines for breast cancer screening, and the UK Home Secretary's dismissal of drug abuse advisor Prof. David Nutt. Considering the prospects for unbiased comparative effectiveness research in light of such events, the PLoS Medicine Editors argue that "evidence-based medicine deserves better than a push out of the frying pan of partisan politics into the fire of vested interests," and urge politicians to remember that "society encompasses not only the corporate engines of economic growth and decline, but also individuals whose lives depend on the quality of health care data."

Editorial

The PLoS Medicine Debate

Are Patents Impeding Medical Care and Innovation?

E. Richard Gold, Warren Kaplan, James Orbinski, Sarah Harland-Logan, Sevil N-Marandi

Essay

Meeting the Demand for Results and Accountability: A Call for Action on Health Data from Eight Global Health Agencies

Margaret Chan, Michel Kazatchkine, Julian Lob-Levyt, Thoraya Obaid, Julian Schweizer, Michel Sidibe, Ann Veneman, Tadataka Yamada

Perspectives

Health in Action

Policy Forums

The Global Health System: Actors, Norms, and Expectations in Transition

Nicole A. Szlezák, Barry R. Bloom, Dean T. Jamison, Gerald T. Keusch, Catherine M. Michaud, Suerie Moon, William C. Clark

The Global Health System: Linking Knowledge with Action—Learning from Malaria

Gerald T. Keusch, Wen L. Kilama, Suerie Moon, Nicole A. Szlezák, Catherine M. Michaud

The Global Health System: Lessons for a Stronger Institutional Framework

Suerie Moon, Nicole A. Szlezák, Catherine M. Michaud, Dean T. Jamison, Gerald T. Keusch, William C. Clark, Barry R. Bloom

Research Articles

Quantifying the Number of Pregnancies at Risk of Malaria in 2007: A Demographic Study

Stephanie Dellicour, Andrew J. Tatem, Carlos A. Guerra, Robert W. Snow, Feiko O. ter Kuile

Geographic Distribution of Staphylococcus aureus Causing Invasive Infections in Europe: A Molecular-Epidemiological Analysis

Hajo Grundmann, David M. Aanensen, Cees C. van den Wijngaard, Brian G. Spratt, Dag Harmsen, Alexander W. Friedrich , the European Staphylococcal Reference Laboratory Working Group¶

Male Circumcision at Different Ages in Rwanda: A Cost-Effectiveness Study

Agnes Binagwaho, Elisabetta Pegurri, Jane Muita, Stefano Bertozzi

The Evolution of the Epidemic of Charcoal-Burning Suicide in Taiwan: A Spatial and Temporal Analysis

Shu-Sen Chang, David Gunnell, Benedict W. Wheeler, Paul Yip, Jonathan A. C. Sterne