AT the twenty-fifth session of the Health Committee of the League of Nations, April 26–May 1 (G. Allen and Unwin, League of Nations Department, 40 Museum St., London, W.C.I: Report to the Council on the Work of the 25th Session of the Health Committee, Is.) the next three-year programme was discussed and approved. Among the permanent activities of the Committee, its work on biological standards is far from being completed. New therapeutic agents gain acceptance with the advance of science and require assay in terms of some common standard, and other standards already adopted are either open to improvement or, being composite, are liable to be replaced sooner or later by the active substance in pure form, apart from the possibility of physical or chemical methods replacing the biological method. Forty-one countries have adopted or are about to adopt the international standards recommended by the Permanent Commission on Biological Standards, and thirty-one Governments have established or are about to establish national centres, thus simplifying the task of the central institutes at Copenhagen and Hamp-stead. For drugs like digitalis, pituitary extract and arsphenamine, no insuperable difficulties are anticipated in preparing national standards, but it is expected that for serological standards the Copenhagen Institute will have to continue to supply international standard sera to most of the national centres. The standardization of anti-anthrax serum, examined in 1925, requires further investigation in collaboration with the Institute at Budapest and Bucharest. Further study of the standardization of anti-swine-erysipelas serum is also necessary as well as consideration of changes in the international standards for tuberculin and staphylococcus anti-toxin. The standardization of anti-snake venom sera, pharmacological standards, as well as those for vitamins and sex hormones, also fall within the next three-year programme of the Commission. Other matters in the programme of the Committee are leprosy, rural hygiene, housing, physical education, nutrition and opium and other dangerous drugs.
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Health Committee of the League of Nations. Nature 141, 280 (1938). https://doi.org/10.1038/141280b0