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Monday 23 November Problems of Developing Drugs

Patrick Vallance is something of a rare breed - a game-keeper turned poacher; an academic who has moved over into industry. And not just any industry, but the pharmaceutical industry. At the time, Patrick Vallance was professor of Clinical Pharmacology and head of the Department of Medicine at University College London. Today, Patrick is head of research and development at GlaxoSmithKline, one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies with annual revenues in excess of £20 billion and nearly a 100,000 employees worldwide. Whilst GSK is no stranger to scandal, since he joined, Patrick has attempted to tackle the culture of secrecy that pervades the industry. He has since reshaped the way GSK carries out its research and has been behind several radical initiatives in global healthcare, to produce a more collaborative approach to tackling major diseases like malaria.

Tuesday 24 November Sex and the Synod # 3 of 3

In the third and final episode of this three-part series, Helen Grady travels to Rome to try to understand what’s happening inside the Synod. All the key meetings take place behind closed doors, so it’s not obvious what the bishops are talking about or which way the debate is heading. Helen speaks to bishop delegates from Ireland, Nigeria, Australia and Algeria and gets their take on what’s happening in the surprisingly modern conference room where the Synod meets every day. And she tries to find a way through the spin and intrigue that are part and parcel of reporting on the Vatican.

Wednesday 25 November  Changing Climate Change #1of 3

Climate talks typically end in disenchantment and disarray, so will this year's summit in Paris be any different? In the first of a three-part series Roger Harrabin examines the science behind climate change. Predicting the future climate is a pretty tricky business and over the last 25 years or so it has had a chequered history. Roger talks to the scientists about their models and asks if they are accurate enough or should they just be consigned to the dustbin.

Thursday 26 November The Drug Mules of the Andes

Peru is the world's largest producer of cocaine. A staggering one-third of it travels on foot, on the backs of young men like Daniel. He is 18, full of bravado, and claims he does this work so he will be able to go to university and take care of his family. Daniel is one of thousands known as 'mochileros' - backpackers, in Spanish - who hike their illicit cargo from the tropical valley where most of Peru's coca is produced, up to Andean towns, out towards the border with Brazil, and to clandestine airstrips. Linda Pressly tells the story of the 'mochileros', their families and the Peruvian authorities charged with interdiction.