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22 pharma companies join forces for global non-communicable disease initiative

Published on 18/01/17 at 10:04am

The World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Switzerland has seen the launch of Access Accelerated, a global initiative consisting of over 20 partners including Pfizer, GSK, J&J, Roche, Novartis and more to improve access to preventative measures against non-communicable disease (NCD) in low and lower-middle income countries, the site of almost 80% of NCD-related deaths.

In partnership with the World Bank Group and the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC), the initiative aims to tackle the rising issue of NCDs with the aim of meeting the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) of a reduction in premature deaths from NCDs by one-third by 2030. The initiative will achieve this by identifying and addressing issues around financing, regulation and delivery on a per-country basis, while independent experts at Boston University will evaluate progress.

"The rapid increase in NCDs in developing countries is a serious threat to our goal of improving the health of the world's poorest citizens and achieving universal health coverage," said Tim Evans, senior director of Health, Nutrition and Population at the World Bank Group. "Tackling this successfully will take coordinated effort by governments, civil society, the private sector and international partners. This new effort is an opportunity for all players to test and scale up innovative ways to deliver effective care for NCDs, with a strong focus on primary health care."

One of the big players in pharma taking part is Pfizer. CEO and President of The International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA) Ian Read commented: "Through the commitment and expertise of the Access Accelerated partners, we will work towards a shared vision where no person dies prematurely from a preventable, treatable disease. If the current trend in NCDs in low- and lower-middle income countries is not reversed, there is a real possibility we will undermine the progress we have made in health around the world. To reach our goal, we need to catalyse new partnerships, learn quickly and advance the resources and knowledge that will enable countries to tackle NCDs."

Eisai will also be participating in the initiative; CEO Haruo Naito said: "One of the missions of the modern pharmaceutical industry is to make drugs accessible to all patients, no matter their socioeconomic status. In line with its human health care (hhc) philosophy, Eisai is pleased to take part in initiatives like Access Accelerated to help address the social and medical needs of patients and their caregivers. For Eisai, pursuing solutions for global access challenges is both our responsibility and a long-term investment into the future."

A full list of contributing companies includes Almirall, Astellas, Bayer, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Celgene, Chugai, Daiichi Sankyo, Eisai, Eli Lilly, EFPIA, GlaxoSmithKline, The International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA), Johnson & Johnson, JPMA, Menarini, Merck, MSD, Novartis, Pfizer, PhRMA, Roche, Sanofi, Shionogi, Sumitomo Dainippon, Takeda and UCB.

Matt Fellows

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