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The Acces to Medicine Crisis: Innovation in the Pharmaceutical Industry


On the 15th of June, SIB and IFMSA will organize an evening on the access to medicine crisis in developing countries and the ways the pharmaceutical industry is changing to cope with this problem. Tonight we’ll have guests who will speak about two different initiatives to improve access to medicine for developing countries, namely the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) and the Access to Medicine-Index (A2M-index).

Neglected tropical diseases continue to cause significant morbidity and mortality in the developing world. Yet, of the 1,556 new drugs approved between 1975 and 2004, only 21 (1.3%) were specifically developed for tropical diseases and tuberculosis, even though these diseases account for 11.4% of the global disease burden. I+ Solutions is a not-for-profit organization specialized in pharmaceutical supply chain management for developing countries. Luuk Jan Boon, their managing director will speak about the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi), a collaborative, patients’ needs-driven, non-profit drug research and development (R&D) organization that is developing new treatments for neglected diseases. The DNDi’s goal is to ‘improve the quality of life and the health of people suffering from neglected diseases by using an alternative model to develop drugs for these diseases and by ensuring equitable access to new and field-relevant health tools.’

2 billion people in the world have no access to medicine. The Access to Medicine-Index gives insight into what the pharmaceutical industry is doing to improve this situation. The Index publicly recognizes companies for their investments in access to medicine, raising awareness of relevant issues within pharmaceutical companies and providing them with a transparent means by which they can assess, monitor and improve their own performance as well as their public and investment profiles. For this topic we will be joined by Delphi Coppens, Lead researcher for R&D at the Access to Medicine Foundation.