DNDi, Médecins Sans Frontières and Health Global Access Project symposium
Sunday July 22, 13:30-15:30
Proposals for a Global Innovation System that Responds to Patients Needs and Ensures both Innovation and Access
The current innovation system that relies on high prices to recoup R&D costs is failing many people affected by HIV/AIDS and TB in developing countries. The true extent of the innovation and access crisis is only just starting to become apparent as access to newer health technologies is being restricted. Although a large number of important medicines, diagnostics, and other technologies are available or in the pipeline, there are numerous critical gaps that illustrate how today’s R&D system is not delivering for the poorest. This satellite presented the challenges but also promising initiatives that could facilitate the development of affordable medical tools adapted to the needs of patients in resource-limited settings. The session explored the relevance for HIV/AIDS & TB of recent recommendations from the WHO’s Consultative Expert Working Group on R&D Financing and Coordination, including a binding global R&D convention.
Rachel Cohen, Regional Executive Director of DNDi North America, in her presentation “Adressing gaps in innovation for neglected patients: DNDi and pediatric HIV/AIDS”, spoke about the urgent drug development needs of the world’s most neglected patients, focusing on DNDi’s R&D efforts in developing new treatments for the neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) with the highest death rates: visceral leishmaniasis, sleeping sickness, and Chagas disease. She also focused on the DNDi’s paediatric antiretroviral combination development programme to address the life-or-death treatment needs of the youngest living with HIV/AIDS.