[Ip-health] Outlook: UN Chief Appoints Indian Scientist to High-Level Panel on Health

Thiru Balasubramaniam thiru at keionline.org
Sun Nov 22 02:18:51 PST 2015


http://www.outlookindia.com/news/article/un-chief-appoints-indian-scientist-to-highlevel-panel-on-health/921165

UN Chief Appoints Indian Scientist to High-Level Panel on Health

YOSHITA SINGH | UNITED NATIONS | NOV 21, 2015

An eminent Indian scientist has been named by UN chief Ban Ki-moon to a
high-level panel on health technology innovation and access, in an effort
to escalate investments in research and development for diseases where
financial returns are not guaranteed.

Yusuf Hamied, the non-executive Chairman of generic pharmaceutical
manufacturer Cipla will be part of the 16-member panel that will be
co-chaired by former President of Switzerland Ruth Dreifuss and former
President of Botswana Festus Mogae.

The UN said Hamied has led efforts to treat and eradicate AIDS and other
diseases in the developing world, and to give patients life-saving
medicines regardless of their ability to pay.

He offered the world's first affordable AIDS medicine at the unprecedented
cost of USD 1 per day in 2001.

He has also been influential in pioneering the development of multi-drug
combination pills, notably for HIV, tuberculosis, asthma and other ailments
chiefly affecting developing countries, as well as the development of
paediatric formulations of drugs, especially those benefiting children in
poor settings, a statement issued here said.

The UN Secretary General said the panel's eminent members are
"well-respected individuals with a deep knowledge and understanding of the
broad range of trade, public health, human rights and legal issues
associated with access to treatment."

Other members of the panel include CEO of British multinational
pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline company Andrew Witty, Executive
Director of non-governmental organisation Oxfam International Winnie
Byanyima, Director-General of South Africa’s Department of Health  Malebona
Precious Matsoso and President and Executive Director of Foundation for the
National Institutes of Health (FNIH) and member of the Advisory Committee
to the Director of the National Institutes of Health in the US Maria Freire.

Ban emphasised that there is an urgent need to ensure that everyone can
access quality treatment at affordable costs, while also incentivizing
innovation and the development of new technologies such as vaccines,
medicines and diagnostics, in order to ensure healthy lives and promote the
well-being of people of all ages, as set out in the recently adopted
Sustainable Development Goal.

Ban noted that at present, most research and development in vaccines,
medicines and diagnostic tests are undertaken on the basis of financial
potential rather than focused on the needs of the poorest and most
marginalised communities.

He added that the recent Ebola crisis, which killed over 11,000 people in
West Africa, highlighted the need to invest research and development of
non-terminal diseases, including infectious diseases such as HIV and
Hepatitis C, the rising burden of non-communicable disease, and the
affordability of both modern and traditional health technologies.

The Panel is expected to hold its first meeting in December 2015 and to
engage in extensive consultations with stakeholders, where a set of
recommendations will be presented to Ban in June 2016.



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