[Ip-health] MSF responds to news of pull out of neglected disease R&D by AstraZeneca

Joanna Keenan-Siciliano joanna.l.keenan at gmail.com
Fri Jan 31 04:08:52 PST 2014

MSF responds to news of pull out of neglected disease R&D by AstraZeneca

News emerged yesterday (see WSJ article, here: http://on.wsj.com/1hW4YFO)
that British/Swedish pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca has pulled out of
all early stage research and development for tuberculosis, malaria and
neglected tropical diseases. This news comes a week after comments from the
CEO of Bayer emerged, saying the company did not develop a cancer drug for
the Indian market, but for "Western patients who can afford it". This, and
the latest news from AstraZeneca, only serve to confirm that multinational
pharmaceutical companies are ignoring the medical needs of the poor and are
pouring their R&D into diseases that primarily affect rich countries.

Médecins Sans Frontières responds to this news with the below quote:

"This move by AstraZeneca is incredibly discouraging and is very bad news
for people in developing countries. AstraZeneca are just cementing big
pharma's reputation that they invest in drugs only for rich countries.

The company's decision plainly shows how the entire pharmaceutical research
and development system is broken and needs urgent fixing. AstraZeneca would
never withdraw its R&D into these diseases if they affected rich countries
or if there was more of an incentive to produce them - instead, they're
going where they see the biggest profits, and it's not in these drugs."

- Dr Manica Balasegaram, Executive Director, Médecins Sans Frontières
Access Campaign.

Joanna Keenan
Press Officer
Médecins Sans Frontières - Access Campaign
P: +41 22 849 87 45
M: +41 79 203 13 02
E: joanna.keenan[at]geneva.msf.org
T: @joanna_keenan


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