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Global Health Progress Joins WHO and DNDi to Call For Increased Commitments to Fighting Neglected Tropical Diseases
Date:7/8/2008

One billion people suffer from preventable, treatable diseases around the world

Statement by Dr. Paul Antony, medical director Global Health Progress

TOYAKO, Japan, July 8 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- "The worldwide pharmaceutical industry is joining the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) in calling on the G-8 to recognize the importance of neglected diseases as a global health threat and a major strain on the economic viability and educational development of communities worldwide. We urge the G-8 to finance successful treatment and prevention programs, to support innovative strategies that address the challenging health gaps in developing countries, and to fund research and development to develop improved diagnostic, treatment and prevention options.

"Most international attention is focused on HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and global health security. However, neglected tropical diseases - most of which are preventable and treatable - remain major causes of death and disability worldwide. These diseases receive less funding and less attention while they decrease productivity, negatively affect quality of life and increase poverty throughout the developing world.

"Partnerships supported by the research-based biopharmaceutical companies have provided billions of dollars in medicines, research and development, supplies, distribution networks and other resources to fight neglected diseases such as river blindness, trachoma, and lymphatic filariasis around the world. In the process, we have lowered the cost for effective treatments and made them available to hundreds of millions of people each year. Companies have also made substantial contributions to building health care capacity in developing countries, and are looking to implement more programs to address remaining gaps in care.

"However, the continuing threat of these diseases, which affect one in six people worldwide, and the lack of access to existing treatment and preventative measures makes it clear that there is more work to do. Involvement by the global community, particularly the countries of the G-8, is necessary to further efforts aimed at meeting the critical health challenges of the developing world."

Further information about efforts by research-based biopharmaceutical companies, please visit http://www.globalhealthprogress.org. For information about neglected tropical diseases, visit WHO at http://www.who.int/neglected_diseases/en/index.html or DNDi at http://www.dndi.org.

About Global Health Progress

The Global Health Progress initiative brings research-based biopharmaceutical companies and global health leaders together to improve health in the developing world. Through meaningful public-private partnerships with others in the field, including policymakers in the developed and developing world, multi-lateral institutions, non-governmental organizations, and academe, we are helping to shape sustainable solutions that improve the health of all people. For more information, please visit http://www.globalhealthprogress.org.


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SOURCE Global Health Progress
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