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International Federation-Lilly Agreement Will Allow Significant Increase in MDR-TB Programmes
Date:11/29/2007

GENEVA, Nov. 29 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and Eli Lilly and Company, a multi- national pharmaceutical company, signed an agreement which will allow an eight-fold increase in the number of International Federation-supported programmes to fight multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) over the next four years.

Lilly's 1.6 million USD contribution will finance programmes between 2008 and 2011. In 2008 alone, the International Federation will expand its support to 10 additional MDR-TB programmes in Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Romania, Georgia, Kenya, Mozambique and South Africa, for a total of 14 MDR-TB programmes.

"It is vital that tuberculosis patients complete their treatment, both to be cured, and to avoid a relapse into the more serious form of the disease, called multidrug-resistant TB, which is much more expensive and difficult to treat," explains Markku Niskala, secretary general of the International Federation. "We have noticed an increase of MDR-TB in certain regions, and it is essential we expand our programmes to help curb this trend. The Lilly funds will allow us to do that."

The first phase of the International Federation and Lilly MDR-TB Programme was implemented from 2004 to 2007 in three pilot countries. "Based on the success of the current programmes in Kazakhstan, Romania and Uzbekistan, we embrace the challenge of expanding this programme to cover more than ten countries," says Sidney Taurel, chairman and CEO of Lilly.

"These activities join those of a larger partnership of 14 public and private organisations around the world committed to fighting MDR-TB from every angle. We will continue to learn lessons from existing programmes and improve our initiatives to best serve those suffering from MDR-TB, and to best prevent its spread. We are committed, for the long-term, to triumph over the re-emergence of TB and MDR-TB."

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SOURCE Eli Lilly and Company
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