Fight against tropical diseases
Virtually half of the world’s population – particularly the poorest of the poor – are at risk from tropical diseases according to the WHO. “Accordingly, Bayer HealthCare has been providing support for the work of the WHO in controlling neglected tropical diseases for years,” says Michael Schöttler, Head of Global Health Policy & Public Affairs at Bayer HealthCare.
To control the life-threatening infectious diseases Chagas in Latin America and African sleeping sickness, Bayer HealthCare offers the drugs Lampit™ and Germanin™ via the WHO in a second lighthouse project. The active ingredients in both life-saving drugs have been placed on the Essential Drug List by the WHO.
The Bayer remedy Germanin™ (containing suramin) is available to treat African sleeping sickness in the early stages of the disease. Each year, Bayer also supplies the WHO with 400,000 Lampit™ tablets containing the active ingredient nifurtimox that, in combination with a further drug entity, enables a form of treatment that opens up opportunities for treating the disease at a later stage too.
In March 2011, the existing agreement with the WHO to treat Chagas disease was extended ahead of schedule until 2017. The annual donation of medicines is being doubled to one million Lampit™ tablets, and the financial support for logistics and distribution of US$300,000 a year is being continued.
At the signing of the new agreement, Dr. Jean Jannin, Coordinator of Communicable Disease Control, Prevention and Eradication at the WHO, said: “When tackling tropical and neglected diseases, public and state initiatives often soon reach their limits. We therefore appreciate it when pharmaceutical companies play their own part. Public-private partnerships offer a highly promising alternative. The combination of expertise from different areas often leads to unexpectedly innovative results and sustainable success.”
Nine million new cases of tuberculosis (TB) occur each year, according to WHO data. As a partner in the Global Alliance for TB Drug Development, Bayer HealthCare is involved in developing a treatment that has been shortened from six to four months and incorporates the Bayer active ingredient moxifloxacin. The drug is to be made available at reduced prices following approval, particularly in developing countries where the disease is more prevalent.
The Group is actively involved in the fight against infectious diseases above and beyond the activities of Bayer HealthCare. This is clearly illustrated by a series of projects covering malaria and dengue fever. The result of one of the projects, Lifenet™ [ 28 ] [ @29 ]
, centers on innovative mosquito nets in which an active ingredient against insects is already incorporated. Collaboration between Bayer CropScience and Bayer Technology Services has enabled development of an innovative, long-lasting polypropylene net. Read more about this and our research collaborations on neglected diseases, including with the Liverpool-based Innovative Vector Control Consortium (IVCC) [ @26 ]
and SentiSearch [ @27 ]
, on the Internet:
“Our Access to Medicine strategy allows us to link up our commercial interests with our social responsibility,” says Andreas Fibig, Head of the division Pharmaceuticals Bayer HealthCare, commenting on future policy. “The beneficiaries of this are first and foremost those patients who need our products most urgently. We will therefore expand our commitment further in strategic terms to increase the scope of our programs and thus reach more patients.”
Our goal is to enable global access to health care for everyone. Our projects on family planning, neglected diseases and access programs for innovative drugs now cover the whole world.
Sexual self-determination is a human right
In discussion: (from left) Gill Greer (IPPF), Melinda Crane (Chairman), Helena Nygren-Krug (WHO) and Yasho V. Pradhan (Ministry of Health and Population, Nepal)
Focusing on the subject of developmental aid, Huzeifa Bodal from the German developmental aid organization GIZ has come to the conclusion that efforts to promote the sexual self-determination of women in developing countries have to be made “sexier” to bring the subject more into the public eye. This demand was one of many suggestions the working groups came up with at the International Dialogue ���Population and sustainable development” held in Berlin at the beginning of October. Here, experts from 17 countries discussed ideas on how to ensure that all people can exercise their right to reproductive health – i.e. the right to sexuality and access to family planning methods.