Alexandra Heumber, DNDi‘s Head of Policy Affairs, delivered the following statement on behalf of DNDi at the 68th World Health Assembly.
“Thank you M. Chairman, Honorable Delegates,
The Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) is a collaborative, patients’ needs-driven, not-for-profit drug R&D organization. We discover, develop, and deliver new treatments for neglected diseases for which the traditional pharmaceutical business model does not work. Using an alternative model, based on the needs of neglected patients and innovative partnerships with public and private actors, DNDi has already delivered six new, affordable, adapted, and non-patented treatments that are in the hands of millions of patients.
DNDi actively contributed to the CEWG process, as part of its mission to advocate for increased public responsibility and a more enabling policy environment for neglected disease R&D. DNDi, with partners, is now undertaking a demonstration project to develop new treatments for leishmaniasis, based on the CEWG principles: open innovation, de-linkage of the costs of R&D from the price of products, and licensing for affordable access.
We welcome the creation of a global health R&D observatory and the growing financial commitments of Members States to the development of a global pooled fund.
Discussions this week have highlighted that the crisis in innovation and access is not only related to NTDs, but also to Ebola and other emerging infectious diseases, antimicrobial resistance, and other diseases defined in the final CEWG report.
It is important that Members States « join the dots » to address the urgent need for new and affordable health technologies across disease areas and rather than a fragmented approach, go further and faster.in a coordinated manner. The open-ended meeting before the 69th WHA offers Member States an opportunity to focus on a sustainably financed global R&D fund and mechanism for all innovations of public health importance.”