World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 

Drug Companies To Boost Efforts To Tackle HIV/AIDS

Secretary-General, Drug Companies Agree To Boost Efforts To Tackle HIV/AIDS

New York, Oct 9 2008 7:10PM

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and top executives from over one dozen global pharmaceutical companies agreed today that greater efforts must be made to combat HIV/AIDS, despite significant strides that have been made in improving access to prevention and treatment.

Attending the meeting were 17 of the world’s leading pharmaceutical and diagnostic companies, including Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer, along with representatives from the United Nations World Health Organization (WHO), the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS).

“All participants agreed that increasing access to vaccines, diagnostics and medicines is essential in scaling up prevention and treatment efforts,” Mr. Ban said in a statement issued following today’s gathering.

Attendees also emphasized the importance of intellectual property in promoting research and development into new therapeutic and diagnostic options, he said.

The private sector has much to offer in the bid to boost access to prevention and treatment, the Secretary-General noted. “More can be done, especially to address shortages of the health workforce and improve managerial capacities.”

Important progress has been made since 2006, the last time there was a high-level exchange between the UN and drug companies, he said.

The number of people receiving anti-retroviral treatment in low and middle income nations has more than doubled from 1.3 million in 2006 to 3 million by the end of last year. Additionally prices have been slashed for first-line and paediatric antiretroviral drugs, as well as some second-line medicines.

“We noted that despite the gains, the epidemic continues to outstrip our best efforts,” Mr. Ban said.

Only one third of those needing care in poorer nations are receiving it, while every day, for every two people beginning antiretroviral treatment, five more people are infected.

“Collectively, we still have more work to do,” today’s statement noted.

Pharmaceutical companies today pledged to invest more in research and development of new HIV-related medicines; developing affordable means to diagnose HIV and tuberculosis; and prevention technologies, such as vaccines.

For its part, UN agencies committed to continue its advocacy and resource mobilization efforts; enhance WHO’s pre-qualification programme for urgently-needed medicines and diagnostics; and promote information-sharing among the UN, national regulatory authorities and pharmaceutical companies.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 


UN News: Monkeypox Outbreak Can Still Be Contained, Insists UN Health Agency
The monkeypox outbreak that has been reported in 16 countries and several regions of the world can still be contained and the overall risk of transmission is low, the UN health agency said on Tuesday...
More>>


UN: “COVID-19 Is Not Over”, Tedros Warns World Health Assembly
The head of the World Health Organization (WHO) told global health Ministers on Sunday that although reported COVID-19 cases and deaths have declined significantly, it is not time to lower the guard... More>>



UN: Bachelet Calls On Mexico To Step Up Efforts As Tragic Milestone Reached Of More Than 100,000 Disappearances

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet on Tuesday called on the Mexican authorities to step up efforts to ensure truth and justice for victims of disappearances, who now number more than 100,000, according to official data... More>>


Access Now: Elon Musk’s Twitter Buyout Must Not Come At The Expense Of Human Rights

Following today’s announcement that Elon Musk will acquire complete ownership of Twitter in a cash sale of around 44 billion USD, pending shareholder approval, Access Now urges Twitter’s Board, employees, and shareholders... More>>



UN: Biodiversity And Ecosystem Protection Highlighted On Mother Earth Day

Marking International Mother Earth Day, UN General Assembly President Abdulla Shahid urged on Friday, for collective action to safeguard biodiversity and protect ecosystems... More>>

Ukraine: Hundreds More Reach Safety After Fleeing Besieged Mariupol
In Ukraine, humanitarians said on Wednesday that hundreds of people have managed to reach safety after fleeing Mariupol, where there’s also been condemnation for the killing of Lithuanian filmmaker Mantas Kvedaravicius... More>>