Pharmaceutical company guarantees MDT drug security through 2020.
Novartis has renewed its pledge with the WHO to extend its donation of multidrug therapy (MDT) for treatment of leprosy for a further five years through 2020. Novartis has been donating MDT since 2000, taking over from the Nippon Foundation, which paid for the drugs between 1995 and 1999.
The extension by Novartis forms part of the company’s commitment in 2012 to the London Declaration on Neglected Tropical Diseases.
This five-year agreement includes treatments worth more than US$40 million and up to US$2.5 million to support the WHO in handling the donation and logistics. Overall, the drugs are expected to reach an estimated 1.3 million patients during the next five years.
Since 2000, Novartis has donated more than 56 million blister packs valued at approximately US$90 million through the WHO, helping to treat more than 6 million leprosy patients worldwide.
American Leprosy Missions has developed a teaching guide to address cross-cutting issues common to many Neglected Tropical Diseases and other health conditions. The package contains three sets of materials: Ten Steps: A guide for health promotion and empowerment of people affected by Neglected Tropical Diseases, the Ten Steps Executive Summary and Ten Steps Summary Card. The materials can be downloaded for free at www.leprosy.org/ten-steps.
A collection of the speeches and writings of Dr. Yo Yuasa, former medical and executive director of Sasakawa Memorial Health Foundation between 1975 and 2005, and advisor until 2012, is now available online at www.smhf.or.jp/e/hansen/publications/ Free copies of A Life Fighting Leprosy are also available in book form.