Lancet Series – Non-Communicable Diseases

The Lancet  
Feb 23, 2013   Volume 381  Number 9867  p599 – 698
http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/issue/current

Series
Non-Communicable Diseases
Profits and pandemics: prevention of harmful effects of tobacco, alcohol, and ultra-processed food and drink industries
Rob Moodie, David Stuckler, Carlos Monteiro, Nick Sheron, Bruce Neal, Thaksaphon Thamarangsi, Paul Lincoln, Sally Casswell, The Lancet
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The 2011 UN high-level meeting on non-communicable diseases (NCDs) called for multisectoral action including with the private sector and industry. However, through the sale and promotion of tobacco, alcohol, and ultra-processed food and drink (unhealthy commodities), transnational corporations are major drivers of global epidemics of NCDs. What role then should these industries have in NCD prevention and control? We emphasise the rise in sales of these unhealthy commodities in low-income and middle-income countries, and consider the common strategies that the transnational corporations use to undermine NCD prevention and control.

Promotion of access to essential medicines for non-communicable diseases: practical implications of the UN political declaration
Hans V Hogerzeil, Jonathan Liberman, Veronika J Wirtz, Sandeep P Kishore, Sakthi Selvaraj, Rachel Kiddell-Monroe, Faith N Mwangi-Powell, Tido von Schoen-Angerer, The Lancet
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Access to medicines and vaccines to prevent and treat non-communicable diseases (NCDs) is unacceptably low worldwide. In the 2011 UN political declaration on the prevention and control of NCDs, heads of government made several commitments related to access to essential medicines, technologies, and vaccines for such diseases. 30 years of experience with policies for essential medicines and 10 years of scaling up of HIV treatment have provided the knowledge needed to address barriers to long-term effective treatment and prevention of NCDs.

Viewpoint
Improving responsiveness of health systems to non-communicable diseases
Rifat Atun, Shabbar Jaffar, Sania Nishtar, Felicia M Knaul, Mauricio L Barreto, Moffat Nyirenda, Nicholas Banatvala, Peter Piot
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In almost all countries, development of health systems that are responsive to the challenge of prevention and treatment of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) is a priority. NCDs consist of a vast group of conditions, but in terms of premature mortality, emphasis has been on cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, and chronic respiratory diseases—diseases that were also the focus of the UN high-level meeting on NCDs, held in 2011.1