Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon Issues Call for New Deal on Medicines

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon Issues Call for New Deal on Medicines
Dec 11, 2015
United Nations Development Programme/UNDP
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NEW YORK -The United Nations Secretary-General’s High-Level Panel on Access to Medicines held its first meeting today. The panel committed itself to finding solutions that will increase access to medicines, while continuing to promote investment in new treatments to save the lives of millions.

“It is a basic fundamental right that everyone should be able to access medicines, vaccines and diagnostics they need in order to ensure healthy lives and promote the well-being of people of all ages, as set out in Sustainable Development Goal 3,” said President Mogae, co-chair of the High Level Panel.

Festus Mogae, former President of Botswana and Ruth Dreifuss, former President of Switzerland are co-chairing the panel. The work of the High-Level and its Expert Advisory Group is being supported by a Secretariat at UNDP in collaboration with UNAIDS. The panel was established by the Secretary-General to find solutions to increase access to medicines, while continuing to promote investment in developing new medicines.

Panelists noted that despite progress made in many areas, millions of people are still left behind. Many are dying because they cannot access life-saving medicines. This includes:
:: 1.2 million people died from AIDS in 2014.
:: 9.6 million people infected with TB and 1.5 people died because of TB.
:: Over 400 million people have hepatitis B and C and 1.4 million people have died from Hepatitis B and C.
:: 38 million people have died from non-communicable diseases such as cardiovascular diseases (17.5 million deaths), diabetes (1.5 million deaths), cancer (8.2 million deaths) and respiratory diseases (4 million deaths)…

…Following the meeting, the High-Level Panel will issue a call for proposals from experts, individuals and organizations to recommend solutions that promote the rights of inventors, international human rights law, trade rules, and public health in the context of health technologies. Proposals submitted will be reviewed, shortlisted and invited to present at public hearings where stakeholders from governments, the industry, patient groups and others will be able to provide their thoughts and views on the proposals. The High-Level Panel’s findings and recommendations will be compiled in a report, which will be presented to the Secretary-General in June 2016.

The Secretary-Generals High Level Panel on Access to Medicines comprises of 16 eminent, well-respected individuals with a deep knowledge and understanding of the broad range of legal, trade, public health and human rights issues associated with access to medicines and health technologies. Biographies and additional information on the High-Level Panel can be accessed from www.UNSGaccessmeds.org