AMR and Access to Cancer Medicine, discussing the role of the pharma industry

Access to Medicine Foundation

Coming up: Jayasree K. Iyer, Executive Director of the Access to Medicine Foundation speaks at the UN General Assembly side event on antimicrobial resistance (AMR); and at the Royal Society of Medicine on access to cancer medicine.

This week, Jayasree K. Iyer will participate in two key events on the role of the pharmaceutical industry regarding access to antimicrobials and antimicrobial resistance, and in improving access to cancer medication: she joins the panel at the UNGA Side Event, Antimicrobial Resistance: Tackling a Threat to the Health and Economic Development of Nations hosted by the governments of South Africa, the United Kingdom and Kenya; and will speak at an event at the Royal Society of Medicine organised by the Oncology Section and focused on Cancer control in low to middle income countries.

Antimicrobial resistance: what is pharma’s role?

On 20 September, Jayasree will discuss the role of the pharmaceutical industry in affecting demand for antimicrobials in a panel discussion moderated by Zanny Minton Beddoes, Editor-in-Chief, The Economist. She will speak alongside Dr Moncef Slaoui, Chairman of GSK’s Vaccines business and Dr. Yusuf K. Hamied, the non-executive chairman of Cipla .

Jayasree will discuss the role of the Access to Medicine Foundation in highlighting best practice and improving transparency to spur greater industry engagement the issue of drug resistance. She will also discuss the Foundation’s plans in support of the AMR agenda, including the prospect of a new benchmarking tool for assessing companies’ actions on the AMR front.

The urgent need to address Antimicrobial Resistance is high on the agenda of global leaders. In discussing the United Nations high-level meeting on antimicrobial resistance, WHO stated that: “Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) has become one of the biggest threats to global health and endangers other major priorities, such as human development. All around the world, many common infections are becoming resistant to the antimicrobial medicines used to treat them, resulting in longer illnesses and more deaths. At the same time, not enough new antimicrobial drugs, especially antibiotics, are being developed to replace older and increasingly ineffective ones.”

Global leaders will meet at the United Nations General Assembly in New York in September 2016 to commit to fighting antimicrobial resistance together. This is only the fourth time in the history of the UN that a health topic has been discussed at the General Assembly (following HIV/AIDS, non-communicable diseases, and the Ebola virus). Heads of State and Heads of Delegations are expected to address the seriousness and scope of the situation and to agree on sustainable, multi-sector approaches to addressing antimicrobial resistance.

Oncology in middle-income countries

On 21 September, Jayasree will speak about the role of the pharmaceutical industry in improving access to cancer medicine for poor and vulnerable populations. The event is titled Cancer control in low to middle income countries, and is organised by the Oncology Section of the Royal Society of Medicine. Her presentation will touch upon aspects strengthening of health systems, where action is needed, how the industry can contribute and the role of the Access to Medicine Foundation in enabling change.

The event is aimed at those in public health, global health and cancer policy, treatment, research and education. Its aim is to bring together the leaders in this field to educate and raise awareness, and to discuss barriers and solutions to this global challenge.

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About the Access to Medicine Foundation

The Access to Medicine Foundation is a non-profit organisation based in the Netherlands. It aims to advance access to medicine in low- and middle-income countries by stimulating and guiding the pharmaceutical industry to play a greater role in improving access to medicine. The Foundation is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the UK Department for International Development. For ten years, the Foundation has been building consensus on the role for the pharmaceutical industry in improving access to medicine and vaccines. It published its first benchmark of industry activity in this area in 2008, in the first Access to Medicine Index. The fifth Access to Medicine Index will be published in 2016.