Statement on G7 Summit from Dr. Peter Hotez
WASHINGTON, D.C. — On May 26-27, 2016, at the Group of 7 (G7) Summit, the leaders of Japan, the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Canada, Italy and France affirmed a commitment to neglected tropical diseases (NTDs).
G7 nations pledged to drive research and development for NTDs and other conditions not adequately addressed by the market. From the G7 Ise-Shima Vision for Global Health, G7 nations will:
- Implement policies to encourage the development of and access to medical products for those diseases.
- Encourage G7 countries to support “push (e.g. support to cover R&D cost)” and “pull (e.g. making advance purchase and support creating markets/demands)” incentives, promote well-coordinated Public-Private Partnership to develop new vaccines, drugs and alternative therapies as exemplified by the Global Health Innovative Technology Fund (GHIT) and the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI).
- Work to strengthen collaboration between research institutions, funding organizations and policy makers across G7 countries, building on the G7-process for mapping of R&D activities on NTDs and poverty-related diseases initiated in 2015 and now underway in 2016.
The Sabin Vaccine Institute applauds Japan, host of this year’s summit, for its ongoing leadership in the fight against NTDs, particularly in research and innovation for new tools to accelerate the fight against NTDs. Just days before the Summit, Japan announced its $130 million replenishment of the GHIT Fund, a global funding platform for research into new tools against HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and NTDs.
Statement of Dr. Peter Hotez, President of the Sabin Vaccine Institute and Director of its Product Development Partnership:
“I am pleased to see a renewed commitment from the G7 to address the scourge of NTDs. Creating market incentives for new tools against NTDs will help make it possible for interested scientists to engage in this research, and most importantly, will help get much needed new products into the hands of those who need them faster. Japan is leading by example with the GHIT Fund replenishment, and I hope to see the other member states step up to the challenge of NTD R&D in similar ways.
“More than 1.4 billion people around the world suffer from NTDs. The global effort to control and eliminate these diseases of poverty has treated more people than ever before with medication donated by pharmaceutical companies. But just half of people who require treatment receive it. Eliminating NTDs requires a two-pronged approach – investing in R&D for new vaccines, medications and diagnostics, while also scaling-up access to currently available treatments.
“We must ensure that communities are getting the care they need and that we will have new tools to finish the fight against NTDs. The estimated annual funding gap for NTD treatment is $220 million dollars – it’s a paltry amount in the G7 countries’ budgets. And, in fact, we are now seeing that NTDs are present in alarming numbers in impoverished communities in many nations, not just low-income countries. G7 leaders should increase their investment in NTD treatment to address this issue now as we pursue vaccines and other tools that may eventually eliminate these diseases for good.
“With regard to innovation, we are advancing and testing a new generation of ‘anti-poverty vaccines’ to combat the world’s most debilitating NTDs. These vaccine for helminth infections, Chagas disease, leishmaniasis, and other NTDs would not only improve global public health, but also help lift the bottom billion out of poverty.
“Sabin is asking the G7 to go beyond its current commitments by raising an additional annual investment of $220 million over the next five years to scale up access to treatments. We also encourage the G7 Health Ministers to expand upon the Heads of States’ declaration by proposing concrete, financially backed initiatives to tackle NTDs through both increased R&D and also access to currently existing treatments at their meeting in September."
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About the Sabin Vaccine Institute
The Sabin Vaccine Institute (Sabin) is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization of scientists, researchers and advocates dedicated to reducing needless human suffering from vaccine-preventable and neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). Since its founding in 1993 in honor of Dr. Albert B. Sabin, the developer of the oral polio vaccine, Sabin has been at the forefront of global efforts to eliminate, prevent and cure infectious and neglected tropical diseases. Sabin develops new vaccines, advocates for increased use of existing vaccines and promotes expanded access to affordable medical treatments in collaboration with governments, academic institutions, scientists, medical professionals and other non-profit organizations. For more information, please visit www.sabin.org.