An estimated two billion people lack the medicines they need. The 2016 Access to Medicines Index analyzes pharmaceutical companies’ efforts to improve access to medicines, vaccines and diagnostics for low- and middle-income countries.

Sabin Vaccine Institute President Dr. Peter Hotez gave the keynote address on NTDs at the Pontifical Council for Health Care Workers’ XXXI International Conference, focused on NTDs and rare diseases.

During my many years as a diplomat, I saw firsthand how the power of collective action can be extraordinarily important in shaping momentous changes. A few examples include: the creation of the PEPFAR program to combat HIV/AIDS, the accelerated response to terrorism following the East African embassy bombings, effective international coordination to tackle the SARS and avian flu threats, and the constructive collaboration between the United States and Vietnam on the issue of Agent Orange.

Last year, the leaders of some of the wealthiest nations pledged help control and eliminate the most common neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) by 2020.

This article was originally posted on the DSW Blog.

by Peter Hotez, M.D., Ph.D. Hotez is Dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine where he is also the Texas Children’s Hospital Endowed Chair in Tropical Pediatrics and the University Professor of Biology at Baylor University.

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