Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative

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Seventy-second World Health Assembly (A72/1)
Agenda Item: 
- Preparation for the high-level meeting of the United Nations General Assembly on universal health coverage

The collective UHC agenda cannot be delivered without addressing the diagnostic and treatment technology gaps that hinder the effective treatment of patients, and are required to tackle the rising threat of drug resistance and for the sustainable elimination of infectious diseases, including hepatitis and Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs).

Developing new tools, that focus on public health priorities, based upon the principles of affordability, affordability, effectiveness, efficiency and equity can significantly contribute to both individual health and the quality and resilience of health systems, reducing waste, inefficiency and the burden of care.

Poor-quality care accounts for 60% of deaths from conditions amenable to health. The dearth of appropriate tools to assess, diagnose and treat the most vulnerable is a significant driver of poor quality health services. A key measure of quality universal health coverage will be the extent to which it provides health care to the most vulnerable: the poor, children, those with neglected or stigmatized diseases, or otherwise at the periphery of health systems.

An important first step is the recommendation to Member States in resolution EB144.R10 to support research and development of medicines and vaccines for communicable and non-communicable diseases, including NTDs.
We ask member states to also ensure that the UN High Level Meeting on Universal Health Coverage discuss indicators that measure the following elements, necessary to deliver quality UHC:
1. The specific needs of all vulnerable and neglected populations, including children and adolescents
2. The availability and accessibility of existing essential medicines and mechanisms to accelerate these
3. The identification of priority products already in pipelines and the acceleration of their development
4. Joint strategies between drug and diagnostics developers and delivery systems
5. Building and support of public-health driven innovative R&D