Leading the global fight against Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs), India is moving to strengthen efforts to eradicate the neglected tropical diseases such as dengue, visceral leishmaniasis (Kala azar), soil-transmitted Helminths, among others that affect millions of Indians every year especially children. There is urgent need to accelerate research and development for new tools, medicines and indigenous tests that target pathogen strains that are locally prevalent and adopt and accelerate strategies to reach the poorest and most marginalized populations who are most afflicted by NTDs.

According to the WHO, Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) affect over 1 billion people worldwide, and are devastating to patients in the developing world. These diseases kill or disable millions of people every year. These diseases were highlighted in a recent PhRMA Conversation in which PhRMA President and CEO John J. Castellani asked a variety of experts for their opinion on "What is being done to get treatments to these patients and to speed development of new treatments?" The 2013 G-FINDER report was also recently released, addressing global funding of innovation for neglected diseases.

Janssen, the pharmaceutical companies of Johnson & Johnson, today announced a first-of-its-kind pediatric HIV treatment donation program to improve access to the company's approved HIV medicines for children and adolescents failing HIV treatment in sub-Saharan Africa. Through this program, Janssen will donate its HIV medicines PREZISTA® (darunavir) and INTELENCE® (etravirine), including child-friendly formulations, free of charge to eligible countries with the clinical capacity and willingness to address second- and third-line pediatric HIV treatment. Each child enrolled will receive Janssen's donated HIV medicines as needed until they turn 19 at which point they will be transitioned into the adult national HIV program or other designated by the national HIV program for continued treatment.

Researchers at Novartis have identified a new target for the treatment of malaria, opening the door to the development of a novel stream of medicines to fight and potentially cure the disease, which kills more than 660,000 people a year.

Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter joined Pfizer today to commemorate the 15th Anniversary of the International Trachoma Initiative (ITI), an independent, not-for-profit program dedicated to the elimination of blinding trachoma as a public health concern. Trachoma is an infectious eye disease that is a leading cause of blindness and suffering in the poorest regions of the world. Pfizer has provided hundreds of millions of doses of the antibiotic Zithromax® (azithromycin) to help the global campaign wipe out blinding trachoma by the year 2020.

Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines division of Sanofi, announced today a partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to explore and develop new platforms and methods intended to accelerate vaccine R&D, particularly in areas of global health. The Vaccine Discovery Partnership (VxDP) is a newly created, formal mechanism by which the Gates Foundation can directly collaborate with Sanofi Pasteur and other vaccine-pharmaceutical companies across disease areas of interest. It provides an integrated, straight-forward and sustained relationship based on a memorandum of understanding (MOU).

Eisai Co., Ltd. announced today that it has begun the free supply of diethylcarbamazine citrate (DEC) 100 mg tablets to the World Health Organization (WHO) in line with its commitment to help WHO in its global effort to eliminate lymphatic filariasis in targeted developing and emerging countries. The Pacific Island nations of Papua New Guinea, Kiribati, Tuvalu and Fiji have been confirmed as the first countries to receive the initial shipment. An estimated 6.25 million people living in at-risk communities will benefit from mass drug administration (MDA) programs.

Bristol-Myers Squibb’s Partnering for Cure initiative, which will bring the medical and scientific communities together to develop new treatments for chronic diseases, was launched at the 14th European AIDS Clinical Society Conference on Wednesday. Partnering for Cure will pull together experts from across Europe to foster education, scientific exchange and research that will lead to advancements in the treatment of HIV, hepatitis and other viruses.

Immunisation has been one of the great success stories of global health. It is estimated to prevent the deaths of two to three million children each year. But another 1.5 million children still die from diseases that could be prevented by routine vaccines.

Citizen News Service (CNS), with support from the Lilly MDR-TB Partnership, recently released a report examining how drug-resistant tuberculosis (TB) in India is managed. The report covers lessons learned from selected sites in six cities across the country, and makes recommendations for improvements.

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