Print

UNITAID celebrates 10 years of innovation in global health

on .

Geneva, 3 June 2016. Ministers of Health from more than 30 countries gathered with national ambassadors and UNITAID partners in Geneva, Switzerland, on 22 May 2016 to celebrate 10 years of UNITAID’s work. They discussed the organisation’s successes as well as challenges for the future. The ministers also shared ideas about their national policies for HIV, malaria and tuberculosis.

Health ministers and diplomats gathered at Hotel President Wilson in Geneva to celebrate UNITAID’s 10 years of innovation in global health (Video: François Glatz for UNITAID):

Dr Raymonde Goudou Coffie, the Ivorian Minister of Health and the Fight against HIV/AIDS, congratulated UNITAID on work that has helped West Africa, praised its innovative financing model, and
urged the organisation to continue to innovate to beat the three diseases. “Now is the time to act, to research and to put vaccines in place,” she said. “The fight continues.” Ivory Coast is using mobile technology to deliver health services, setting a good example for many African countries.

Dr Peter Kumpalume, the Minister for Health of Malawi, listed the top innovations that he would like to see for healthcare in his country. “If we could find a means of eliminating malaria quickly and cheaply, that would be number one,” he said. “Number two would be a test-kit for tuberculosis which is as quick as the Rapid Diagnostic Tests for malaria we currently have.” Kumpalume added that innovation was needed for shorter TB treatments.

Jim O'Neill of the Review on Antimicrobial Resistance called for the reform of our use of antibiotics, warning against using them "like sweets". He called for banning the use of antibiotics in agriculture, reminding us that 70 % of antibiotics prescribed in the US are for animals. Lord O'Neill also said that the world needs state-of-the-art diagnostics to prevent unnecessary use of antibiotics.

After O'Neill's presentation on Antimicrobial Resistance, UNITAID chair Philippe Douste-Blazy took the stage to speak of UNITAID's success over 10 years.
Brazilian minister Celso Amorim, who will soon take over as UNITAID chair from Philippe Douste-Blazy, was there.


For more on UNITAID’s celebrations of 10 years of innovation in global health, follow #UNITAIDat10 on Facebook and Twitter.

Print

UNITAID publishes updated disease narrative for tuberculosis

on .

GENEVA, 22 March 2016 – Today UNITAID published an updated “disease narrative” for tuberculosis – a rigorous analysis of the context surrounding the disease – to help guide its investments.

A primary goal of UNITAID is to identify how it can best contribute to the global response with carefully targeted investments that help, for example, to overcome specific obstacles such as high prices for medicines that show promise.

These “areas for intervention”, pinpointing where UNITAID’s investments can most effectively help advance global health goals to end tuberculosis, are the building blocks of our work. They also enable our partners to achieve more with scarce resources.

Print

Global Health Partners Begin Building a New Approach to Ensure Equitable Access to Medicines

on .

26 February 2015 - Global health partners met in Geneva to begin the process of building a new approach to better determine health needs and constraints and addressing them in countries.

The new framework, the Equitable Access Initiative, aims to better inform international decision making processes on health and development, particularly where they rely on traditional gross-national-income classification as a measure of where to invest global health resources.

Print

Solutions Identified to enable affordable medicines for hepatitis C, UNITAID new report highlights

on .

UNITAID signs grant with MSF to spur action

Geneva. 12 February 2015 - UNITAID’s newly published analysis on the rapidly changing medicines market for hepatitis C [PDF, 2 MB] indicates four routes by which recently developed but currently prohibitively expensive medicines can be made affordable and available for widespread use.  There are up to 150 million infected worldwide with this curable disease, and up to 700,000 deaths each year from related liver disease.  The new medicines could be game-changers for the fight against the disease if made widely available.  UNITAID has already started working with Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) to demonstrate the feasibility of treating hepatitis C with these new medicines in resource limited settings, including through reducing prices.

Print

UNITAID publishes comprehensive review of detection and monitoring technologies for hepatitis C

on .

Diagnosis and screening currently too complex and expensive, but new options emerging

Geneva – January 2014.   UNITAID’s review of testing technologies for hepatitis C (HCV) published today, finds that although current diagnosis and screening options for the disease remain too complex and expensive for widespread scale up, there are some emerging technologies which could change this situation.  The new report, Hepatitis C Diagnostics Technology Landscape [PDF, 4 MB], follows an initial scoping report released in 2013 that explored the many issues and challenges related to HCV treatment and diagnosis. The new landscape report identifies several simpler tests which will enable diagnosis and monitoring closer to the point-of-care with the patient.  Some of these are expected to reach the market later this year. 

Print

New Vector Control Products Urgently Needed to Combat Insecticide Resistance, UNITAID Report Warns

on .

Geneva – 5 December 2014.  With a growing intensity and increasing geographical spread of insecticide resistance, UNITAID’s Malaria Vector Control Landscape [PDF, 1.4 MB] highlights the need to stimulate product innovation for new solutions to tackle issue of malaria-carrying mosquitos.  It suggests that this could be achieved through increased financing  for R&D for vector control products, given that the vector control market is not seen as an attractive commercial target by industry.  The report also indicates that further measures to accelerate acceptance and uptake of new products in the market may also be needed, particularly as new products are likely to be more expensive than existing intervention tools.

Print

UNITAID Finds Affordability, Availability and Demand Slow Access to HIV Prevention Products

on .

Geneva – 28 November 2014. UNITAID has published its 2014 HIV Preventives Technology and Market Landscape [PDF, 2.1 MB] which shows that although there has been a significant increase in products with promise to curb HIV transmission, scaling up access to them has been slow due to a variety of issues including affordability, availability and demand – all market based.  The report highlights opportunities to change this through efforts to reduce various market obstacles such as the lack of product approval completion.

Although the number of new HIV infections fell by 38% from 2001 to 2013, the number of new infections remains high, with over 2 million people newly infected in 2013 alone.  With AIDS as the sixth leading cause of death globally and the number one cause of death in sub-Saharan Africa, preventing new cases of HIV infection needs to remain a major global health priority.  Preventative tools can substantially contribute if made widely available.

Print

UNITAID’s EXPAND-TB and TBXpert MTB-RIF Projects Detect Over A Quarter of all MDR-TB Cases

on .

Makes Significant Contribution to WHO’s estimate of 30% Increase In Case Detection

Geneva, 22nd October 2014 – UNITAID welcomes new data in the World Health Organization’s new global report on tuberculosis (TB) which shows a 30% increase in case detection of multi-drug resistant TB (MDR-TB) in 2013, much of which is attributed to the roll out of the UNITAID-funded EXPAND-TB and TBXpert projects.

Print

Support Builds For Japan’s Adoption of the Air Ticket Levy at the Terashima Commission

on .

Tokyo, 12 October 2014 - Discussions on Japan’s possible adoption of the innovative air ticket levy continued today in Tokyo at a symposium to commemorate the launch of the Second Terashima Commission.  The Commission, a multi-sectoral coalition advocating for Japan to agree to the Solidarity Levy, includes parliamentarians, academics, civil society groups, trade unions, private sector and international organizations. Delegates were urged to help convince Japanese authorities that the country should come on board and implement the air ticket cooperation charge, as a first step to a wider but more complex contribution such as through the Financial Transaction Tax.  The campaign has already received widespread support under the leadership of the Parliamentary group chaired by Mr Seishiro Eto and been actively promoted by Mr Michihiro Ishibashi with the crucial support of Mr Tetsuji Tanaka from the International Solidarity Levy group (ISL).