The NCD Alliance welcomes major announcement by a coalition of biopharmaceutical companies to address the barriers of access on NCDs in low- and lower-middle income countries.
Today, a new global initiative Access Accelerated was launched at the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting in Davos by twenty-two leading biopharmaceutical companies to advance access to noncommunicable disease (NCD) prevention and care in low and lower-middle income countries (LICs and LMICs).
The NCD Alliance welcomes this initiative as a major multi-year investment and a first-of-its-kind collaboration across the pharmaceutical industry to address the barriers of access on NCDs in LMICs. Supported by funding of $50 million and a pledge of increased individual company programmes focused on NCDs, Access Accelerated will serve as a common framework for companies to answer the call to partnership outlined in the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and contribute to the reduction of premature deaths from NCDs by one-third by 2030.
Part of this initiative includes pioneering new models for multisectoral partnerships, which are so essential for the NCD response. Access Accelerated is working together with the World Bank Group to identify solutions to address financing, regulatory, and service delivery barriers at country level, as well as partnering with specialist organisations in each of the major NCDs, starting with cancer. The coalition of companies will serve as a founding partner of C/Can 2025: City Cancer Challenge (C/Can 2025), a new city-level initiative also launched in Davos this week, and spearheaded by one of the NCD Alliance founding members – the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC).
The launch of initiatives such as C/Can 2025 and Access Accelerated at Davos underscores the need for political leaders at the highest level to confront NCDs as a global priority, and the importance for all stakeholders to play their part in reorienting health systems to respond to NCDs and improve access to lifesaving medicines and technologies. For the millions of people living with cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, chronic respiratory disease and the many other NCDs, access to care is a human right, not a privilege.
In order for the Access Accelerated initiative to have a lasting impact in improving access in LMICs, the NCD Alliance will be urging the coalition of companies to put the needs and priorities of people living with NCDs and their carers first. People living with NCDs have a wealth of first-hand knowledge, experience and insight that must be harnessed to ensure effective interventions for NCD prevention, treatment and care. Furthermore, the initiative must take a holistic approach, addressing the barriers across the patient’s whole healthcare ecosystem, from the systemic weaknesses within health systems to respond to NCDs such as inefficiencies in supply chain, procurement procedures, and insufficient investments, to ensuring a strong focus on patient empowerment and education to encourage adherence to treatment.
The NCD Alliance looks forward to engaging with partners in Access Accelerated, and tracking the initiative’s impact for people living with NCDs and those affected.