Wednesday, 16 April 2014

New EU programme will support 'global health R&D'

April 2014 is set to be an important month for global health and the fight against poverty-related and neglected diseases, writes Vicky Ford. At the European parliament's plenary session this week, she hopes to see the endorsement of the agreement on the second phase of the European and developing countries clinical trials partnership programme (EDCTP2), an important pillar in the EU's contribution to these challenges.
Currently, more than one billion people around the world are suffering from these diseases. Malaria alone accounted for approximately 627,000 deaths, most of them children under five years. These diseases have a wider impact on the lives and health of affected people and their local communities.
In the last decade, progress is being made. According to Ms. Vicky Ford, what is needed now is a policy environment that stimulates and accelerates the development of safe, affordable, innovative and accessible medical interventions which take into account the needs of those worst affected by poverty-related and neglected diseases.
The original EDCTP programme established in 2003 was created for precisely this reason and aims to develop new responses to HIV, Aids, malaria and tuberculosis. As parliament's rapporteur for the EDCTP2 programme, Vicky Ford has sought to establish a framework that can build on the successes of the first phase and broaden the disease scope to ensure that a wider range of challenges are tackled.
As the successor to this landmark programme, EDCTP2 will enhance the EU's contribution to supporting global health R&D in a various ways. It will widen the horizons of the programme to cover all poverty-related and neglected diseases prevalent in sub-Saharan Africa. EDCTP2 will increase the number of new and innovative interventions with the purpose of delivering a new medical intervention within 10 years. It will seek to strengthen the connections between the European and sub-Saharan global health research communities, with a focus on capacity building.
Source: The Parliament Magazine