New Delhi, Sept.2: At an interactive session with Indian pharmaceuticals and diagnostics industry leaders organized by FICCI and UNITAID, Dr. Denis Broun, Executive Director, UNITAID, explained how the organization was addressing market shortcomings through a wide range of actions, rather than only by procuring products.
Market transformations lead to long-term improvements that better serve populations of developing countries by encouraging new producers to enter the market, stimulating competition, increasing transparency, improving the quality of medicines and diagnostics, and sustaining these changes.
Market-based interventions became the unique feature of UNITAID during the first stage of its development.
He said UNITAID operates as a large scale, procurement group with the goal of correcting major shortcomings in the markets for drugs and preventive products for HIV, tuberculosis (TB) and malaria.
Several major successful initiatives have been implemented, notably in the area of paediatric antiretroviral drugs (ARVs), second line ARV drugs for adult HIV infection, long-lasting insecticide-treated bed nets (LLINs) and access to drugs for multi-drug resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB).
UNITAID’s mission has remained constant over the years. It increases access to treatment for HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria for people in developing countries by leveraging price reductions of quality drugs and diagnostics, which currently are unaffordable for most developing countries, and to accelerate the pace at which they are made available, he said.
Dr. Broun said UNITAID will remain focused on product markets for the diagnosis and treatment of HIV, TB and malaria, as well as prevention commodities, co-morbidities and co-infections significant to these three diseases.
The aim of its interventions is to substantially improve public health outcomes in developing countries. Interventions financed by UNITAID will combine the best market and public health outcomes, and adhere to its guiding principles: innovation, value for money, equity, sustainability, flexibility and transparency.
In addition, it will increase and leverage its partnerships, and continue to take a strong ‘propublic-health’ approach to intellectual property.
Dr. A Didar Singh, Secretary General, FICCI, said that 80% of the generic medicines that reach the grass root level is sourced from India.
India is known for providing high quality drugs with low resources. The need is to now look at innovative ways to meet the increasing demand for these medicines at the bottom of the pyramid.
Some of the other speakers were Mr. Ravi Mehta, Head – Global ARVs’, Ranbaxy Labs. Ltd.; Mr. Prashant Deshpande, Senior General Manager, Mylan Laboratories Limited; Mr. Prashant Sisodia, GM – International Marketing, Hetero Drugs and Mr. Bivash Chakraborty, Head – Regulatory Affairs, BioMerieux India Pvt. Ltd. (ANI)