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Fully Funding Global Fund, Continuing PPPs Will Help Defeat TB, HIV, Malaria

The WHO “projects that as many as two million people may develop drug-resistant strains of [tuberculosis (TB)] worldwide by 2015 — despite everyone’s efforts to achieve the 2015 Millennium Development Goals related to TB,” John Lechleiter, chair, president and CEO of Eli Lilly and Company and chair of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), writes in a Forbes opinion piece. “Neither governments nor market forces alone can solve this urgent global health problem, but working together in partnership, progress is indeed possible,” he writes, adding, “Strong investments today — starting with the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria — will diminish the threat posed by drug-resistant TB, and enable us to stop the scourge of all three of these diseases.” He continues, “It is absolutely critical to ensure that the Global Fund is fully funded in order to prevent drug resistance from undermining the gains we’ve made against TB, and to keep us on track to get all three of these diseases under control. Taking our eye off the ball now would imperil future generations and result in significantly higher health care costs for governments around the world.”

“Even with full funding, the Global Fund can’t tackle these diseases alone — and fortunately it won’t have to,” as “[a] wave of public-private partnerships have been launched since the U.N. established the Millennium Development Goals in 2000,” Lechleiter writes. “Today, the pharmaceutical industry is engaged in 40 partnerships targeting TB,” he notes, adding, “Another 43 public-private partnerships target HIV/AIDS, and 37 more focus on malaria.” He concludes, “We must fully fund the Global Fund, find new and better treatments, and seek creative solutions through innovative public-private partnerships. Together, we can stop drug-resistant TB — and even see the end of AIDS, TB and malaria once and for all” (9/18).