Key role for medicines in global fight against non-communicable diseases

Medicines have an important role to play in reducing the burden of non-communicable disease around the world, Medicines Australia chief executive Dr Brendan Shaw said today.

Speaking as the United Nations General Assembly High Level Meeting on Non-Communicable Diseases concluded in New York, Dr Shaw said the burden of diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer and respiratory disease presented a significant challenge for the world health community.

“While lifestyle choices such as exercise and diet can be extremely effective means of preventing disease, there are many cost-effective prescription medicines that can play a key role in the battle against non-communicable disease,” Dr Shaw said.

“Research released by the pharmaceutical industry in New York to coincide with the UN meeting shows that effective medicines for non-communicable diseases exist and are available in generic form.

“However, these medicines are failing to reach many patients in the developing world. Improving access to those medicines is and must remain a priority for governments, industry and NGOs.

“It is encouraging that the UN’s Political Declaration specifically acknowledged the importance of promoting ‘increased access to affordable, safe, effective and quality medicines’.”

The International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations this week published an independent policy report on non-communicable diseases, identifying structural obstacles to treating non-communicable diseases across healthcare systems globally.

The study identifies four priority areas for the research-based pharmaceutical industry to consider:

  • Innovative ways to improve adherence to non-communicable disease medicines
  • Overcoming barriers to availability of medicines in poor and remote areas
  • Improving access to primary care
  • Removing regulatory restrictions that hamper the availability of medicines.

The IFPMA report is available from here  (please follow link)


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