July 20, 2001
Today, G8 heads of state will announce the constitution of a global health fund. But there is no clear plan for how the funds will be used. Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is particularly concerned with the lack of policy to ensure the purchase of the most affordable medicines and other health commodities.
An article in today's New York Times1 raises concerns over a split between the U.S. and EU over how the money should be spent.
"Without a deliberate strategy to ensure the funding can be used to purchase from generic producers including those in developing countries, the fund will be mainly a subsidy to the European and American drug industries," says MSF's Ellen 't Hoen. "We are here at the G8 to demand that the governments of the richest countries in the world put people's lives over profits. An equitable pricing system and restarting research and development for neglected diseases are key parts of improving access to life-saving medicines in the developing world."
Fourteen million people die of infectious diseases every year. Ninety percent of them live in developing countries. Many of the victims of these diseases die because they have no access to the medicines they need.
© 2013 Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)