JEF 2021 DEBATES

HIGHLY PREVALENT NEGLECTED DISEASES: DEVELOPING MEDICINES AND BUILDING INFRASTRUCTURE FOR THE REST OF THE WORLD


Background 

While COVID-19 highlighted the importance of health investments, particularly for innovative therapies to address high-impact global health challenges, the pandemic diverted attention and much-needed resources from other disease areas. From the Global Fund’s “Big Three” diseases (AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis) to the 20 designated Neglected Tropical Disease and beyond, many diseases continue to exact tremendous economic and human tolls on billions of people across the globe, particularly those in marginalized communities in the developing world. What is being done to address these diseases and their burdens and what is being done to develop new tools and innovative approaches?  How can we apply the lessons and innovations from the COVID-19 response to better address these ongoing health challenges and improve health equity for the rest of the world?

Agenda

The webinar will feature leading experts from academia, industry and government:  

  • Kenneth Moch (Moderator), Senior Advisor to the Chairman, Center for Global Health Innovation and Global Health Crisis Coordination Center
  • Dr. Julie Gerberding, Chief Patient Officer and Executive Vice President, Population Health and Sustainability, Merck & Co., Inc.
  • Dr. Mwelecele Ntuli Malecela, Director, Department of Control of Neglected Tropical Diseases, World Health Organization
  • Dr. Rajeev Venkayya, President, Global Vaccines Unit, Takeda Pharmaceuticals
  • Dr. Scott C. Weaver, John Sealy Distinguished University Chair in Human Infections & Immunity; Chair, Department of Microbiology and Immunology; Director, Institute for Human Infections and Immunity; Scientific Director Galveston National Laboratory; and GVN Center Director, University of Texas Medical Branch

Drawing from experiences over the COVID-19 pandemic, panelists will discuss and offer perspectives and recommendations around the following topics:

  • What are the trends or specific developments in your focus area that you are most excited about?  What are the challenges that you and your colleagues have found most daunting or problematic?
  • From the scientific perspective, what impact have these trends and challenges had on the development of new medicines? How has the COVID-19 response, including the diversion of resources and attention to fight the pandemic, impacted your work and those of others within the scientific arena?   
  • From the global distribution perspective, how can we solve global health problems if we cannot get the medicines to the people who need them the most?  Will we be able to solve the problems around patient access and distribution breakdowns further exposed during the Covid-19 response, and how might these solutions benefit your efforts? 
  • From an ethics perspective, how can we apply the lessons and innovations from the COVID-19 response to better respond to longstanding global health challenges and better meet needs for the marginalized populations?
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