UK-based pharmaceutical companies are among those leading the way in both the effort and resources they offer to tackle developing world diseases. Many countries lack the most basic health services and even the cheapest treatments cannot be afforded. As a result, diseases which have been largely eliminated from the developed world, including tuberculosis and cholera, continue to flourish in poorer countries. Other diseases that are also far more common in developing world countries than elsewhere include leprosy, malaria and trachoma, and the spread of HIV/AIDS has added to the overwhelming problems which face some of the poorest countries in the world.
Many of our member companies, operating on a global basis, have programmes in place to support access to medicines in countries where health services are still poor and many companies have established private-public health partnerships in association with Governments across the developing world to secure universal access to healthcare for all. In many cases, the emphasis of these public-private partnerships is on building local capacity to reinforce the abilities of local health services, to help establish lasting change.
Moving beyond the supply of medicines in developing countries, pharmaceutical companies are providing training for health workers, education programmes, logistical infrastructure and research into neglected diseases as part of wider strategies supporting poorer countries.
A number of our member companies have donated substantial amounts of medicines to International Health Partners (IHPUK) which works with the UK Government and NGOs to distribute medicines to areas of the world where they are most needed, usually as a result of natural disaster. IHPUK acts as a clearing house to match requests for assistance from aid agencies and Governments with supplies offered by pharmaceutical companies. This partnership for instance succeeded in securing vital supplies of medicines for Haiti within days of the disastrous earthquake.