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Access to Medicines

Lymphatic Filariasis

Neglected Tropical Diseases: From Promises to Progress Tackling Lymphatic Filariasis in Madagascar and Beyond (video presentation)

September 2, 2013

As part of its commitment under the London Declaration on Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs), Eisai, a signatory to the declaration, has agreed to provide 2.2 billion diethylcarbamazine (DEC) tablets to the World Health Organization (WHO) at price zero. In line with this agreement with WHO, Eisai has decided to produce the tablets at its Vizag Plant in India in order to ensure a consistent supply of high-quality DEC tablets. On August 20, 2013, Eisai received prequalification from WHO for DEC tablets developed by the company (http://www.eisai.com/news/news201348.html). Based on the prequalification, from 2013 Eisai will be able to deliver “Eisai-original,” high-quality DEC tablets over a seven-year period to some 250 million people at risk of contracting lymphatic filariasis.

Meanwhile, during the 2012 E013 period until the Eisai-original DEC tablets can be made available, Sanofi-produced DEC tablets are being supplied to WHO at price zero based on a three-way partnership comprising the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Sanofi and Eisai (http://www.eisai.co.jp/company/atm/lymphaticfilariasis/03.html).

In January 2013, Sanofi-produced DEC tablets provided by this three-way partnership were delivered through WHO to Madagascar, a country where lymphatic filariasis is endemic, allowing the implementation of that country's first mass drug administration program for the disease.

An introduction of this mass drug administration program in action, as well as perspectives on elimination of lymphatic filariasis from the CEOs of GSK*, Sanofi and Eisai—the companies providing the medicine—will be presented in the video below.

Watch video (5 min., 20 sec.)

Based on this three-way partnership, DEC tablets will also be provided to Malaysia, Myanmar and Timor-Leste, where similar campaigns to eliminate lymphatic filariasis are planned.

*GSK (GlaxoSmithKline) provides the lymphatic filariasis treatment albendazole.

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