Webinar Series "Challenges of expanding access to health products in the fight against NTDs"

NTD webinar series (2nd collection)

“Challenges of expanding access to health products in the fight against NTDs”

Neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) prevail among the hard-to-reach populations in the world. To protect them from NTDs, developing good health products is necessary, but is not sufficient without creating access to them. Access is a complex matter: no single organization can create it successfully.

This webinar series will clarify some conceptual aspects about access, discuss key access challenges from different perspectives and how these can be overcome. The webinar series also considers how Japanese actors might be able to contribute to addressing some of those access challenges.

 

Language: English (Simultaneous interpretation in Japanese available)

Participation fee: Free

Organized by: Japan Alliance of Global Neglected Tropical Diseases (JAGntd)

Sponsored by: Global Health Innovative Technology Fund (GHIT Fund)

 

List of past webins (Click the title of each session to see an overview and recording of the completed webinar.)

Session 1 - "Concepts and Definitions: What is Access? (Chagas in the US as an example)"

Monday, September 13, 2021 10: 00-11: 00 (Japan time)

  • Michael Reich; Professor Emeritus, Harvard School of Public Health

Youtube Recordings: English / Japanese

Session 2 - "Developer’s perspective: Fexinidazole for African Trypanosomiasis"

Thursday, October 14, 2021 16: 00-17: 00 (Japan time)

  • Olaf Valverde Mordt; Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative (DNDi)
  • Florent Mbo; Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative (DNDi)

Youtube Recordings: English / Japanese

Session 3 - "Country's Perspective: Introduction of Pediatric Praziquantel for Schistosomiasis in Tanzania"

Thursday, November 18, 2021 16: 00-17: 00 (Japan time)

  • Peter Steinmann; Swiss TPH, Pediatric Praziquantel Consortium
  • Khadija Innocensia Yahya-Malima; Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences, Tanzania
  • Paul Erasto Kazyoba; National Institute for Medical Research, Tanzania

Youtube Recordings: English / Japanese

Session 4 - "WHO's Perspective: Strengthening National NTD Programs in Africa"

Thursday, December 16, 2021 17: 00-18: 00 (Japan time)

  • Modeste Tezembong; Expanded Special Project for Elimination of Neglected Tropical Diseases (ESPEN), WHO/AFRO

Youtube Recordings: English / Japanese

Session 5 - "Nudging the Industry (1): Visualizing Pharmaceutical Companies' Efforts"

Thursday, January 20, 2022 17: 00-18: 00 (Japan time)

  • Margo Warren; Access to Medicine Foundation
  • Shinichi Kohguchi; Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Asset Management Co., Ltd.

Youtube Recordings: English / Japanese

Session 6 - "Nudging the Industry (2): Patent as a Barrier or Leverage?"

Thursday, February 17, 2022 17: 00-18: 00 (Japan time)

  • Esteban Burrone; Medicines Patent Pool

Youtube Recordings: English / Japanese

Session 7 - "Financing: Who Pays for What?"

Thursday, March 17, 2022 17: 00-18: 00 (Japan time)

  • Cecilia Oh; Access and Delivery Partnership, UNDP
  • Rohit Malpani; Public Health Consultant, Unitaid board member

Youtube Recordings: English / Japanese

 

Past sessions

Session 1 - "Concepts and Definitions: What is Access?"

Monday, September 13, 2021 10: 00-11: 00 (Japan time)

Michael Reich; Professor Emeritus, Harvard School of Public Health

Session 1 will clarify conceptual fogs around access. The term “access” is widely used, but often without a clear definition. The lecture by Prof. Reich will introduce an “access framework” that defines access and its related terms. As an example of using the access framework, Dr. Yoshioka (JAGntd) will present his study about access to Chagas disease treatment in the United States. The concepts and definitions introduced in Session 1 will be used throughout the webinar series.

Book Reference: " Access: How do good health technologies get to poor people in poor countries? "

Check the recording from the link below (jump to Youtube)
English / Japanese

 

Session 2 - "Developer’s perspective: Fexinidazole for African Trypanosomiasis"

Thursday, October 14, 2021 16: 00-17: 00 (Japan time)

Olaf Valverde Mordt; Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative (DNDi)
Florent Mbo; Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative (DNDi)

Session 2 focuses on fexinidazole, the first all-oral treatment for African Trypanosomiasis. This medicine was developed a few years ago in partnership with DNDi, Sanofi and many other organizations. DNDi and its partners are currently working together to deliver fexinidazole in African countries. Fexinidazole can be seen as a promising story of a drug developer engaging in delivering NTD medicines. The invited speakers will identify key access challenges and how DNDi has addressed them.

Check the recording from the link below (jump to Youtube)
English / Japanese

What is Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi)?

DNDi is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the research and development (R&D) of new therapeutics and treatments based on patient needs, primarily for neglected diseases such as human African Trypanosomiasis (African sleeping sickness), Leishmaniasis, Chagas disease, Filariasis, pediatric HIV, Mycetoma and Hepatitis C.

Access the official homepage from here

Guest introduction

Dr. Olaf Valverde Mordt

Dr. Olaf Valverde Mordt works at DNDi as Medical Manager in human African trypanosomiasis drug development program since June 2009. Earlier he served as Country Coordinator for MdM in Indonesia (2006-08), has over 20 years of field humanitarian experience mostly with MSF in Latin America, Africa and Asia, including the MSF Access to Essential Medicines Campaign in Guatemala and Indonesia. Involved in malaria, HIV, cholera, vaccination, emergencies and other health issues. He participated in the initial steps of access to AIDS treatment in Central America. He was general Director of the Spanish section of MSF between 1995 and 1997. He faced human African trypanosomiasis in Uganda (1989), Angola (1995) and DR of Congo (2003). He is medical doctor trained in Madrid (1984), Diploma in Tropical Medicine in Barcelona in 1988 and he is MSc in Public Health in Developing Countries for the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine since 1994.

 

Dr. Florent Mbo

Dr. Florent Mbo works at DNDi as an access and human African trypanosomiasis (HAT) platform coordinator since 2015. He has over 20 years of field experience as a GP, health district hospital medical director, head of health district, provincial coordinator of national sleeping sickness control program of Democratic Republic of Congo for over ten years. As an access and HAT platform coordinator, he is focusing on advocacy to African endemic countries to use news drugs by obtaining the authorization of use via Ministries of Health and training on new drugs use and pharmacovigilance (PV) within endemic countries in collaboration with WHO. He trained as a medical doctor in Kinshasa (1998), and received a MSc in tropical diseases control for Tropical Medicine Institute from Antwerp, Belgium in 2007. He also has two university certificates in health system research from Health public school (Free University of Brussels) in 2012 and health policy (Tropical Medicine Institute of Antwerp) in 2014 in Belgium.

 

 

Session 3 - "Country's Perspective: Introduction of Pediatric Praziquantel for Schistosomiasis in Tanzania"

Thursday, November 18, 2021 16: 00-17: 00 (Japan time)

Peter Steinmann; Swiss TPH, Pediatric Praziquantel Consortium
Khadija Innocensia Yahya-Malima; Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences, Tanzania
Paul Erasto Kazyoba; National Institute for Medical Research, Tanzania

Session 3 examines challenges to introduce a new NTD drug from a country perspective. Pediatric praziquantel, though it is not yet approved by health regulatory authorities, is expected to provide a solution to treat children infected with schistosomiasis. This session will first invite Dr. Steinmann from the Pediatric Praziquantel Consortium to review the consortium’s global access strategies. Then, we focus on Tanzania. Dr. Yahya-Malima and Dr. Kazyoba will explain a project to get this country ready for the future introduction of pediatric praziquantel. This project in Tanzania is supported by the Access and Delivery Partnership, funded by the Government of Japan. This session will deepen your understanding of the preparations that can be made in a country level for accepting new drugs prior to their approval, focusing on the necessary communications and community engagement.

Check the recording from the link below (jump to Youtube)
English / Japanese

What is the Pediatric Praziquantel Consortium?

The Pediatric Praziquantel Consortium is an international partnership that aims to reduce the global burden of disease from schistosomiasis by addressing the medical needs of infected preschool children. Schistosomiasis affects more than 200 million people worldwide, including at least 25 million preschool children who currently lack access to appropriate treatment. The Consortium operates as a non-profit organization.

The official homepage of Pediatric Praziquantel Consortiumhere

Guest introduction

Dr. Peter Steinmann

Dr. Peter Steinmann is a trained epidemiologist and public health specialist, and holds a habilitation (Associate professorship) in epidemiology at the University of Basel. He has a track record of epidemiological and implementation research and consultancy work related to neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), health system strengthening, project monitoring and public health in general in Africa, Asia and Brazil. He regularly teaches at the University of Basel, publishes in leading global health and tropical disease journals, and presents findings at international conferences. His main interest is the validation and uptake of innovations for NTD control programs, with a focus on soil-transmitted helminthiasis, schistosomiasis and leprosy. Within the Pediatric Praziquantel Consortium, Peter co-leads the Access sub-team and coordinates the contribution of Swiss TPH to the ADOPT implementation research program, with a focus on protocol rigor, scientific documentation and dissemination to policy makers, the scientific community and other stakeholders.

Dr. Khadija I. Yahya-Malima

Dr. Khadija Innocensia Yahya-Malima is a consultant epidemiologist with a nursing background, and is currently a lecturer at Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Health Sciences (MUHAS), Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. She has more than sixteen years of experience working with national, regional and international experts in academia; public health; health care systems; coordination, monitoring and promotion of health research to regulation of biomedical research and regulation of health care professionals. She has also served as a liaison and a technical advisor with international agencies in promoting the conduct of clinical trials and promoting innovations in health and evidence-based policy and decision making. Her interest in public health led her to work on the epidemiology of HIV and other STIs with a focus on community based preventive intervention research within rural remote areas of Tanzania, in the early phases of the epidemic and earned her a PhD from the University of Bergen, Norway. She is highly committed in contributing her skills and expertise in teams that deliver health care solutions to society.

 

Dr. Paul E. Kazyoba

Dr. Paul Erasto Kazyoba is a Chief Research Scientist and Director of Research Coordination and Promotion at the National Institute for Medical Research (NIMR), Tanzania. He holds a PhD (Phytomedicines) from the University of Fort Hare, South Africa, and MPhil (Med Chemistry) from the University of Botswana. Early in his career, he was involved in research focusing on drug discovery with a focus on tuberculosis and malaria. Currently, he is coordinating the implementation of the Access and Delivery Partnership (ADP) activities with an emphasis on implementation research. Working with Special programme for research and training in tropical diseases (TDR), Dr. Kazyoba is coordinating the projects on quantification of medicines, strengthening institutional capacity to adopt and deploy pediatric praziquantel formulation when it will be available, and strengthening the capacity of the country to adopt and implement the new WHO roadmap for eliminating NTDs 2021-2030.

 

 

Session 4 – WHO/ESPEN’s perspective: Strengthening national NTD programs in Africa

Thursday, December 16, 2021 17: 00-18: 00 (Japan time)

Modeste Tezembong; Expanded Special Project for Elimination of Neglected Tropical Diseases (ESPEN), WHO/AFRO

Session 4 looks into the WHO’s regional project to sweep five NTDs out of Africa, called Expanded Special Project for Elimination of Neglected Tropical Diseases (ESPEN). Working with African countries, ESPEN has contributed to mobilizing political, technical and financial resources to accelerate mass drug administration of donated medicines. From the WHO’s perspective, the speaker will discuss what kinds of assistance have been needed by African countries in order to deliver those medicines. The audience will find the importance of external assistance to distribute medicines among developing countries.

Check the recording from the link below (jump to Youtube)
English / Japanese

What is the Expanded Special Project for Eliminating NTDs (ESPEN)?

The Neglected Tropical Diseases Control Project (ESPEN) is a five-year plan launched by the World Health Organization (WHO) Africa Regional Secretariat (AFRO) in May 2016 and is a national NTD program. With technical and financial support to accelerate the control of neglected tropical diseases (PC-NTDs), where there are five of the most burdensome preventive chemotherapy on the African continent. .. These five "neglected tropical diseases" refer to onchocerciasis, lymphatic filariasis, cystosoma, soil-transmitted worm infection, and trachomatosis.

For more information on ESPENhere

Guest introduction

Mr. Modeste Tezembong

Mr Tezembong is a health Procurement and Supply Chain Management Advisor with extensive experience in health commodities such as HIV/AIDS, TB, Malaria and NTD drugs. He is currently serving as the regional technical officer for NTD medicines supply chain management at WHO AFRO in the ESPEN project. Before joining ESPEN, he previously worked for EGPAF, UNICEF, IOM, MINUSCA, etc. on projects funded by UNITAID/WHO, USAID/CDC-PEPFAR, BMGF, CIFF, J&J, ECHO, etc. He has a master’s degree in logistics and strategic supply chain from Institut Universitaire de la Cote (IUC), and a post graduate diploma in global health procurement and supply chain management from Empower School of Health & Kent State University.

 

Session 5 - "Nudging the Industry (1): Visualizing Pharmaceutical Companies' Efforts"

Thursday, January 20, 2022 17: 00-18: 00 (Japan time)

Margo Warren; Access to Medicine Foundation
Shinichi Kohguchi; Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Asset Management Co., Ltd.

Session 5 introduces the work done by the Access to Medicine Foundation (AMF). AMF is an independent non-profit organization whose mission is to stimulate and guide pharmaceutical companies to improve access to medicine in low- and middle-income countries. By publishing the Access to Medicine Index, the AMF fosters competition to improve access among pharma companies. The invited speaker will explain what AMF considers as key access barriers and how AMF has changed the pharma industry towards better access. This session also explores a view of a Japanese investment company that endorses AMF. The audience will understand the implication of AMF’s work on access to NTD medicines in the world.

Check the recording from the link below (jump to Youtube)
English / Japanese

What is Access to Medicine Foundation (AMF)?

The Access to Medicine Foundation (AMF) is an independent non-profit organization founded in 2003. The organization's Access to Medicine Index collects, validates, scores and analyzes data focused on drug access initiatives for 20 of the world's leading pharmaceutical companies.

For more information on AMF. access here

Guest introduction

Ms. Margo Warren

Margo Warren is the Head of Policy for the Access to Medicine Foundation. She liaises with governments, private foundations and multilateral organisations that are actively working to improve global health and access to medicine in order to share the Foundation’s research findings and identify key opportunities for collaboration and change-making. She represents the Foundation on external advisory committees and task forces, with a consortium of partners including the WHO and other UN agencies. Prior to joining the Foundation, Margo worked for the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care in Ontario, Canada, in strategic health policy. In her position at the Ministry, Margo led the development of new initiatives pertaining to improving access to medicine, health system strengthening, and capacity building. Margo has held various health research and policy positions focused on partnerships for development, improving access to care, and addressing the social determinants of health both in Canada and globally. Margo holds both a Bachelor’s degree and a Master's degree in international development with a focus on health policy. She was also featured on the most recent List of Canadian Women in Global Health, recognizing the achievements of established leaders in global health.

Mr. Shinichi Kohguchi

Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Asset Management Co., Ltd. Stewardship Promotion Department Senior Stewardship Officer. Engaged in stock analyst business (industry / company survey) mainly in the healthcare sector in Japan and the United States for more than 30 years since 1990. Since 2021, he has been promoting the resolution of ESG issues through dialogue with companies, and is working toward the realization of sustainable growth for companies and society as a whole.

 

 

Session 6 - "Nudging the Industry (2): Patent as a Barrier or Leverage?"

Thursday, February 17, 2022 17: 00-18: 00 (Japan time)

Esteban Burrone; Medicines Patent Pool

Session 6 will explore the role of the Medicines Patent Pool (MPP). MPP is a United Nations-backed public health organization working to increase access to life-saving medicines for low- and middle-income countries. MPP uses patent pooling as a mechanism to improve access to medicines. MPP negotiates with drug patent holders and licenses those patents to multiple manufacturers, who develop the licensed medicine for a defined set of developing countries. The invited speaker will explain how this mechanism works and what access barriers can be addressed by this mechanism. The audience will explore the possibility of applying the same mechanism to NTD medicines.

Check the recording from the link below (jump to Youtube)
English / Japanese

What is Medicines Patent Pool (MPP)?

The Medicines Patent Pool (MPP) is a United Nations-backed public health organisation working to increase access to, and facilitate the development of, life-saving medicines for low- and middle-income countries. To date, MPP has signed agreements with 13 patent holders for 13 HIV antiretrovirals, one HIV technology platform, three hepatitis C direct-acting antivirals, a tuberculosis treatment, two long-acting technologies, two experimental oral antiviral treatments for COVID-19 and a COVID-19 serological antibody diagnostic test.

For more information on MPP, access here

Guest introduction

Mr. Esteban Burrone

Esteban Burrone is the Head of Policy of the Medicines Patent Pool (MPP), an institution he contributed to setting up in 2010 to promote access to affordable essential medicines in low-and middle-income countries, through the licensing of key patents. As Head of Policy, Esteban works on prioritizing medicines for licensing and on developing partnerships with organizations and stakeholders, including governments, universities, intergovernmental organizations and civil society organizations. He is also a member of the Senior Management Team of the MPP. He has over 15 years of experience working in the field of intellectual property rights and access to medicines. Esteban holds a MSc. in Public Health from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicines (LSHTM) and an MSc. in Development Studies from the London School of Economics.

Session 7 - "Financing: Who Pays for What?"

Thursday, March 17, 2022 17: 00-18: 00 (Japan time)

Cecilia Oh; Access and Delivery Partnership, UNDP
Rohit Malpani; Public Health Consultant, Unitaid board member

Session 7 explores issues about financing to expand access to NTD medicines. While we do not know how much money we need to deliver NTD medicines to people who need them, some efforts have started to understand the landscape of the financing for access and delivery of NTD medicines. As one of such efforts, Session 7 presents a report published by the Uniting Efforts for Innovation, Access and Delivery in 2020. The invited speakers will provide an overview of existing strategies and needs to fund and finance access and delivery of NTD medicines. The audience will think of alternative financing models to fulfill current funding gaps.

Please see the recording from the link below (go to Youtube)
English / Japanese

What is Access to Delivery Partnership (ADP)?

ADP

What is Unitaid?

Unitaid