The World Health Organization (WHO) today welcomed the announcement that GSK will reaffirm its commitment to donate the anthelminthic medicine albendazole until the elimination of lymphatic filariasis as a public health problem is achieved globally. In addition, 200 million tablets a year will be donated until 2025 to treat soil-transmitted helminthiases, with 5 million a year being donated until 2025 to treat cystic echinococcosis.
This latest announcement builds on the company’s 23-year commitment to fighting not one but now three neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) that represent a heavy burden for some of the world’s very poorest communities.
These commitments are just one part of the impressive pledges made today by GSK at the Kigali Summit on Malaria and NTDs in which they announced investment of £ 1 billion over 10 years to accelerate research and development dedicated to infectious diseases which disproportionately impact lower income countries (press release).
This research will focus on new and disruptive medicines and vaccines to prevent and treat malaria, TB, HIV (through ViiV Healthcare) and NTDs, and tackle antimicrobial resistance, which all continue to have a devastating toll on the most vulnerable people, accounting for more than 60% of the disease burden in many lower income countries.