Monday, November 3, 2008

Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Plan for Africa

This week WDI's guest lecturer, Dr. Sebastian Fries, will talk about the pharmaceutical company Pfizer's new strategy to increase global access to medications. Access to essential medications has been an ongoing and controversial issue in areas worst hit by diseases such as malaria, HIV/AIDS, and TB.

Ministers of Health from across Africa came together to address this issue at an African Union Conference held in Johannesburg, South Africa last year. They drafted a paper that outlined the advantages of developing local pharmaceutical industries, and presented a plan of action to make that happen. You can read the paper here: http://www.pambazuka.org/actionalerts/images/uploads/Pharmaceutical_Plan-CAMH_MIN._8(III).pdf

Whether the best way of insuring access to essential medications is by developing local pharmaceutical industries, holding Western pharmaceutical companies more socially accountable, or some other model is part of the ongoing controversy of this issue.