The launch of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in 2000 served as a catalyst for significant advancements in malaria control and elimination. Through great international efforts, the malaria-specific target (MDG 6C: Have halted by 2015 and begun to reverse the incidence of malaria and other major diseases) has been met.
Remarkable progress has been made in reducing the global burden of this disease and IFPMA member companies recognize the imminent need to overcome emerging challenges that may hinder the current momentum or even derail progress.
Many countries have made malaria elimination a priority, and dramatically expanded and intensified their efforts to fight the disease. As a result, between 2000-2013, 3.3million lives have been saved by public health interventions.
Malaria, a parasite transmitted from the bites of infected mosquitoes, is still one of the world’s biggest killers. Though preventable and curable, malaria takes the lives of 600,000 people each year, most of them pregnant women and children. 90% of these deaths occur in sub-Saharan Africa; in Southeast Asia a more deadly form of the parasite, resistant to artemisinin, the key ingredient in most effective malaria treatments, is increasing in numbers and spreading across borders.
Doing our part – discovery, development and distribution
IFPMA endorses the World Health Organization’s Global Malaria Programme (GMP) and its partner the Roll Back Malaria Partnership. The research-based pharmaceutical industry recognizes that malaria elimination requires action from all angles, from increased access to treatments, improved education and training of health workers and the research and development of new medicines and vaccines.
Between 2012 and 2014, IFPMA member companies are on the verge of making imminent breakthroughs in discovering new malaria treatments, with 3 new medicines in Phase III/IV of production and a new vaccine under evaluation at the European Medicines Agency. There are an additional 30 R&D projects for malaria in the pipeline.
The research-based pharmaceutical industry identifies R&D collaboration as an instrumental tool by which to combat one of the most pressing global health challenges. To allow for stakeholders to draw on their respective resources and experiences to optimize results, IFPMA companies are partnering with national governments, research institutes, product development partnerships (PDPs) and NGOs in over 15 programs that deal with malaria medicines and vaccine innovation, many of them focusing on combating antimalarial or insecticide resistance.
These partnerships include the Tres Cantos Open Lab of GlaxoSmithKline for drug discovery, the Novartis Malaria Initiative and the contributions of the R&D pharmaceutical industry to the Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV).
Though research and development plays a key role in attainment of a world free of malaria, increasing prevention interventions and access to malaria diagnosis, effective case management and treatment is another core objective for IFPMA member companies. Innovative partnerships in this area include the SMS for Life partnership to prevent medicine stock outs, maternal health training programs for nurses and midwives so that they are better equipped to detect malaria and the Power of One Campaign which donates annually 1 million antimalarial treatments in Zambia.
You can learn more about these programs and many others by following the link “Malaria” under Partnership Information to the right.
More information can be found here:
- Partners in the Fight against Malaria (infographic)
- Fake Medicines and Malaria (infographic)
- Pipeline for new malaria medicines and vaccines (infographic) Pharmaceutical R&D Projects (full report PDF)
- Together, taking on drug resistant malaria (blog post)
- IFPMA Case Study: GSK/PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative (MVI) RTS,S malaria vaccine candidate (webpage)
- IFPMA on neglected diseases (webpage)
- WHO Global Plan for Artemisinin Resistance Containment (GPARC) (PDF)