World Neglected Tropical Diseases Day has been launched today to increase awareness for neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). January 30 is also the anniversary of the 2012 London Declaration on NTDs, the largest international public-private sector partnership to date to eliminate NTDs.
Eisai, together with twelve other global pharmaceutical companies, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the World Health Organization (WHO), the U.S. and U.K. governments, the World Bank, as well as governments from NTDs-endemic countries, pledged support to the London Declaration in 2012.
Increasing access to medicines and providing medicines to patients with the highest unmet need has always been incredibly important to Eisai and in 2010 Eisai agreed with the WHO to join the global effort to eliminate NTDs and provide medicine for the treatment of lymphatic filariasis (LF) free of charge to patients. Since then Eisai has provided a quantity of 2 billion of this medicine to 28 countries and will continue to provide it to endemic countries until the disease is eliminated in these countries.
893 million people around the world are at risk of catching LF, an NTD that causes severe swelling and elephantiasis in some patients. LF is endemic in certain tropical and sub-tropical regions around the world, often affecting people who are living in poverty.