The Drug Innovation and Access Initiative works to develop and deliver lifesaving medicines to women, children, and communities around the globe.
Despite the tremendous number of people affected by infectious and neglected tropical diseases, these conditions remain on the margins of international attention, priority, and funding. Most often, these health problems are closely linked with poverty and poor access to clean water, safe sanitation, and health care services.
There is an urgent need to expand the available tools that can save lives, as well as alleviate the burden of related conditions, such as malnutrition and stunting. With deep expertise in drug research and development, we work to bridge the gap by collaborating across sectors to advance affordable and effective treatments. Through our work on drug development and introduction, we help to ensure that people around the world, especially young children, have access to life-saving medicines that can end illness and deaths due to common childhood illnesses.
In collaboration with country, industry, and public- and private-sector stakeholders, we identify and advance solutions to confront these threats so more children are protected and have the best chance to thrive.
Our strategy is to prioritize illnesses and conditions that disproportionately affect the world’s most vulnerable populations; identify and develop promising drug candidates by focusing leading science and public health expertise on those illnesses; and work closely with partners in endemic settings to ensure that products are available, accessible, and affordable at the national, community, and individual level.
We advance our efforts by:
As a trusted convener, we mobilize and align leading experts and organizations from the academic, private, public, and nonprofit sectors to achieve shared scientific and humanitarian goals. By coordinating efforts and facilitating dialogue between individuals and institutions, we bring the best resources, expertise, and strengths to bear on urgent global health problems and amplify our collective ability to protect health and save lives.
Diarrhea Innovations Group (DIG)—a cross-sector coalition of innovators committed to reducing the global burden of enteric and diarrheal diseases—is one example of that work that led to the inclusion of a new listing for co-packaged oral rehydration salts (ORS) and zinc sulfate in the World Health Organization's 2019 essential medicines lists, reinforcing the lifesaving benefits of using ORS and zinc together for pediatric diarrhea management.
We work across the entire value chain to shepherd new tools and approaches through the journey of innovation—developing and testing solutions, navigating regulatory pathways for approval, addressing barriers to acceptance and use, and supporting countries and communities as they introduce new tools—to achieve successful, widespread uptake and sustainable impact.
Our cross-sector partnership to establish and validate a manufacturing process to produce semisynthetic artemisinin (ssART) at industrial scale and commercialize it for use in malaria treatment is one example of that approach.