|By JCN Newswire||
|April 24, 2014 12:05 AM EDT||
Many developing countries throughout the world are faced with problems of Access to Medicines (ATM), which occurs when issues such as poverty and underdeveloped medical systems result in essential medicines being unable to reach the people who need them. This is especially the case with NTDs, which are a group of tropical infections that are endemic to 149 countries worldwide, primarily affecting poor people in developing and emerging countries with over 1 billion people infected. Despite most of these diseases having been treated and eliminated already in developed countries, in countries which are endemic to NTDs, patients are unable to get access to medical treatment, which is a global access to medicines issue. This is caused by a number of complex factors in endemic countries such as inadequate medical supply systems, a lack of information about diseases, and the limited adoption of disease diagnosis, prevention and treatment methods. In order to solve these issues, co-operation between governments, non-government organizations (NGOs) and pharmaceutical companies is required.
The "Eisai ATM Navigator" provides content that explains the causes, symptoms, infected regions, treatments and prevention methods for the 17 NTDs prioritized by the World Health Organization (WHO) as well as the three infectious diseases of HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis, in an easy to understand way. The website is for patients, the general public, healthcare professionals and volunteers in both developed and endemic countries. The website also introduces elimination initiatives implemented by pharmaceutical companies and other organizations.
Providing this kind of information through the website, Eisai aims to promote awareness regarding issues of Access to Medicines and NTDs among people around the world, as well as increase understanding of these diseases among people such as patients who suffer from NTDs, those at risk of infection, local healthcare professionals and volunteers, in order to help contribute toward the future elimination of NTDs.
1. About the "Eisai Access to Medicines (ATM) Navigator" Website
This is the first Japanese and English bilingual website that comprehensively provides information on topics such as NTDs, HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis, initiatives to eliminate these diseases and improve Access to Medicines for patients, the general public, healthcare professionals and volunteers in both developed and disease endemic countries. Giving consideration to the increasing usage of smartphones around the world, the website is also designed so that people in affected regions can easily view the site on smartphones as well.
The content on this website is supervised by tropical medicine researchers Dr. Tsutomu Takeuchi, Professor Emeritus and Visiting Senior Research Fellow at the Keio University Global Security Research Institute, and Dr. Hiroyoshi Endo, Professor at the Department of International Affairs and Tropical Medicine, School of Medicine, Tokyo Women's Medical University.
The main contents provided on the site are as follows:
- What is ATM: Outlines the definition of the "Access to Medicines Issue" and approaches toward improving Access to Medicines. The issue of access to medicines is that proper medicines and medical treatments are unavailable to patients in need for reasons of poverty, underdeveloped healthcare systems or other factors, particularly in the context of high-growth emerging countries and the developing world.
- About NTDs: Explains the causes, symptoms, infected regions, treatment and prevention methods of the 17 NTDs prioritized by WHO in an easy to understand way.
- Eliminating Lymphatic Filariasis: Introduces Eisai's initiatives to eliminate lymphatic filariasis. DEC (diethylcarbamazine) is one of the three drugs used to treat lymphatic filariasis and is in short supply around the world. Eisai is producing high quality DEC tablets and providing them for free to endemic countries through WHO's mass drug administration programs in order to achieve the goal of eliminating lymphatic filariasis by 2020.
- New Drug Development: Advanced countries have not been enthusiastic in developing new drugs or vaccines for the NTDs affecting developing and emerging countries because demand is low in their own countries. As a result, there are very few effective new drugs for many of these diseases even today. This section introduces examples of international collaboration in research and development which aim to create new drugs to address these needs.
- Medical Information: Provides a package insert (drug information) for healthcare professionals regarding Eisai's DEC tablets for the treatment of lymphatic filariasis which is being supplied for free through WHO, as well as a leaflet that explains the purpose of taking medicine in an easy to understand way for volunteers, patients and the general public.
- Field Reports: Presents reports by Eisai and its supporters on Access to Medicines initiatives being implemented around the world.
2. About Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs)
Neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) include 17 tropical diseases that the WHO (World Health Organization) identifies as diseases that the world must overcome. Prominent among them are lymphatic filariasis, Chagas' disease, and dengue fever.
NTDs are endemic in 149 countries, infecting some 1 billion people and creating serious social difficulties. Among these countries, two NTDs are endemic in 100 countries and territories, while more than six NTDs are endemic in 30 countries and territories.
Although the spread of NTDs is mainly caused by poor hygienic conditions associated with poverty, infections from these diseases may result in serious physical impairment which in turn leads to declines in the work force and productivity, thereby hampering efforts to escape from impoverished conditions. As such, the prevalence of NTDs is a stumbling block to economic growth for developing and emerging countries and represents a serious issue for these regions.
*The 17 NTDs are: Lymphatic filariasis, Chagas' disease, the leishmaniases, dracunculiasis, human African trypanosomiasis, blinding trachoma, leprosy, schistosomiasis, onchocerciasis, soil-transmitted helminthiasis, Buruli ulcer, dengue fever, cysticercosis, rabies, echinococcosis, foodborne trematodiases and endemic treponematoses
Eisai Co., Ltd. (TSE: 4523; ADR: ESALY) is a research-based human health care (hhc) company that discovers, develops and markets products throughout the world. Eisai focuses its efforts in three therapeutic areas: integrative neuroscience, including neurology and psychiatric medicines; integrative oncology, which encompasses oncotherapy and supportive-care treatments; and vascular/immunological reaction. Through a global network of research facilities, manufacturing sites and marketing subsidiaries, Eisai actively participates in all aspects of the worldwide healthcare system. For more information about Eisai Co., Ltd., please visit www.eisai.com.
Public Relations Department, Eisai Co., Ltd. +81-3-3817-5120
Copyright 2014 JCN Newswire. All rights reserved. www.japancorp.net
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