Global Health Fund must not be a subsidy for the drug industry

Genoa, Italy - This afternoon at 5pm, the G8 heads of state will announce the constitution of the Global Health Fund. But there is no clear plan for how the fund are to be used. MSF is particularly concerned about the lack of policy to ensure the purchase of the most affordable medicines and other health commodities. An article in today's New York Times today raises concerns over a split between the US and EU over how the money should be spent. "Without a deliberate strategy to ensure the funding can be used to purchase from generic producers, including those in the South, the fund will be mainly a subsidy to the European and American drug industries," says MSF's Ellen 't Hoen. "We are here at the G8 to demand that the government of the richest countries in the world put people's lives over profits of industry. An equitable pricing system and restarting research and development for neglected diseases are a key part of improving access to life-saving medicines in the developing world." Fourteen million people die of infectious diseases every year. 90% of them live in developing countries. Many of the victims of these diseases die because they have no access to the medicines they need.