More than 38 million people die every year from non-communicable diseases (NCDs), particularly chronic respiratory disease, cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases. Despite the growing number of cases in all regions of the world, NCDs kill more people in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) than anywhere else. In fact, approximately 80 percent of NCD deaths occur in these countries.
The disproportionate impact of NCDs on LMICs is due, in part, to the lack of timely treatment. Life-saving medicines, which patients in rich countries take for granted, are unavailable or unaffordable to both patients and healthcare systems. Patents on NCD medicines, such as new treatments for cancer, present a major barrier to their affordability. And although intergovernmental bodies are designed to address global health, trade and access issues, they often prove ineffective in resolving patent conflicts.
Health Action International’s work touches on numerous aspects related to NCDs, from research and advocacy around affordable access to NCD medicines, particularly insulin, advocacy to support needs-based research and development for NCDs, responsible prescribing and dispensing of NCD medicines, and better transparency of the medicines pipeline to deliver safe and affordable NCD medicines.
For more information on our work around NCD medicines, visit these pages on our site: