Astellas Pharma Inc. has announced its participation in Access Accelerated, a global, multi-stakeholder initiative to advance access to non-communicable disease (NCD) prevention, diagnostics and treatment in low-income and lower-middle income countries. Together with 21 other leading pharmaceutical companies and in collaboration with the World Bank Group and the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC), Astellas will work towards the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal target of reducing premature deaths from NCDs by one-third by 2030.
”We have an important social responsibility to improve access to health for patients around the world, and we will help develop sustainable solutions,” said Yoshihiko Hatanaka, President and CEO at Astellas.
In the midst of various health epidemics, NCDs such as cancer, cardiovascular diseases, chronic respiratory diseases, diabetes and mental health disorders are public health burdens worldwide. While an aging population and increased risk due to lifestyle choices are contributing factors to this increasing burden, low-income and lower-middle income countries often have under-resourced healthcare systems with multiple barriers that limit access to diagnosis, treatment and care. As part of Access Accelerated, Astellas and the participating organizations will seek to find and advance new solutions to address gaps in access for NCDs.
Astellas is committed to the long-term sustainability of society by improving Access to Health and medical solutions, fostering scientific advancement and enhancing the health of our communities. The company has been actively engaged in some select R&D programs for neglected tropical diseases, including contributing scientific expertise for the development of a pediatric formulation for the treatment of Schistosomiasis and collaborative research to discover anti-protozoan parasite drugs. To help address NCDs, Astellas has accelerated its Action on Fistula initiative with the aim of transforming the lives of patients in Kenya who have an obstetric fistula. Through this program, more than 1,200 patients have been treated with reconstructive surgery.