Boehringer Ingelheim joins forces with The Defeat-NCD Partnership to fight non-communicable diseases

(PresseBox) ( Ingelheim am Rhein, )
- 41 million people die each year caused by non-communicable diseases (NCDs) - more than three quarters occur in low- and middle-income countries 
- Together with The Defeat-NCD Partnership, Boehringer Ingelheim aims to address key access to healthcare issues related to NCDs  
- Non-communicable diseases make up 85 per cent of Boehringer Ingelheim’s medicines portfolio

Boehringer Ingelheim, one of the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies, announced today its partnership with The Defeat-NCD Partnership, a public-private partnership anchored in the United Nations system. The aim of this collaboration is to help low-resource countries tackle the premature death, sickness, disability, and associated social and economic impacts from non-communicable diseases. The collaboration was officially announced during the World Health Summit 2019 in Berlin, Germany. 

Non-communicable diseases (NCDs), also known as chronic diseases, kill 41 million people each year, equivalent to 71 per cent of all deaths globally. More than three quarters of global NCD deaths – 32 million – occur in low- and middle-income countries where access to essential medicines is inadequate.  The Defeat-NCD Partnership and Boehringer Ingelheim share a vision of driving access to healthcare in low-resource countries. The Partnership will contribute concretely by helping governments to strengthen key national institutions, scaling up community based health services, as well as expanding the accessible range of medicines and healthcare solutions.

“Reducing the avoidable burden caused by NCDs is core to our company strategy. However, to enable and assist low-resource countries to scale-up sustained action against NCDs, it is crucial to collaborate with other partners,” said Dr. Antonio Ruffolo, Head of Access to Healthcare and Global Health Policy, Boehringer Ingelheim. “Accordingly, we need to commit ourselves as an organization to working together with all other healthcare players to build a sustainable framework and implement a holistic approach, so that our patients can reach the health services they need. We are convinced that joining The Defeat-NCD Partnership is an important step forward in the journey towards universal health coverage for NCDs.”

Boehringer Ingelheim’s medicines portfolio has one of the strongest medical research and development pipelines in areas of unmet medical needs, with non-communicable diseases making up 85 per cent. Through the company´s renewed “Access to Healthcare” strategy, based on the three strategic pillars “Availability”, “Innovative Solutions" and “Sustainable Models”, the company is exploring and evaluating a differentiated holistic approach for broadening healthcare access for underserved communities and countries. In the next decade, Boehringer Ingelheim aims to extend access to healthcare best practices to many current and new markets, within the framework of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development adopted by the United Nations.

“The rising tide of NCDs represents one of the greatest public and global health challenges our times,” said Mukul Bhola, Chief Executive Officer, The Defeat-NCD Partnership. “Our efforts are aimed specifically at the reduction by one-third of premature mortality from NCDs through prevention and treatment by 2030. Our partnership with Boehringer Ingelheim unites expertise and capabilities to achieve a shared vision of helping millions of people by driving and accelerating future health innovations.”

During the panel discussion on “Access to Sustainable NCD Treatment and Care,” senior officials from Governments, the World Health Organization, and the United Nations joined representatives of the Defeat-NCD Partnership and Boehringer Ingelheim to explore solutions through public-private partnerships in low-resource settings. Speakers included Jane Ruth Aceng, Honorary Minister of Health, Republic of Uganda; Mukul Bhola, Chief Executive Officer, The Defeat-NCD Partnership; Ilse Hahn, Head of Unit, Health, Population Policy, Social Protection, German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ); Dévora Kestel, Director, Mental Health and Substance Abuse, World Health Organization; Myint Htwe, Union Minister, Ministry of Health and Sports, Republic of the Union of Myanmar; Antonio Ruffolo, Head, Access to Health Care and Global Health Policy, Boehringer Ingelheim; and Nikhil Seth, UN Assistant secretary-General, and Executive Director, United Nations Institute for Training and Research.

The Defeat-NCD Partnership
The Defeat-NCD Partnership is a practical response to the widespread call for action on NCDs. Formally launched during the United Nations General Assembly in 2018, it is a “public-private-people” partnership anchored in the United Nations but extending well beyond to include governments, multilateral agencies, civil society, academia, philanthropies, and the private sector.
The Defeat-NCD Partnership’s vision is clear—universal health coverage (UHC) for NCDs. To achieve this, its core mission focuses on assisting approximately 90 low-resource countries via comprehensive action across four interconnected service pillars: National NCD capacity building, community scale-up of NCD services, affordability and accessibility of essential NCD supplies and distribution, and sustainable NCD financing.
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