The global health impact of pharmaceutical products, access to essential medicines, and progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were the focus of a workshop convened by the Liechtenstein Institute on Self-Determination on Friday, May 10, 2019, at Princeton University. The workshop was organized by LISD’s Project on Self-Determination and Emerging Issues, which explores the intersection between self-determination and the topical concerns of migration, sustainable development, and the environment. It was co-sponsored by the Global Health Program, Program in African Studies, and Program in Law and Public Affairs.
The SDGs aim to, “by 2030, end the epidemics of AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and neglected tropical diseases,” and ensure “access to safe, effective, quality and affordable essential medicines and vaccines for all.” However, according to recent World Health Organization research, access to medicines and vaccinations in developing countries remains low – global vaccination coverage stands at 85%, anti-retroviral therapy only reaches half of those living with HIV, and progress to end malaria has stalled. Many countries in the Global South furthermore still lack the capacity for early warning, risk reduction, and management of national and global health risks.
Drawn from academia, civil society, government, and industry, the roundtable panelists explored the importance of good regulatory frameworks, health systems, and ethics in making progress towards achieving the SDGs, and considered the best methods for collecting and using data on global health to assist companies, policy-makers, and international organizations.
The discussion served as the relaunch of the Global Health Impact (GHI) project, which seeks to constructively intervene in the policy debates around global health by measuring the consequences of pharmaceutical products and estimating the disease impact in the absence of treatment. Its new website and models were introduced at the Princeton workshop.
A summary report of the workshop will be forthcoming.