Call to Action - We Must Tackle Non-Communicable Diseases

In his most recent column in Forbes.com, Lilly Chairman and CEO John Lechleiter, Ph.D., examines the correlation between health and wealth as it pertains to non-communicable diseases – which include cardiovascular disease, cancer, chronic respiratory disease and diabetes. While many think of these diseases as typically effecting more affluent societies, John explains that nearly 80 percent of all NCDs today occur in low- and middle-income countries, due largely to changing lifestyles. As such, NCDs increase poverty and hinder economic growth in countries that can least afford it.

The biopharmaceutical industry is playing its role in reducing NCDs by pursuing new treatments – but John says that more holistic solutions are needed, especially in countries with less-developed health-care systems.

To that end, John references a recently released series of policy briefs commissioned by the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations, which outlines key initiatives and provides recommendations for combating NCDs. The “roadmap” explains how improved cooperation across the public and private sectors could strengthen health care systems around the world and help achieve better health outcomes for patients in need.

Lilly’s own NCD Partnership is doing just that – we are combining our knowledge and resources with the expertise of government agencies and leading global health organizations in four countries – Brazil, India, Mexico and South Africa. The goal: to find new, cost-effective solutions that can be adopted and replicated around the world and help stem the rising tide of NCDs.