Yusuf Hamied, Indian scientist and Chairman of Indian pharma major Cipla has been named by UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon to the United Nations Health and Technology panel to enhance inclusive access to treatments and medicines in the developing world.
Yusuf Hamied will be part of the 16-member panel that will be co-chaired by former President of Switzerland Ruth Dreifuss among others. Ban appointed Botswana’s Festus Mogae and others for their knowledge of public health, commerce, legal issues and human rights.
Yusuf Hamied has led led efforts to treat and eradicate AIDS and other diseases in the developing world, and to give patients life-saving medicines regardless of their ability to pay. He offered the world’s first affordable AIDS medicine at the unprecedented cost of $1 per day in 2001.
Hamied has also been influential in pioneering the development of multi-drug combination pills, notably for HIV, tuberculosis, asthma and other ailments chiefly affecting developing countries, as well as the development of paediatric formulations of drugs, especially those benefiting children in poor settings.
The move by Moon is to change the track from profit-centric pharma field to address health needs of the poorest and most vulnerable communities, especially in asia and Africa. the emphasis to African scientists underscores the need to address the Ebola outbreak in West Africa with more than 11,000 fatalities confirmed and to face such challenges in the future.
The pnael will meet in its first meeting next month and submit its results to Secretary General by June 2016.