U.S. joins $785M initiative to combat 10 neglected diseases

The United States on Monday joined a coalition of governments, pharmaceutical companies, and organizations in a $785 million global initiative to fight 10 neglected tropical diseases that affect 1.4 billion people worldwide.

The coalition includes 13 drug companies, the United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirates, the World Bank, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Lions Club, and other charitable organizations. The drugmakers have pledged to provide 14 billion treatments in the coordinated effort.

The targeted diseases are:

  • Blinding trachoma; 
  • Chagas disease; 
  • Guinea worm; 
  • Leprosy; 
  • Lymphatic filariasis; 
  • River blindness; 
  • Schistosomiasis; 
  • Sleeping sickness; 
  • Soil-transmitted helminthes; and
  • Visceral leishmaniasis (Whalen, Wall Street Journal, 1/31; Pecquet, "Healthwatch," The Hill, 1/30; McNeil, New York Times, 1/30).

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