Nearly 2 billion of the world’s population living in low- and middle-income countries still do not have access to basic medicines, according to the World Health Organization. But COVID-19 can offer a valuable lesson in how the global health community can jointly improve access to life-saving medicines for the most underserved populations.
Innovative medicines and treatments emerging from research and development pipelines are revolutionizing health in various areas, yet many people still lack access to well-known essential medicines. In the context of the current pandemic, we have the opportunity to not only fast-track access to new products, but also ensure everyone, everywhere, can afford them.
On Thursday, Sept. 23, Devex will host an ecosystem event on the sidelines of the 76th annual United Nations General Assembly in partnership with Gilead, exploring how new access models can allow for more coordinated and targeted approaches. Discussions will draw on lessons learned from the pandemic and beyond on how to best support more resilient health systems, and ultimately ensure progress on universal health coverage and the health-related Sustainable Development Goals.
This event will include live captioning.
Welcome & introduction by Sara Jerving, Global Health Reporter, Devex
Fireside chat: Delivering medicines in a pandemic
• Farhan Yusuf, Pharmacist, Health Supply Chain Professional and Youth AdvocateModerator:• Amruta Byatnal, Associate Editor, Devex
• Osman Khalid Waheed, CEO, Ferozsons
• Dr. Betty Chiang, Vice President, International Medical Affairs, Gilead
• Dr. Homie Razavi, founder and managing director, Center for Disease Analysis Foundation
• Dr. Carlos Passarelli, Senior Adviser, Access to Medicines, UNAIDSModerator:• Sara Jerving, Global Health Reporter, Devex
• Dr. Harald Nusser, Head, Global Patient Solutions, GileadModerator:• Sara Jerving, Global Health Reporter, Devex
Farhan Yusuf is a Pharmacist practicing as a Health Supply Chain Professional and Youth Advocate. He has worked across the public, private and NGO sector in Tanzania developing expertise in health logistics & pharmaceutical supply chain management, public private partnership, capacity building, program management, monitoring and evaluation, communications and knowledge management over the last 10 years. He served as a Senior Program Officer on the USAID-funded SHOPS Plus project and a volunteer for the Youth Leaders for Health Program.
Harald Nusser is heading Global Patient Solutions at Gilead Sciences, a team which is responsible for the leadership of the Gilead portfolio in more than 120 countries in Central America & Caribbean, Eastern Europe & Central Asia, Africa as well as India & South East Asia. Access to and affordability of medicines is a priority for this unit. Besides, Harald is a Global Ambassador of the G20 Health & Development Partnership. Until spring 2021, Harald led Novartis Social Business. In that capacity he was recognized by the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship as a Corporate Social Intrapreneur of the Year 2019. Harald served on the Board of the UNITAR hosted Defeat-NCD Partnership in its inaugural year. Prior to his engagement with Novartis, he has been leading the Bayer Healthcare Business in 48 LMICs in Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America. Harald holds a PhD in Mathematics of the Free University of Berlin and an Executive MBA from Bradford University, UK.
Osman Khalid Waheed joined Ferozsons Laboratories Limited, a publicly listed pharmaceutical company in 1993 after obtaining his undergraduate degree from Harvard. During his tenure as CEO since 1998, the company has forged alliances with international partners including the Boston Scientific Corporation and Gilead Sciences Inc. to expand access in disease areas including heart disease, viral hepatitis, HIV and Covid-19. In 2019, Ferozsons became one of 9 international producers selected to manufacture and supply its therapeutic remdesivir to 127 low and middle-income countries under a voluntary license from Gilead. Mr. Waheed serves as a trustee of LUMS, Pakistan’s premier multi-disciplinary university, and was the founding chairman of the Lahore Biennale Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to public art. Mr. Waheed has previously served on the board of the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP), Pakistan Industrial Development Corporation (PIDC), and as president of the Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Murree Brewery Company Limited and DGS (Pvt) Limited.
Homie A. Razavi is the founder and managing director at the Center for Disease Analysis Foundation. Since 2008, Homie has led a team of epidemiologists and modellers to quantify the epidemiology of hepatitis, forecast the future disease burden and help countries develop national strategies. His team has been responsible for the development of a number of mathematical models currently used by countries to develop intervention strategies for hepatitis B & C. In addition, his team has developed the Polaris Observatory, which collects and reports HCV, HBV, and HDV epidemiology, and disease burden and treatment rates for all countries. He has a broad background, which includes basic research, commercial development, portfolio management, and decision analysis. He has a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from the University of Colorado and an MBA from Washington University.
Dr. Carlos Passarelli joined UNAIDS in 2012, initially as a senior treatment expert, assisting the organization's activities related to HIV treatment and access to medicines policies. In 2017 he was appointed UNAIDS Representative for Argentina, Chile, Paraguay, and Uruguay to support those countries in advancing the AIDS response. In 2020, he was invited by UNAIDS Senior Management Team to lead the access to medicines activities, especially in the context of the colliding pandemics, HIV and COVID-19. Previously, he worked at the regional office of the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation in Brasilia; as an international advisor to the Vice Minister of Health Surveillance in Brazil; as executive director of the International Center for Technical Cooperation on HIV/AIDS at the Ministry of Health of Brazil; and as a project officer at the Brazilian Interdisciplinary Association on AIDS. Passarelli holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology, a master’s degree in social psychology, and a PhD in clinical psychology, and has published several articles on HIV/AIDS.
Betty Chiang is Vice President, Medical Affairs, International Region, at Gilead Sciences. She oversees a 130+ global medical team that provides scientific and medical support to healthcare stakeholders in 157 countries. She and her team focus on HIV, viral hepatitis and now COVID 19, prioritizing efforts related to medical research, health systems strengthening initiatives and medical education activities. Prior to joining Gilead, she held a faculty teaching position at New York Downtown Hospital and practiced internal medicine for ten years in New York City. She earned her bachelor and medical degrees from a joint seven-year BA/MD program at Brooklyn College/SUNY Downstate College of Medicine and received her training at New York University Medical Center/Bellevue Hospital Internal Medicine residency program.
Sara Jerving is a Global Health Reporter based in Nairobi. Her work has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Vice News, and Bloomberg News, among others. Sara holds a master's degree from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism where she was a Lorana Sullivan fellow. She was a finalist for the Livingston Award for Young Journalists in 2018, part of a Vice News Tonight on HBO team that received an Emmy nomination in 2018 and received the Philip Greer Memorial Award from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in 2014. She has reported from over a dozen countries.