Lilly Grants $4.4 Million to the WHO for MDR-TB Program Expansion



    INDIANAPOLIS and LONDON, March 12 /CNW/ -- Today Eli Lilly and Company
announced its four-year grant of $4,384,000 to the World Health Organization
(WHO) for scaling up its global capacity to manage multi- drug resistant
tuberculosis (MDR-TB) programs.
    The grant covers four activities, starting with the technical assistance
the WHO will provide to developing countries that the Global Fund to Fight
AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria operations do not cover. The WHO will provide
assistance to some 25 countries in their clinical management of MDR-TB,
infection control, laboratory facilities and community outreach. Second, the
WHO will conduct workshops for health care personnel so they can better design
and manage TB programs, for laboratory technicians so they can test for first
and second line drug susceptibility, and for administrative personnel to
record and report on TB incidence in their countries. A third component is
support for training global MDR-TB experts so they can expand training in
developing countries, run workshops in infection control, and strengthen
laboratories for proper diagnosis and treatment. Finally, the grant will
support the field-testing and evaluation of a new information system to record
and report on MDR-TB rates in two countries.
    "This grant represents Lilly's continued commitment to support the WHO in
its goal of treating 50 million TB patients and 1.6 million MDR-TB patients by
2015. It builds upon existing WHO and Lilly program successes in curbing the
MDR-TB pandemic," says Alex Azar, senior vice president of corporate affairs
and communications for Lilly. "With drug resistance at an all time high, the
engagement in fighting MDR-TB comprehensively is more important now than
ever."
    Since 2003, approximately 30,000 patients have been enrolled on treatment
in WHO Green Light Committee approved projects. Country officials and
healthcare personnel have consistently identified the training of human
resource management a major challenge to accelerating the global scale up of
MDR-TB treatment programs. Lilly funds are instrumental for in-country
capacity building for MDR-TB control.  Eight regional training workshops have
been conducted in high TB burden areas, training some 160 senior TB officers
and health workers in WHO guidelines for the programmatic management of drug
resistant TB. To complement this training, Lilly supports the monitoring and
delivery of technical assistance, including the production of second-line TB
medications, to over 20 Green Light Committee approved projects.
    "Confronting the threat of MDR-TB is a priority for WHO," said Dr. Mario
Raviglione, director of the WHO Stop TB Department.  "Our scale-up efforts
have prompted the expansion of MDR-TB programmes in some of the world's
poorest countries.  I am delighted that Lilly will continue to support our
goal to strengthen measures to diagnose and treat all MDR-TB patients.  This
commitment is an important contribution and confirms Lilly's position as a key
partner in the fight to push back the spread of drug-resistant TB."
    "The expansion of WHO programs joins those of the larger Lilly MDR-TB
Partnership -- a five-year-old alliance of 14 public and private organisations
fighting MDR-TB from every angle. We will continue to learn lessons from
existing programs and improve our initiatives to best serve those suffering
from MDR-TB, and to best prevent its spread," Azar said.
    
    About Lilly
    
    Eli Lilly and Company, a leading innovation-driven corporation, is
developing a growing portfolio of first-in-class and best-in-class
pharmaceutical products by applying the latest research from its own worldwide
laboratories and from collaborations with eminent scientific organizations.
Headquartered in Indianapolis, Ind., Lilly provides answers -- through
medicines and information -- for some of the world's most urgent medical
needs.  Additional information about Lilly programs is available at
www.lilly.com and www.lillymdr-tb.com. C-LLY
    (Logo:  http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20071109/CLF001LOGO )




For further information:

For further information: U.S.: Carole Puls, +1-317-277-1421, 
pulsca@lilly.com, or U.K.: Nick Francis, +44- 1256 775201,  theedge@lilly.com,
both of Eli Lilly and Company


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