Helmsley Joins Coalition to Improve Access to Medicines and Products for People Living with NCDs in Low- & Middle-Income Countries

Published Thu, Aug. 13, 2020

The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust and the Coalition for Access to NCD Medicines and Products announce Helmsley’s membership into the Coalition, a global, multisectoral entity comprising government agencies, private-sector entities, nongovernmental organizations, philanthropic foundations, and academic institutions. The Coalition is dedicated to increasing access to medicines and health products for noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) to reduce the impact of diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease. The Coalition, made up of more than 20 members, works at the global, regional, and national levels to address barriers and identify opportunities to strengthen health systems to provide NCD care.

The commitment of Helmsley to membership in this Coalition is driven by the shared vision for addressing inequities in access to care for people living with NCDs and the commitment to achieve WHO’s target of 80% availability of affordable essential medicines and products required to treat major NCDs. Through the engagement with the Coalition, Helmsley looks forward to contributing to efforts to help ensure that the needs of people living with NCDs are met during the COVID-19 crisis. Additionally, through involvement in the technical and advocacy work being done at the national, regional, and global levels, alongside ministries of health in East Africa, the Coalition looks forward to working with Helmsley and the Coalition membership to support health system and supply security strengthening efforts, as well as the rational use of NCD medicines and products at lower levels of care. The critical importance of these efforts is evident as we battle COVID-19, strive to continue to provide treatment and care, and strengthen health systems that are resilient against future unforeseen stressors.

“We feel privileged to welcome the Helmsley Charitable Trust to the Coalition, particularly now when access to NCD treatment and care is further threatened by COVID-19.  Partnerships are ever more important as the inequities within our system are exposed and action is essential. The Helmsley Charitable Trust’s deep commitment and experience in strengthening access to treatment and care for people living with type 1 diabetes and other NCDs will be a tremendous asset to the Coalition.” – Helen McGuire, Global Program Leader for NCDs at PATH. PATH, the Coalition’s Secretariat, is a global organization that works to accelerate health equity by bringing together public institutions, businesses, social enterprises, and investors to solve the world’s most pressing health challenges. PATH has worked in the NCD space since 1996 and their program currently works in more than ten countries across sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

“The right to health is not yet a reality, especially for people living with severe, chronic diseases like type 1 diabetes,” said Gina Agiostratidou, PhD, Program Director for Helmsley’s Type 1 Diabetes Program. “The COVID-19 pandemic is another hard lesson that caring for people with noncommunicable diseases needs to be a priority, and that includes access to treatments. Partnerships like the Coalition for Access to NCD Medicines are crucial to break through the barriers to delivering lifesaving NCD medicines.”

###

About the Helmsley Charitable Trust  

The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust aspires to improve lives by supporting exceptional efforts in the U.S. and around the world in health and select place-based initiatives. Since beginning active grantmaking in 2008, Helmsley has committed more than $2.5 billion for a wide range of charitable purposes. The Helmsley Type 1 Diabetes Program is the one of the largest private foundation funders of T1D in the nation focused on understanding the disease, developing better treatments, and improving care and access in the U.S and Low- and Middle- Income Countries. For more information on Helmsley and its programs, visit www.helmsleytrust.org.

About the Coalition for Access to NCD Medicines and Products

The global, multisectoral Coalition for Access to NCD Medicines & Products was launched in 2017.  This Coalition of government agencies, private-sector entities, nongovernmental organizations, philanthropic foundations, and academic institutions is dedicated to increasing access to medicines and health products for noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) to reduce the impact of diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease. Through technical support, advocacy, and resource mobilization, the Coalition works with ministries of health to address barriers and identify opportunities to strengthen forecasting, supply chain management including procurement, storage and distribution, as well as rational use of needed products. To learn more, visit www.coalition4ncds.org.