One of my lifelong goals was to change the treatment landscape for tuberculosis, especially for patients affected by multi-drug resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB). MDR-TB is a particularly deadly and hard-to-treat form of TB. It kills many people every year, especially those already affected by HIV and it threatens the progress made in the fight against TB globally.
Although there is broad consensus that it is imperative to stop TB, resistance to most TB treatments is largely a manmade challenge. Improper use of TB antibiotics due to inadequate drug supply, limited diagnostics, poor prescribing practices, vulnerable patient populations and limited data are just a few of the challenges fueling the cycle of resistance.
National TB programs, dedicated advocates, scientists and industry each have something to offer in the fight against MDR-TB, but collaboration among all of us is crucial. At Janssen, we are able to offer new treatment options and support clinical trials, and through partnerships with diverse stakeholders we can also help ensure access and appropriate use in this complex treatment environment.
That’s why we are pleased to announce a collaboration with the Stichting International Dispensary Association (IDA), a procurement agent for the Stop TB Partnership’s Global Drug Facility (GDF) to help reach patients in more than 130 low- and middle-income countries outside of the United States. This public-private partnership will help improve access and appropriate use for the treatment of MDR-TB, a disease of great unmet need.
This collaboration follows our announcement of Janssen Global Public Health (Janssen GPH), a new group within Johnson & Johnson dedicated to sustainably advancing public health worldwide. We formed Janssen GPH as part of our ongoing commitment and responsibility to help address today’s greatest public health challenges by collaborating with the best minds in science to bring forward and test new solutions for treatment of MDR-TB, HIV and other diseases.
Janssen GPH will support clinical and product development for a growing portfolio of medicines, diagnostic tools, and health solutions; cultivate innovative pricing and financing models; and forge collaborations that strengthen our collective ability to advance public health solutions, especially for diseases that disproportionately affect the poor. This recent collaboration is the latest demonstrating our commitment to this work. By working together, we can more effectively help the patients and families in the U.S. and around the world whose lives depend on better solutions for serious diseases.
Dr. Paul Stoffels is Chief Scientific Officer, and Worldwide Chairman, Pharmaceuticals, Johnson & Johnson. In this role, he works with R&D leaders across Johnson & Johnson to set the enterprise-wide innovation agenda and is a member of the Johnson & Johnson Executive Committee. He began his career as a physician in Africa, focusing on HIV and tropical diseases research. Paul chairs the Johnson & Johnson R&D Management Committee and provides oversight to the Johnson & Johnson Development Corporation (JJDC) and the Johnson & Johnson innovation centers, with the goal of catalyzing innovative science and technology.