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A global effort to accelerate access to healthcare

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    UCB has joined a global initiative to tackle non-communicable diseases (NCDs). Launched at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Access Accelerated brings together twenty-two leading biopharmaceutical companies, in partnerships with the World Bank and the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC).

    This first-of-its-kind multi-stakeholder project aims to catalyze, develop, measure and replicate sustainable programs in low and lower-middle income countries. It represents an initial three-year commitment and will mobilize collective funding of $50 million, along with increased individual company programs to address NCDs.

    NCDs include cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory diseases and mental health disorders, and are the leading causes of death and disability worldwide.

    UCB has a strong record in tackling NCDs of the immunological and neurological systems, such as rheumatoid arthritis and epilepsy. We are pleased to pledge support to the Access Accelerated initiative which we believe can make a significant difference to millions of lives in low and lower-middle income countries (LMICs).

    Crisis point
    The biopharma industry and partners are targeting NCDs because the situation has reached crisis point. These conditions account for the largest percentage of global morbidity and mortality – 60% of all deaths worldwide – causing 36 million deaths annually. The new initiative recognizes the critical role that medicines companies can play in addressing this challenge.

    Nearly 80 percent of NCD-related deaths occur in lower and middle income countries where patients face financial, regulatory and service delivery barriers. To achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) target to reduce premature deaths from NCDs by one-third by 2030, action is needed.

    The challenge is considerable. The risk of many NCDs rises with age. As populations in LMICs get older, the burden of many diseases will grow. At the same time, unhealthy lifestyles and under-resourced health systems threaten to exacerbate the problem.

    A great deal of progress has been made in recent decades in global health and economic development. However, there is no room for complacency. Improving the health of people in LMICs has a positive impact on individuals’ health while contributing to economic growth.

    More than medicines
    Access Accelerated is about more than medicines. Through this new initiative, we will work with partners to enhance access to medicines, improve regulations, and invest in diagnosis, screening and service delivery for NCDs.

    The initiative reflects UCB’s commitment to tackling major health challenges and our continued efforts to work with partners and networks that share our goals.

    The cost of inaction is too high – it is time to act, together.

    For more information, please visit

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