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  • G8 leaders ‘must commit to essential medicines’

[NAIROBI] The world’s richest nations should take practical steps to improving access to effective and affordable treatments for infectious diseases in the developing world, according to Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), the international medical relief organisation.

In a statement released to coincide with this week’s annual G8 meeting at Kananaskis in Canada, MSF says it is time for leaders of the G8 countries — the United States, Japan, France, Germany, Britain, Italy, Canada and Russia — to “move from rhetoric to action” in order to ensure access to essential medicines in the developing world.

"Hot air will not fund ambitious plans to address the access to medicines crisis, now is the time to transform political commitment to hard cash," urged MSF.

The charity is pushing for G8 members to give their full political and technical support to increase and improve local production of essential medicines, for example through technology transfer and relaxation of patent rules.

MSF also highlighted the need to promote research and development into neglected diseases, such as African sleeping sickness and leishmaniasis, blaming the failure of governments and unfavourable markets for stagnation of research.
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