Sanofi-aventis 'Most Neglected Diseases' Program
As part of its 5-year agreement with the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2006 to extend its partnership in sleeping sickness (see separate entry), sanofi-aventis also undertook to support a collaborative program with WHO to improve treatment for some 'most neglected diseases', namely leishmaniasis, Chagas disease and Buruli ulcer. Sanofi-aventis is providing USD 6.4 million to WHO over 5 years for development of training, diagnostics and optimization of treatment for leishmaniasis. It will transfer the worldwide production of its leishmaniasis medicine Glucantime to its Brazilian subsidiary, to optimize the product price. Sanofi-aventis provides Glucantime at a price of USD 1.20 plus transport and duties per ampoule to all developing countries. In 2008, sanofi-aventis also helped the WHO with import licenses in some critical endemic countries. Sanofi-aventis' Humanitarian Partnership Department is developing a joint leishmaniasis control program with the Aggeu Magalhaes Research Center and the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation to set up a screening, care and follow-up program for 4,000 poor families in Pernambuco, to fight leishmaniasis and other endemic diseases in the region, such as tuberculosis and dengue. Other programs on leishmaniasis are also being developed with the governments of Panama and Bolivia. Sanofi-aventis is also giving WHO USD 2 million for new programs to intensify disease management of Buruli ulcer and Chagas disease and USD 4 million to support field activities of its Innovative and Intensified Disease Management program. In addition to the above-mentioned agreement with WHO, sanofi-aventis has partnered in 2007 with Handicap International to set up a five-year national campaign in Togo to reduce the death rate and the serious post-disease effects caused by Buruli ulcer. In 2008, 98 health professional were trained, and 194 patients treated under this program.