The United Nations Secretary-General, Mr. Ban Ki-moon has appointed a high-level panel on health technology innovation and access. The panel also includes an Indian scientist Dr.Yusuf Hamied, the non-executive chairman of generic pharmaceutical manufacturer - Cipla.
Dr. Hamied was awarded the prestigious award, the Padma Bhushan, by the government of India (GoI) in the year 2005, for his efforts to provide generic Aids drugs, primarily affecting people in the poor countries. He has been trying to radically lower costs of biotech drugs for treatment of diseases such as cancer, diabetes and other non-communicable diseases. He also pioneered in development of multi-drug combination pills notably for HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis (TB), asthma and providing them to the public in fraction of the price as compared to the charge made by branded pharmacy companies.
The panel consists of a 16 member eminent individuals from various fields co-chaired by Dr. Ruth Dreifuss and Dr. Festus Mogae, the former President of Switzerland and Botswana, respectively.
The panel is set up to promote the well-being of people of all ages, and provide access to everyone for quality treatments, while also introducing innovation and development of new technologies such as vaccines, medicines and diagnostics.
The Panel is expected to hold its first meeting in December 2015 and will engage in extensive consultations with stakeholders. It will present a set of recommendations to the Secretary-General by June 2016 for any further action, as required.