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Diplomacy in Action

State Department Leads Discussion on the Role of Innovation in Addressing Global Health


Media Note
Washington, DC
March 18, 2011

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Under Secretary of State for Economic, Energy and Agricultural Affairs Robert Hormats; Executive Director of the Global Health Initiative Lois Quam; Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs’ Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Science, Space and Health Jonathan Margolis; and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Global Health Administrator Amie Batson participated in a dialogue with public-private stakeholders on the role of innovation in addressing global health earlier today. Speakers from the health industry included Andrew Witty, President and CEO of GlaxoSmithKline; John Castellani, President and CEO of PhRMA; and Dr. Neeraj Mistry of the Global Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases, Sabin Vaccine Institute.

During the symposium, U.S. officials emphasized the need for both the public and private sectors to expand the use of innovative solutions to address emerging global health challenges through successful public-private partnerships such as the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves. Officials highlighted the central role science diplomacy plays in U.S. foreign policy via initiatives such as the Global Health Initiative and USAID’s programmatic support for innovation-driven programs and collaborations like the Medicines for Malaria Venture.

Industry executives provided an overview of pharmaceutical industry strategies for promoting innovation, including the use of voluntary licensing and open labs to develop medicines for neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), and reiterated industry’s commitment to seeking solutions for improved health for all. The Global Network for NTDs highlighted the success of an integrated mass drug administration model to eliminate and control NTDs.

All stakeholders emphasized that innovation is central to improving health outcomes and livelihoods of all. Approximately 200 people attended the event, including representatives from international organizations, NGOs, private industry, the U.S. Government agencies, academia and foreign embassies.

The Symposium’s opening remarks and discussion can be found at: http://www.state.gov/e/rls/rmk/2010/index.htm.



PRN: 2010/413



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