PEPFAR and AstraZeneca launch partnership across HIV and hypertension services in Africa

AstraZenecaThe U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and biopharmaceutical company AstraZeneca have announced a $10 million (subject to the availability of funds), five-year global public-private partnership that will expand access to HIV/AIDS and hypertension services by offering them in an integrated manner at existing PEPFAR-supported HIV/AIDS sites, beginning in Kenya.

The new partnership, which supports the achievement of U.N. Sustainable Development Goal 3 (good health and well-being), is designed to address these challenges head-on by optimizing existing HIV/AIDS service delivery infrastructure and more specifically enhancing services for men aged 25-50. For AstraZeneca, PEPFAR's sizable patient reach presents an opportunity to screen for hypertension during clinical triage; for PEPFAR, the ability to make hypertension screening available to men alongside HIV/AIDS services supports efforts to identify harder-to-reach patients for HIV testing, specifically males aged 25-50, and provide appropriate referral to HIV/AIDS treatment. Through joint implementation, both programs will increase their impact and leverage existing program infrastructure to engage new patients in lifesaving treatment and care.

Mark Mallon, EVP International, member of the Senior Executive Team and Healthy Heart Africa (HHA) sponsor at AstraZeneca, said: "AstraZeneca shares PEPFAR's vision of improving the health and lives of underserved communities in sub-Saharan Africa. Increasing rates of hypertension and cardiovascular disease in the region threaten individuals, families and communities, and burden already-stressed health systems. We are honoured and proud to join with PEPFAR to improve access to vital testing and treatment which help stem the tide of both hypertension and HIV/AIDS."

Ambassador Deborah L. Birx, M.D., U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator and Special Representative for Global Health Diplomacy, said: "Together, we have made remarkable progress in the global response to HIV/AIDS. Yet, we need innovative approaches to better identify and serve harder to reach populations, including men, who too often only present for care when they are very ill. Through this new partnership with AstraZeneca we will enhance our ability to deliver earlier and more effective HIV/AIDS testing and treatment for working-age men in two high-prevalence counties in Kenya."

Data show that men often access HIV/AIDS testing and treatment at far lower rates than do women. For example, according to the most recent Kenya AIDS Indicator Survey, 79.8% of women surveyed had received an HIV test whereas only 62.5% of men had received one. This significant gender disparity leads to HIV-infected men entering care with more advanced disease, being less likely to receive lifesaving antiretroviral therapy (ART), and having higher mortality than HIV-infected women. Late diagnosis also results in missed opportunities for HIV prevention, including early ART initiation, resulting in ongoing transmission to previously uninfected partners.

AstraZeneca created Healthy Heart Africa (HHA) to support national governments in Africa in testing and scaling effective models of hypertension care, including treatment through access to discounted medicines. Since the program started in 2014, HHA and partners have screened almost 2 million people, trained more than 3,000 healthcare workers, and activated over 400 health facilities to provide hypertension services. HHA has identified new strategies for bringing hard-to-reach populations into hypertension care, including men between the ages of 25 and 50.

Hypertension and cardiovascular disease are two of the largest drivers of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) across Africa. Prevalence of hypertension in Africa has increased significantly over the past three decades. In 2000, there were approximately 80 million adults with hypertension in sub-Saharan Africa. Current epidemiological data suggest that this figure will rise to 150 million by 2025. In addition, evidence indicates that complications related to hypertension, in particular stroke and heart failure, are increasingly common in this region.

Launching in October 2016 with a one-year pilot program in Western Kenya, the partnership, in collaboration with the Kenyan Ministry of Health will leverage PEPFAR's existing HIV/AIDS infrastructure in Homa Bay and Kisumu. This area was identified due to the high burden for all patients but particularly working-age males who have not yet been reached by current HIV/AIDS programming. Longer term, the partnership aims to extend to other areas where the burden of both HIV/AIDS and hypertension is particularly high.

Subject to the availability of funds, it is intended that the initial pilot will be implemented by PATH, a Seattle-based PEPFAR partner with extensive expertise implementing both HIV and NCD programming. PATH is the leading implementing partner for the large-scale USAID APHIAplus programme, which integrates and improves health service delivery in Western and Nyanza regions of Kenya.

About AstraZeneca
AstraZeneca is a global, science-led biopharmaceutical company that focuses on the discovery, development and commercialisation of prescription medicines, primarily for the treatment of diseases in three therapy areas - Respiratory and Autoimmunity, Cardiovascular and Metabolic Diseases, and Oncology. The company is also active in inflammation, infection and neuroscience through numerous collaborations. AstraZeneca operates in over 100 countries and its innovative medicines are used by millions of patients worldwide.

About PEPFAR
The U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) was launched in 2003 and represents America's commitment to saving lives and the shared responsibility of all global partners to achieve an AIDS-free generation. PEPFAR is the largest effort by any nation to combat a single disease. With the generous support of the American people, the U.S. government has committed more than $70 billion to bilateral HIV/AIDS programs; the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria; and bilateral tuberculosis programs.

Most Popular Now

Sanofi builds focus on rare blood disorders and ca…

Some of the most serious unmet patient needs today are in the field of hematology. Rare blood disorders and blood-related cancers continue to be a major focus of research...

Novartis rises to second place in 2018 Access to M…

Novartis ranked second in the 2018 Access to Medicine Index (ATMi), up from 3rd place in 2016, in recognition of its long-standing efforts to improve worldwide access to ...

FDA approves first treatment for Lambert-Eaton mya…

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved Firdapse (amifampridine) tablets for the treatment of Lambert-Eaton myasthenic syndrome (LEMS) in adults. LEMS is a r...

FDA grants breakthrough device designation to arti…

Bayer announced today that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted Breakthrough Device Designation to the Artificial Intelligence Software for Chronic Thrombo...

Pfizer reaches a global agreement with AbbVie

Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) has signed licensing agreements with AbbVie, resolving all global intellectual property matters for Pfizer's proposed adalimumab biosimilar. Under ...

FDA approves new treatment for patients with acute…

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved Daurismo (glasdegib) tablets to be used in combination with low-dose cytarabine (LDAC), a type of chemotherapy, for t...

U.S. FDA approves Larotrectinib, the first TRK inh…

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved larotrectinib, the first oral TRK inhibitor, under the brand name Vitrakvi®. The approval is for the treatment of...

GSK reaches agreement to acquire TESARO, an oncolo…

GlaxoSmithKline plc (LSE/NYSE: GSK) and TESARO Inc (NASDAQ: TSRO) announced that the Companies have entered into a definitive agreement pursuant to which GSK will acquire...

Merck and Pfizer provide update on avelumab in pla…

Merck and Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) today announced that the Phase III JAVELIN Ovarian 200 trial evaluating avelumab* alone or in combination with pegylated liposomal doxor...

Bristol-Myers Squibb awards "Golden Tickets…

Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (NYSE: BMY) and LabCentral, an innovative, shared laboratory space designed as a launchpad for life-sciences and biotech startups, today anno...

Alcon to highlight its vision, strategy and benefi…

Alcon, the eye care division of Novartis, will today hold its first Capital Markets Day for investors and analysts in relation to the previously-announced intention of No...

New study reveals probiotics do not help children …

Probiotics are a multibillion-dollar industry with marketing claims of being an effective treatment for a multitude of ailments, including diarrhea. However, findings fro...