At Janssen, we are dedicated to doing our part to help children and young people living with HIV thrive and reach adulthood. Our company has a long history of working to improve the lives and well-being of children living with HIV. Our efforts include many programs to prevent infection, develop new medicines, and provide care and treatment for children and adolescents with HIV.
Addressing pediatric HIV remains a significant challenge across sub-Saharan Africa and other resource-limited settings. Of more than 3 million children living with HIV, only 23 percent receive treatment, and a small but growing number of those receiving treatment in resource-limited settings are failing first-line therapy. Our collaborative initiative ‒ New Horizons Advancing Pediatric HIV Care ‒ is designed to advance care for these children and adolescents experiencing first-line HIV treatment failure. This initiative seeks to address this unmet need and improve access to our approved HIV medicines, including child-friendly formulations, for vulnerable patients living in least-developed countries.
We’re working with a number of organizations, including the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation (EGPAF), Supply Chain Management Systems (SCMS), the International AIDS Society (IAS) and MAP International, to fully maximize the program’s impact. In 2014, Ministries of Health in sub-Saharan Africa were invited to submit an Expression of Interest to participate in the initiative. An independent Review Committee of international experts in pediatric HIV has since carefully assessed all applications. To date, four countries have been determined to be eligible for participation – Kenya, South Africa, Swaziland and Zambia. We are working with clinicians and Ministries of Health to equip local health systems with the resources, data and tools necessary for the long-term delivery of medicines and care for these children. To meet the needs of treatment-experienced children globally, we have expanded the scope of the initiative to countries beyond sub-Saharan Africa.
We hope that New Horizons catalyzes a broader collaborative effort to build awareness, accelerate action and advance learning around the needs of children and adolescents experiencing HIV treatment failure globally.
Janssen understands the central importance of sound public health policy to drive improved health outcomes worldwide. Recognizing the urgent need for innovative treatment options, particularly for neglected diseases, we are working with a coalition of stakeholders to support the United States Congress in accelerating progress in this domain.
In 2013, Janssen, at the invitation of the U.S. Congress, participated in a congressional hearing before the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations to emphasize the urgent need for action on neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). This testimony opened the door for greater participation with the subcommittee, which extended an invitation to help it identify and pursue opportunities to demonstrate leadership in accelerating advancements in R&D for NTDs through legislation.
Through our stakeholder coalition, we’re working to introduce legislation in support of new research into treatments for NTDs. We formed the Janssen Neglected Disease Task Force, comprised of senior leadership throughout our organization, to inform and support this legislation. The bill is the culmination of a months-long series of meetings among coalition members and subcommittee staff and leadership.
Through a reworking of current R&D, regulatory and partnership models, we can foster an environment more conducive to innovation and investment in drug development for neglected diseases.
The United Nations estimates that 6 billion people around the world have access to a working mobile phone. Building on the success of our company’s efforts in using mobile health technology (mHealth) to reach thousands of new and expectant mothers in low-resource settings with important health information, Janssen is working to support improved health outcomes through two patient-centric mobile technology initiatives. See Project UNITE related story.
Connect for LifeTM is a new collaborative program aimed at sustainably empowering health systems in underserved regions and improving health outcomes for vulnerable populations. Using a patient-centric model that combines partnerships, local expertise, and technology, Connect for LifeTM actively engages local health system actors to enable and catalyze research, capacity development, and clinical management in order to achieve sustainable impact on public health in resource-limited settings.
These programs are implementing comprehensive health solutions that increase the efficiency and effectiveness of care and are integrated into the local health systems, based on local expertise and evidence. In close collaboration with more than 20 local and international partners, these projects provide services supporting longitudinal patient management, counseling, self-monitoring and accountability by using widely available mobile devices and other digital media.
We hope to improve health management through these efforts and have provided grants to support local research.