27 June 2024 | Statements

In an open letter, Unitaid urges MSF to continue its critical work in advancing access for key health products

In an open letter to the international president of Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), Unitaid urges MSF to continue its critical work to advance access to health technologies. Unitaid’s letter follows news that MSF plans to shut down the Access Campaign, an international advocacy project that works to increase access to essential health products, by the end of 2024.

Unitaid’s open letter to MSF is reproduced in full:

Geneva, 27th June 2024

Dear Dr. Christou,

We are following with concern the news that MSF will be closing its extremely important Access Campaign. I am writing to reiterate our support for MSF’s critical work in access to health technologies and hope that you will continue to support efforts in this crucial area.

As you know, one of Unitaid’s strategic priorities is increasing access to lifesaving treatments and tools for people in low- and middle-income countries, with a focus on major health challenges including HIV, tuberculosis and malaria; women’s and children’s health; and pandemic preparedness and response, including medical oxygen.

In recent years we have been working closely working with MSF and the Access Campaign on several fronts. MSF and the Access Campaign have been key partners for Unitaid, enabling us to advance faster and more effectively in our fight for access to innovative health products for low- and middle-income countries.

Unfortunately, we can see every day the consequences of lack of access to optimized health tools in resource-limited settings and areas of conflict, and the need for a collective effort to identify pathways that can open access for all, including those populations not directly served by MSF’s programs. MSF and the Access Campaign have been instrumental in shaping policies at the international and national levels, and promoting accelerated access for all, translating innovation into impact for the most vulnerable wherever they live.

MSF’s voice and work in access remains more needed than ever, addressing the grassroots causes of inequities whether in HIV or global health emergencies, neglected diseases, and neglected populations that the market keeps failing. Regarding the multiple challenges we are facing now including in pandemic preparedness and response and an increasingly complex landscape, we need to continue to build strong partnerships with organizations and partners that have the level of expertise and energy that MSF’s Access Campaign has developed. I strongly believe that these partnerships are crucial for the global health response to continue advancing and accelerating access to health care solutions for all, and in particular the most vulnerable.

I trust you will be taking all measures needed to ensure that such critical work of the organization remains revigorated and functional. I hope we can continue to count on the support and the collaboration of MSF in this key area for public health.

Kind regards,

Dr. Philippe Duneton

Executive Director Unitaid


Media Contact

Kyle Wilkinson, Media Officer, Unitaid

wilkinsonk@unitaid.who.int

+41 79 445 17 45

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