On March 8, the World Health Organization introduced its Global Breast Cancer Initiative with the goal of reducing global breast cancer mortality by 2.5% per year until 2040, thereby saving about 2.5 million lives.
Although breast cancer survival five years after diagnosis exceeds 80% in most high-income countries, WHO said it is much lower in other countries. The initiative will focus on public education, timely diagnosis and comprehensive treatment.
Treating breast cancer has become more of a priority now that it has overtaken lung cancer as the world’s most commonly diagnosed cancer and is responsible for one in six of all cancer deaths among women. However, five-year survival rates are 66% in India and 40% in South Africa.
The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) reached out to President Joe Biden last week urging him to continue to stand with Brazil, Canada, the EU, Japan, Norway, Switzerland and the U.K. in opposing the waiver.
This came after reports suggested that the Biden administration might be in support of a proposal to suspend critical intellectual property (IP) provisions of the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) Agreement.
While speaking, PhRMA said: “The proposal, led by India and South Africa, would waive protection and enforcement of copyrights, industrial designs, patents and trade secrets on any COVID-19 innovation until widespread vaccination is in place globally.”