Pacific Health Summit Impact

“The Pacific Health Summit isn’t just where things start. It’s where they pick up speed.”
Wim Leereveld, Chair and Founder, Access to Medicines Foundation

The Pacific Health Summit was a neutral space where leaders established ground-breaking projects and initiatives, as well as a year-round process for collaboration and communication. For example, at the 2007 Summit the Director-General of the WHO announced the establishment of a pre-pandemic flu vaccine stockpile. Furthering the important work of the 2007 Summit, in 2009 sanofi aventis pledged 100 million doses of H5N1 flu vaccine to the WHO for developing countries. Numerous other collaborations, including the Critical Path to TB Drug Regimens (2009), an agreement to distribute innovative medical devices between Laerdal & Powerfree Education and Technology (2010), and a pneumoccoccal vaccine collaboration between Merck & Co. and Serum Institute (2011) either were furthered by or began at meetings held at the Summit.

Because Summit outcomes often result from personal interactions and spontaneous brainstorming, our participants feel uniquely invested in creating viable solutions to some of the world’s most pernicious health challenges. It is this sense of personal ownership that leads to robust, sustainable engagement and action.

“The friendships and partnerships that resulted are helping to move healthcare from being our greatest modern cost to becoming our greatest modern asset.”
Sir William Castell, Chairman, Wellcome Trust

The first two Summits challenged how we approach healthcare, shifting the focus from a late-stage disease model to a focus on prevention, early detection, and early treatment of disease.

At the inaugural Summit, Sir William Castell, then-President and CEO of GE Healthcare and current Chairman of the Wellcome Trust, announced the Early Health Initiative (EHI), which offered policymakers a dynamic way to determine cost-effective investments in health promotion.

Lee Hartwell, then-President and Director of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (and member of the Summit’s Executive Committee) co-launched the Partnership for Personalized Medicine (PPM), which leveraged the Summit’s distinct commitment, engaging new players and increasing commitment to early health across the globe in tangible ways.

NBR, the Summit Secretariat, created the Forum for Personal Health to facilitate collaborations between the Summit and PPM, and that initiative catalyzed the 2009 establishment of a new Center for Sustainable Health at Arizona State University’s Biodesign Institute, now directed by Michael Birt, Executive Director of the Summit, with Lee Hartwell serving as Chief Scientist.

“The 2007 Summit on avian flu—and the pre-meeting we co-hosted with the Summit organizers in Beijing—produced an important new response paradigm for fast-tracking regulatory vaccine approval in emergency situations. That represents a critical step forward.”
Yu Wang, Director, China CDC

Margaret Chan, Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) announced the establishment of a WHO pre-pandemic flu vaccine stockpile.

GlaxoSmithKline simultaneously pledged a 50 million-dose donation to the stockpile, and Baxter International, sanofi pasteur, and Omnivest also pledged to contribute to the effort.

Eli Lilly revealed the establishment of the Lilly Not-For-Profit Partnership for TB Early Phase Drug Discovery to fight MDR-TB.

Sir William Castell, Chairman of the Wellcome Trust and Mark Feinberg, Vice President for Medical Affairs and Health Policy at Merck & Co., spoke at the Summit and realized their organizations’ complimentary interests, resulting in the creation of a $145 million nonprofit research institute to be formed in India. This institute, the MSD Wellcome Trust Hilleman Laboratories, will take promising vaccine ideas to the test stage and optimize or adapt current vaccines to be more affordable and usable in lower-income countries.

“Ultimately, this dialogue laid the foundation for major movements and initiatives like the GAIN Business Alliance expanding its role, more projects from the private sector around the 1,000 Days campaign to focus on the most vulnerable populations, and the inception of the Access to Nutrition Index, which will benchmark market channels and industry’s increasing role in improving nutrition impact at scale.”
Marc Van Ameringen, Executive Director, GAIN

Tachi Yamada, then-President of Global Health at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Mark Walport, Director of the Wellcome Trust, announced that they would work together with the food industry to fund the creation of a Nutrition Index. Implemented by GAIN (Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition), this initiative examines the contributions of the food and beverage industry to global nutrition.

Keizo Takemi, former Japanese Senior Vice Minister of Health, Labor and Welfare, described how he and other key Japanese leaders were working to integrate nutrition into the G8 agenda. He was inspired by the discussions at the 2008 Summit around the concern that erosion of trust among various stakeholders was undermining the scale-up of complementary feeding products for infants.

Peter Singer, CEO of Grand Challenges Canada and Director of the McLaughlin-Rotman Centre for Global Health of the University Health Network and University of Toronto, co-published “The Shared Principles of Ethics for Infant and Young Child Nutrition in the Developing World” in 2010.

CEOs of several major food and beverage companies pledged to support the WHO Action Plan on Diet and Physical Activity.

“The Summit’s value was in catalyzing interest and enthusiasm among high-level people who had never before been engaged in this field. Driving down TB rates and halving TB deaths are key 2015 targets and necessary precursors to TB elimination—the 2009 Summit helped us focus our eyes on the prize.”
Mario Raviglione, Director, Stop TB Department, WHO

Chris Viehbacher, CEO of sanofi-aventis, pledged 100 million doses of H5N1 flu vaccine to the WHO for developing countries, furthering the important work of the 2007 Summit.

Mel Spigelman, President and CEO of the Global Alliance for Tuberculosis Development, announced a partnership for TB drug development with Tibotec, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson.

Becton, Dickinson and Company teamed up with FIND (Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics) to offer a price reduction in the cost of liquid culture testing, FIND CEO Giorgio Roscingo announced.

The denial of a U.S. visa for invited Summit speaker Paul Thorn of the Tuberculosis Survival Project in the UK, due to his HIV-positive status, led to the repeal of the U.S. travel ban against HIV positive individuals following efforts on his behalf by U.S. Senator Patty Murray and U.S. Representative Jim McDermott.

After meeting at the Summit, Jim Allen, Asia Pacific Medical Director, Chevron Corporation, invited Patrizia Carlevaro, Head of International Aid Unit, Eli Lilly and Company, and her colleagues to speak about MDR-TB at the annual meeting of the MNC Medical Directors’ Council in China, which included participants from IBM, GE, General Motors, Continental, 3M, and Proctor & Gamble.

Merck & Co and Qiagen’s new cervical cancer vaccination partnership, launched publicly in September 2009, originated from the first in-person meeting between Merck & Co Vice President & Chief Public Health and Science Officer Mark Feinberg and Qiagen CEO Peer Schatz in June.

Following discussions at the 2009 Summit, the Critical Path to TB Drug Regimens, an unprecedented public-private partnership on TB drug development, was announced in 2010.

“The 2010 Summit was a forum in the true sense of the word as ancient Romans would have it, where social entrepreneurs, donors, and policymakers exchanged ideas on how to further the cause of better health and healthcare for all peoples, especially those in emerging market and developing countries.”
May Tsung-Mei Cheng, Health Policy Research Analyst, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University

For 95% of respondents to the post-meeting survey, this dialogue is leading on significant, promising, collaborations and initiatives.

A Call for Collaboration (PDF) by Aaron Oxley, Executive Director, Results UK, resulted in data utilized in recommendations to the UK Government’s Maternal Mortality Business Plan Consultation.

A partnership emerged between Powerfree Education and Technology (PET) and Laerdal to manufacture and distribute two innovative medical devices for MDGs 4 and 5. The Summit conversation also inspired the Chairman of Laerdal Medical AS, Tore Laerdal, to establish Laerdal Global Health.

Out of talks originating at the Summit, Laerdal Global Health partnered with Jhpiego, a Johns Hopkins charity affiliate, to develop Helping Mothers Survive, an educational training course focusing on control of postpartum hemorrage.

Inspired in part by discussions and participant meetings on the potential of mobile technology in the MNH field, the Mobile Alliance for Maternal Action (MAMA) was formed in May 2011.

“I was impressed with the implementation of the Summit. I, and I know many others, learned a great deal about the different ways in which we each organize and do things—things which are inexpressible on paper.”
K.O. Antwi-Agyei, National EPI Manager, Ghana Health Service

2011 Pacific Health Summit participants were invited to tour PATH’s Research Laboratory, where they were given an exclusive preview of lifesaving technologies in development. Learning about the Non-Pneumatic Anti-Shock Garment (NASG) inspired Tabitha Mwangi, a freelance science journalist, to highlight the NASG’s immense potential to cut maternal deaths in developing countries in a special report for Kenya’s Daily Nation.

Decade of Vaccines Collaboration (DoVC) is exploring ways to ensure engagement of the private sector in their planning, working with both emerging market manufacturers through the Developing Countries Vaccine Manufacturers Network (DCVMN), and multinational pharmaceutical companies through the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations (IFPMA).

Discussion on responsible communication in a Summit plenary session catalyzed an in-progress research paper, analyzing media coverage of vaccines, to be published in an African peer-reviewed journal.

The Coca-Cola Company (TCCC) assembled international leaders from government, civil society, and academia to gauge their opinions on health issues and to learn about how and where TCCC can help drive solutions. The group’s counsel will assist in contributing to TCCC’s “health and well-being” paradigm, and discourse surrounding its future endeavors.

The Access to Medicines Index will explore the creation of a “vaccines index,” ranking pharmaceuticals on their efforts to support immunization worldwide.

A multinational energy company, an African country’s national pediatrics association, and a technology development organization are exploring collaboration on a rapid, low-cost diagnostic for malaria in West Africa.

GE joined as a technology partner in response to Swedish Medical Center and Pacific Northwest Diabetes Research Institute’s (PNDRI) Call for Collaboration (PDF) on mobile technology that can assist with preventing type 2 diabetes in underserved communities.

Ghana’s Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI) program and the company Dimagi are moving forward on a collaboration around mobile technologies for supply chain and EPI tracking.

Passionate Summit discussions on the need to share resources in order to accelerate R&D for new vaccines reaffirmed the necessity of a recently established Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Sabin Vaccine Institute and the Eisai Co. Ltd. Meeting at the Summit, BT Slingsby, Director, Global Partner Solutions, Eisai, and Peter Hotez, President, Sabin Vaccine Institute, strengthened their partnership and commitment to this collaboration surrounding Sabin’s use of Eisai’s adjuvant technology to enhance its work and R&D for neglected tropical diseases (NTD).

A multinational health company is moving forward with a key vaccine research organization and other partners on organizing a new coalition of private development partnerships around vaccines for NTDs.

On August 3, 2011, key Summit leaders from Merck and the Serum Institute of India Ltd. announced they would join forces to develop and commercialize a pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) for use in emerging economies and the developing world. The new vaccine will be made available to UN agencies at an affordable price, and will be marketed separately by both companies in agreed-upon territories.

The 2011 Summit furthered another model for building trust, an initiative catalyzed by a first-time meeting between Heidi Larson, Senior Lecturer, Infectious Disease Epidemiology, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, and Michael Watson, Vice President, Global Immunization Policy, sanofi pasteur, at the 2010 Summit. Joining forces, they began to formalize a center for public decisionmaking around immunization. Together, they officially launched The Vaccine Confidence Network in 2012. The project deploys a multidisciplinary network of researchers to develop and pursue a collaborative research agenda to better understand and tackle issues around public confidence in, and acceptance of, vaccines.

The decision to hold the 2011 Summit on the topic of vaccines helped motivate Nature magazine to run a May 2011 special issue on Vaccines.

“There are no words to express how well the meeting was organized…. Indeed the experience was productive and enjoyable. I had opportunity to make a lot of good contacts which will help us to work on future affordable technologies in eye care.”
Rengaraj Venkatesh, Chief Medical Officer, Aravind Eye Hospital

World Vision and DSM are now working with Myanmar’s Ministry of Health to see how NutriRice innovation can be implemented in Myanmar in the context of small-scale rice millers. The project will enhance, via affordable technologies, the nutritional status of children, adolescent girls, and pregnant and lactating mothers.

A Summit meeting led to a valuable connection between a growing diagnostics company and a hedge fund manager. This new relationship will help provide funds to promote the scale-up of an innovative diagnostics platform for use in developing countries.

Samukeliso Dube, Head of Health, Sub-Saharan Africa, Absolute Return for Kids (ARK), is exploring opportunities with Sameer Sawakar, CEO, Neurosynaptic Communications, to use his company’s ReMeDi™ telemedicine kit for in-service training of health care workers. In addition, Ms. Dube’s conversations with GE Healthcare at the Summit led to dialogue about employing GE’s mobile ultrasound in ARK’s maternal and child health programs.

Three CEOs of prominent companies headquartered in three African countries are now partnering to develop an electronic microinsurance scheme for healthcare in Africa.

Zeda Rosenberg, Chief Executive of the International Partnership for Microbicides, announced at the Summit the launch of the final large-scale trial of a vaginal ring, which women can wear for a month at a time while it releases HIV virus-killing drug called dapivirine.

Shared interests between the director of an organization focused on innovation in healthcare and an expert in health gaming sprang ongoing talks about using Wii gaming technologies to ramp up surgeon training.

A first-time meeting between Ashok Jhunhunwala, Professor, Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, and journalist Mia Malan, was the impetus behind an in-depth look (in progress) in Mail & Guardian about lessons learned from the health technology scene in India.

Calls for Collaboration and Private Sector Engagement

2012 Calls for Collaboration
2011 Calls for Collaboration
The Business Case: Why and How Should Industry Engage in Maternal and Newborn Health? (2011 Update)
2010 Calls for Collaboration
Tuberculosis: The Business Case—Moving Beyond the Status Quo

About the Pacific Health Summit

Since its inception in 2005, the Summit mission was to connect science, industry, and policy for a healthier world. By fostering substantive, cross-sector communication, the Secretariat sought to catalyze strategic alliances that will produce long-term results and partnerships. Learn more.