The Global Alliance to Eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis (GAELF) is a public-private partnership created in 2000 to assist in advocacy, resource mobilisation and programme implementation.
GlaxoSmithKline, Merck & Co Inc. and Eisai Co. Ltd. have pledged albendazole, Mectizan® (in Africa where onchocerciasis is prevalent) and diethylcarbamazine (DEC) respectively. All are necessary to achieve elimination and are the largest drug donations in history, valued at more than $1 billion.
GlaxoSmithKline and Merck & Co Inc. have pledged all the albendazole and Mectizan® (in Africa where onchocerciasis is prevalent) necessary to achieve elimination - the largest drug donations in history, valued at more than $1 billion.
No public health programme has ever expanded as quickly as the Global Programme to Eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis (GPELF). The latest (2014)WHO Weekly Epidemiological Record, noted that in 2013, the programme targeted 563.5 million people with preventive chemotherapy and treated 410.2 million for a reported coverage of 72.8% (although it was noted that 5 countries were still to report)
The rapid expansion can be attributed to several factors, including the generous drug donations and the fact that governments in endemic regions increasingly view the programme as a tangible way to address poverty and improve health. In addition, GPELF is seeing benefits beyond the primary programme intent. In integrating its work with other health programmes, including malaria and river blindness, among others, local health systems are able to maximize resources leading to cost efficiencies. The drugs that prevent LF also eliminate intestinal worms, providing an additional, immediate benefit to LF treatment*. Annual treatments have shown dramatic and persistent reductions in hookworm and roundworm infections, improving children's growth and nutrition.
*Mectizan® (ivermectin) has formal regulatory approval for lymphatic filariasis and onchocerciasis and is donated by Merck & Co Inc. for those indications.