ILEP’s meeting with Novartis

This month the ILEP President (Jan van Berkel) and CEO (Geoff Warne) had a day in Basel, meeting some of the Novartis team most involved in leprosy. 

We saw in person how a commitment to leprosy flows from the most senior levels in the company. An earlier Update explained that Novartis’ ‘home’ for leprosy has shifted from the Novartis Foundation to the Social Business section of the company. This converts into greater bandwidth for leprosy. Mark Alexander Rogers, Novartis’ new lead person on leprosy, is able to draw on expertise from different sections of the company. Examples include:

  • development of digital learning materials in leprosy, targeted initially at physicians;
  • new focus on monitoring gaps or shortages in MDT drug delivery;
  • co-leadership in the new GPZL workgroup on diagnostic tools; and
  • ongoing monitoring of the effect of the LPEP programme on new case numbers.

It was positive to see that Novartis’ commitment to leprosy continues to grow and that the leprosy world will be seeing people with a greater diversity of skill focussing on the leprosy question.