ⓘ Health Action International
Health Action International is a non-profit organization based in The Netherlands. Established in 1981, HAI works to expand access to essential medicines through research, policy analysis and intervention projects. The organization focuses on snakebite envenoming, access to insulin and developing European policies on medicines. HAI is listed by the World Health Organization as an official non-state actor.
HAI was founded in Geneva in early 1981 following an International Baby Food Action Network IFBAN conference and before a global conference on International Women and Health meeting to be held in Geneva.: 71 After limiting marketing of infant formulas to the third world, three groups came together to co-sponsor this meeting, the International Organization of Consumers Unions IOCU, the BUKO Pharma-Kampagne, an organization that watches over the marketing practices of German pharmaceutical companies and the United Nations Non-Governmental Liaison Service NGLS,: 71 and brought together 50 anthropologists, physicians, pharmacists and organizers from 27 countries to form an "international antibody" against pharmaceutical marketing practices and used "innovative techniques to get their message to the delegates".: 139 It was similar to IFBAN but was organized to replace branded drugs with generics.: 72 The US Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Association said "we take this as a serious potential problem, both from a marketing threat here and now and for a WHO resolution in the future.": 72
HAI was immediately criticized by the pharmaceutical industry who implied a connection with Moscow The German Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Association BPI published an article on the formation of HAI and connected it to a conference in November 1981 in Moscow of the World Federation of Trade Unions.: 72-74 Claus Roepnack, then CEO of a German pharmaceutical company, Hoechst AG, asked whether the activists of HAI meant to overthrow "existing social and economic systems in favor of authoritarian regimes".: 72 In 1987, the Thai newspaper The Nation made similar allegations.: 72
In 1982, HAI proposed a draft for" an international code on pharmaceuticals” at the 35th World Health Assembly WHA meeting in an attempt to regulate the conduct of multinational drug companies,: 80-82 especially in developing countries. The attempt was unsuccessful, and the WHA declined to discuss the proposal.
In 1984, HAI produced a video, Hard to Swallow, in collaboration with Oxfam about the experiences of Dianna Melrose of pharmaceutical sales rep practices in Peru.: 16 That same year, HAI lobbied the WHA delegates and published a number of publications to incorporate responsible drug use into the WHOs Essential Drugs Monitor. Not all of HAIs initiatives against the pharmaceutical industry were appreciated by the WHO.: 83-93
At one point, Asian operations were housed in Penang, Malaysia and a European operation was located in The Hague in the 90s but moved its headquarters to Amsterdam.
A two-year project started in 1986 helped to reduce the use of Neomycin in antidiarrhetic products globally from 12% down to 7%.: 78
At the 41st World Health Assembly in 1987, HAI organised a large lobby of delegates to advocate for stronger controls on advertising by the pharmaceutical industry. It advocated for an independent drug code similar to the US FDA but under the WHO which would replace the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations drug marketing code.
In 1988, HAI began discussions around issues with the Bamako Initiative.: 126-129 This initiative was a plan for UNICEF and other donors to supply drugs to Sub-Saharan African countries which would be sold a little above cost. The profits from these sales would be used to buy more drugs in a self-sustaining way. This work modified HAIs purpose to move towards health policy rather than just responsible medicine use.: 128
In 1989, the organization testified in front of the FDA arguing against the approval of Norplant, a hormone capsule implant developed by Wyeth-Ayerst Laboratories and designed as a long-acting contraceptive. It was approved and used by about a million women. HAI claimed that the implant had not been rigorously scientifically tested and warned of serious problems, among them its removal, infection at the implant site, and unknown long-term side effects.
In response to 2001 WHA resolution, HAI together with the WHO a established a survey methodology to assess global drug prices and accessibility.
HAI works to increase access to essential medicines and encourage responsible medicine use. Projects included neglected tropical diseases, access to insulin, sexual and reproductive health commodities, controlled medicines and transparency of medicine prices. According to Silverman et al. 1992, HAI and IOCU are the two organizations that have had the greatest impact on drug company activities in the third world.
HAI works in Kenya, Uganda, Zambia and at the global level with WHO to gather snakebite incidence and treatments, including research and community education on first-aid and prevention. HAI also works with local governments for policies to improved access to effective and safe antivenoms, and proper training for healthcare workers. At the global level, HAI works with international partners such as the WHO Neglected Tropical Disease NTD Department and the Global Snakebite Initiative. HAI helped obtain WHO Category A Neglected Tropical Disease NTD status for snakebites in 2018.
4. Access to insulin
HAI produced a study of the global insulin market in 2018. It then developed policies and tools to increase insulin access, and studied the cost of insulin production and estimated the number of people with type 2 diabetes. HAI received a $3.5 million grant from The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust in 2018 to study insulin access in low and middle income countries.
5. European policy
HAI works to expand access to affordable medicines, promote medicine safety and enhance therapeutic value. HAI uses the TRIPS Agreement, issuing policy recommendations on health technology assessment HTA and raising awareness on the impact of pharmaceutical marketing on prescribing behaviours.
In 2011, HAI received a 218.000 Euro grant from the EU to look at strategies to improve access to medicines.
- Action for Global Health Action for Global Health was formed by 15 non - governmental organisations and charities in 2006. Current partners are based in
- National Health Action Party NHA is a political party in the United Kingdom. The party grew out of the movement opposing the 2012 Health and Social
- WHO Health Action International Project on Medicine Prices and Availability was a partnership between the World Health Organization and Health Action International
- Action on Smoking and Health ASH is the name of a number of autonomous pressure groups charities that seek to publicize the risks associated with tobacco
- The health action process approach HAPA is a psychological theory of health behavior change, developed by Ralf Schwarzer, Professor of Psychology at
- International health also called geographic medicine, international medicine, or global health is a field of health care, usually with a public health
- public health beyond the affected State s national border and may require immediate international action Under the 2005 International Health Regulations
- The International Journal of Circumpolar Health is a peer - reviewed healthcare journal covering issues related to the health of indigenous peoples in Arctic
- abuses by baby food companies. In 1981, Consumers International co - founded the Health Action International HAI an informal network of some 120 consumer
- Health Books International formerly Teaching - aids at Low Cost or TALC is an international non - profit organisation that was set up in Britain in 1965
- Health Poverty Action is a British non - governmental organisation, founded in 1984 as Health Unlimited that aims to secure health care access for marginalised