Moving Forward

The Lilly MDR-TB Partnership: 2012-2016

In the coming years, the Eli Lilly and Company Foundation will assume funding responsibility for The Lilly MDR-TB Partnership. The Lilly Foundation has made a commitment of $30 million over five years to extend the Partnership’s efforts to fight multidrug-resistant tuberculosis. Funding will begin in 2012 and conclude in 2016. During this time, the Lilly Foundation will support its partners to help ensure they are well positioned to carry on this important work.

The work in the final phase of the Partnership will be regionally and topically focused to:

  • Work with partners at the global and local level, with a specific focus on partners in the four countries carrying the highest burden of MDR-TB: China, India, Russia and South Africa.
  • Provide training for healthcare providers, from professional healthcare workers such as nurses and doctors, to informal caregivers such as community volunteers,
  • Improve supply and access to safe, effective, and high-quality drugs to treat MDR-TB,
  • Continue Lilly’s commitment to finding new medicines to treat TB quicker and more effectively, with a grant of nearly $5 million-plus volunteer support of more than $1 million over several years made to the Infectious Disease Research Institute (IDRI), and

Lessons Learned and Challenges

Tackling MDR-TB has proven as tenacious as the disease itself. Less than one percent of estimated MDR-TB patients globally receive appropriate treatment. Since we began this work, Lilly has learned a lot about the myriad obstacles blocking patient access to diagnosis and treatment. The strategy of transferring technology has proved especially timely, as we realize now that the need for medicines is much greater than anyone imagined when we first began.

Removing barriers will take a focused, coordinated effort by everyone committed to stamping out TB. When we launched The Lilly MDR-TB Partnership in 2003, it was the largest philanthropic effort ever undertaken by the company. Through 2011, Lilly has donated $135 million in cash, medicines, and support to our distinguished partners for much-needed programs and to companies that will make lifesaving medicines. But billions of dollars are needed. Success depends on a sustained, joint commitment by governments, NGOs, and businesses to bring an end to this disease.