Uniting to Combat Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) released their fifth progress report on the London Declaration on NTDs. The report describes the progress made toward achieving the goals set out by the London Declaration toward the control, elimination, and eradication of 10 NTDs. DOLF research on a more effective triple drug combination for lymphatic filariasis (LF) was highlighted as an important innovation that “can dramatically improve treatment for LF and decrease the duration of programmes.” The report also celebrates Merck’s announcement to expand their donation in support of new triple-drug treatment.
Today Merck announced an expansion of the Mectizan Donation Program (MDP) to reach up to an additional 100 million people per year through 2025 to support the expansion of triple-drug therapy as part of the global effort to eliminate lymphatic filariasis (LF). DOLF research showed that adding ivermectin to diethylcarbamazine and albendazole can accelerate the time to reach LF elimination. WHO recently published new guidelines that recommend the triple drug combination for mass drug administration programs in settings where diethylcarbamazine and albendazole are already being used. These guidelines prompted Merck to expand its donation of Mectizan to countries outside of Africa.