Meet the PSD: Erika Satterwhite & René Cazetien

Nisa PatelArticle

Erika Satterwhite
Manager, Global Policy, Mylan
René Cazetien
Associate Vice President of Operations, Access to Medicines, Sanofi
Erika Satterwhite, Mylan René Cazetien, Sanofi
How did Mylan become involved with the Global Fund?

Mylan’s decision to join the PSD Advisory Group is rooted in the company’s desire to provide the often-missing generic manufacturer’s perspective in shaping good public policy around the Global Fund’s efforts to combat HIV/AIDS, TB, and malaria. Mylan is the world’s largest manufacturer of antiretroviral drugs to treat HIV/AIDS, but is committed to going beyond the traditional role of a product supplier. Through the PSD, Mylan is able to engage in passionate global leadership to encourage sustainability and efficiency in Global Fund operations. In addition to joining the PSD, Mylan also supports the Global Fund through advocacy activity in Washington, D.C. and work with implementing partners in grant recipient countries.

How does your membership in the PSD Advisory Group benefit your company’s health work?

Participating as a member of the PSD Advisory Group allows Mylan to develop a deep understanding of the Global Fund’s policies and operations. This prepares us to advocate for the Global Fund to external stakeholders and donors, and also gives the opportunity to provide feedback directly through the Global Fund Board to ensure sustainable access to medicines is supported, and not hindered, by Global Fund initiatives. The long-term sustainability of treatment access for the three diseases (HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria) is contingent on Global Fund policies. Additionally, the PSD plays a critical role in reinforcing business practices of oversight and accountability in the Global Fund’s decision-making structure. Generic manufacturers have not historically played a prominent role in global health policy development. The PSD offers a level playing field for input from perspectives across the private sector.

What advice would you give peers seeking to become more involved with the Global Fund?

Reaching the end of HIV/AIDS, TB, and malaria globally will require extensive additional collaboration between and within public and private organizations – this is not an exclusive club, all who want to be involved have the opportunity to do so. Joining the PSD is a great way to learn more about the Global Fund and determine the best way for your company to be more involved. As part of the PSD, don’t hesitate to voice observations from your company’s unique experience in global health. Utilize the knowledge bank of fellow PSD member companies that provide a cross-industry network of expertise in leveraging the private sector’s core competencies to further the goals of the Global Fund.

How did Sanofi become involved with the Global Fund?

Sanofi has been engaged on improving access to medicines since 2002 with a strong focus on treatments for malaria.  We began working with the Roll Back Malaria Partnership (RBM) and the Stop TB Partnership and also participated on the RBM Board. As these two organizations work closely with the Global Fund and the Global Fund is the main funder for HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria programs, it was a natural extension of our work to partner with the Global Fund.  Sanofi became involved with the Global Fund in 2005.

How does your membership in the PSD Advisory Group benefit your company’s health work?

Sanofi’s participation on the PSD helps us to understand what the priorities and strategic direction of the Global Fund are. By participating in the PSD, we have access to first-hand, genuine and trusted information regarding the Global Fund’s priorities and where the need for funding is greatest. This information is valuable for Sanofi as it builds and implements its own programs in endemic countries.

Secondly, by being a member of the PSD, we can share our knowledge and understanding from working in endemic countries. We are uniquely placed to advice the Global Fund on what interventions are successful, where the greatest need is and how the private sector can help address critical issues. The private sector is a very important partner for the Global Fund and can bring strong skills and assets which are crucial to the functioning of the Global Fund and other similar organizations.  We can bring a more nuanced understanding of efficiencies in implementation, smart use of funds and knowledge of what is needed.

What advice would you give peers seeking to become more involved with the Global Fund?

Through its PSD membership, Sanofi is able to bring its expertise fighting diseases as a pharmaceutical company, to the Global Fund. However, diversity in private sector representation, particularly from non-supplier companies, those working in endemic countries or implementing Global Fund grants is critical. These companies work with affected populations and implement corporate programs to address diseases in their workforces. Bringing this level of input from local companies or local affiliates of international companies is extremely valuable to the Global Fund. There are avenues available to PSD members that allow companies to participate in Global Fund Committee-deliberations, policy discussions and PSD Task Force activities. These forums present an opportunity for companies to share their perspectives and input with the Global Fund.

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Nisa PatelMeet the PSD: Erika Satterwhite & René Cazetien