A message on the passing of Martin Khor from GARDP Executive Director Manica Balasegaram and DNDi Executive Director Bernard Pécoul
We and our colleagues at GARDP and DNDi are deeply saddened by the passing of Martin Khor, a friend and trusted advisor to colleagues and partners around the world working to advance medical innovation and access to treatment for vulnerable and neglected people.
Martin provided decades of vital leadership and steady guidance to the global access to medicines movement, championing health innovation and equitable access to new health tools as essential prerequisites for improving lives and livelihoods and meeting the UN Sustainable Development Goals. He was also a central proponent of the multisectoral ‘One Health’ approach to addressing the rising threat of antimicrobial resistance. No matter the challenge, he always placed the needs of people in developing countries and the know-how of developing country experts at the centre of policy debate and discussion around medical R&D and access.
In recent years, as simpler, safer treatments emerged for hepatitis C virus (HCV), Martin rallied for the half million people in Malaysia living with the disease who were at risk of going untreated due to the high price of newer drugs. Through his leadership at South Centre, Martin was instrumental in supporting the Malaysian government’s use of TRIPS flexibilities to open up access to HCV treatment. This is just one example of how Martin’s work has touched people’s lives and how his positive impact will surely continue to multiply.
We at GARDP and DNDi will remember Martin with fondness and gratitude for his legacy of fierce advocacy and determined commitment to the most vulnerable. We extend our deepest condolences to his friends and family.