At 28,Sandeep Kishore has already helped redefine global health policy,apart from leading a successful campaign for a revision in medical college curricula across North America. Kishore,hailing from Hyderabad and settled in the United States,has been nominated a civil society delegate to the United Nations but prefers to call himself a precocious American kid.
The Cornell University medical graduate helped draft a petition that led to the inclusion of glucagon,an expensive injection for hypoglycemia with diabetes,in WHOs international essential medicines list (EML),making it more accessible. The inclusion of modern medicines can help make them cost-effective,as was done with HIV/AIDS drugs,he says.
In 2007,he spearheaded the addition of cholesterol-lowering statin on the list. He has since petitioned WHO to include aproton pump inhibitor and a modern beta blocker.
Kishore has also founded and directed the first global health curriculum at Cornell Universitys medical college and helped integrate neglected disease issues into medical school curricula across the continent.
He has founded the Young Professionals Chronic Disease Network (YP-CDN) with 300 members,below 40,from 41 countries and 170 organisations to push for policy change on chronic diseases. He and a team will visit New Delhi and Hyderabad to rope in people to campaign for the inclusion of more drugs in the EML.
Kishore,who plans a career as a public health advocate,told The Indian Express in New York that a friends death of cerebral malaria in India prompted his decision to study medicine As a young kid I too had high fever,104 degrees,and am alive today because of essential drugs, Kishore said. My parents practised medicine and I had access to first line medication but people are dying of diseases like malaria and cancer across the world; that bothers me, said Kishore who,along with civil society members and ahead of a September meeting at the United Nations,is campaigning for a strategy to control noncommunicable diseases.
About his campaign on statin,which lowers the risk of heart attack by 25-30 per cent,he said these drugs were largely unavailable to people in developing nations because of an annual price tag of $1,200. This struck him as a human rights issue. Since their inclusion in the list in 2006,the price of statins fell to $40 per year.
Kishore is the first winner of The Lancet Prize for community service.