The 2014 Gairdner Global Health Award was conferred for discovery of the unique microorganism that is the sole source of the endectocidal avermectins, and the Public sector/Private sector Partnership that developed innovative biopharmaceuticals with immeasurably beneficial impact on public health worldwide. Ivermectin is already labelled a 'wonder drug', essential for campaigns to eliminate two disfiguring and devastating tropical diseases. New uses for it are identified regularly, including possible antibacterial, antiviral, and anticancer potential. Hundreds of millions of people are taking ivermectin to combat various diseases and afflictions, and mass administration of ivermectin in polyparasitised poor communities around the world is increasingly recognised as a mechanism to easily and cost-effectively improve overall health and quality of life for everyone.
Keywords: endectocide; global public health; ivermectin; onchocerciasis; wonder drug.
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