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In a surprise move, Doctors Without Borders is closing down its access-to-medicines campaign, which has been credited with ensuring needed drugs and vaccines have been made available to countless patients in low-income countries around the world.

The organization plans to close its campaign by the end of this year and create a new effort devoted to access to products for health care. But unlike its access-to-medicines campaign, the new structure will primarily focus on products — medicines and vaccines — that Doctors Without Borders expects to need for its own relief efforts. A strategic plan for the new structure is not finalized, though, according to sources.


In explaining the move, Doctors Without Borders told its staff the two programs require similar resources and capabilities, but might cause confusion, duplicate work, and create unnecessary expense, according to a slide presentation. But the organization maintained it plans to integrate access-to-medicines campaign staffers into the new initiative. Up to 50 staffers and consultants will be affected.

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