Bernard Pécoul, MD, MPH, obtained his medical degree from the French University of Clermont Ferrand, and his Masters of Public Health from Tulane University in the US. Bernard worked in Thailand and Malaysia, managing public health projects for refugees from Vietnam, Burma and Laos in the early 1980s. He then joined MSF as a volunteer physician in 1983 in Honduras, where he provided healthcare to refugees from El Salvador, Nicaragua and Guatemala. He was a co-founder and director of research and training from 1988-1991 at Epicentre, an epidemiological research organisation in Paris, France. Then, from 1991-1998, he led the French section of MSF as Executive Director, where he oversaw one hundred field projects in 40 countries. Since 1998, Bernard has been Executive Director of Médecins Sans Frontières' Campaign for Access to Essential Medicines (see below). He is also closely involved in the creation of the Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative, which seeks to develop and make available drugs for patients suffering from neglected diseases on a not-for-profit basis.
Bernard is fluent in French (mother tongue), English and Spanish. He lives in Geneva with his wife and four kids.
MSF's campaign aims to increase access to essential medicines in developing countries by advocating for a combination of policies to lower drug prices on a sustainable basis; pushing for increased research into neglected diseases such as sleeping sickness, leishmaniasis and Chagas diseases; and finding solutions to bring unprofitable but medically necessary drugs back into production. To make sure that these solutions are long-term and sustainable, MSF is demanding that international trade policies give the highest level of protection to public health, and supporting developing countries in implementing legislation that prioritises access to medicines.
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