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Welcome to TropMed Pharma Consulting

TropMed Pharma Consulting specialises in advising companies, academic institutions, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), and governmental and intergovernmental organisations working on malaria and neglected tropical diseases to help them be more successful.

The challenges in this field are often different from those faced by projects in other areas of medicine. Most projects in this area are carried out in the form of public-private partnerships (PPPs) or product development partnerships (PDPs). The involvement of many different parties from the public and private spheres, with different objectives, skill sets, and expertise can raise challenges that have often not been experienced before by the organisations involved.

Ian Boulton (Managing Director) brings more than 30 years’ experience in the pharmaceutical industry and nearly 20 years working in this field to meeting TropMed Pharma Consulting’s Mission. He has been involved in many public-private partnerships and so has experiences (good and bad) to draw on and inform the advice to our clients.

Our Mission

TropMed Pharma Consulting specialises in advising companies, academic institutions, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), and governmental and intergovernmental organisations working on malaria and neglected tropical diseases to help them be more successful.

What our clients say

I have known Ian for about 20 years since we worked together on a Public Private Development Project (PPDP) to develop a new antimalarial drug. At this time, he held a senior position at GlaxoSmithKline and he was instrumental in moving this project forward. Subsequently our paths have crossed on many occasions at different venues, reflecting Ian’s almost unique breadth of knowledge of malaria and neglected tropical diseases, spanning a sound scientific knowledge of these topics, experience of the ways in which large pharmaceutical companies work, experience of working in a PPDP, and of working with non-governmental organisations. His time on the Boards of the Roll Back Malaria Partnership (RBM) and the Malaria Consortium have provided him with experience of working with colleagues from many different backgrounds to support the development of products directed primarily for use in low income countries and then of finding ways to ensure that successful products are deployed widely in the populations where they can have the greatest impact. During the many times that I have sat on boards or committees with Ian I have always found him knowledgeable, insightful, prepared to work towards a compromise when different views emerge, and a pleasure to work with. Based on his very broad range of experience, Ian is extremely well qualified to provide advice and support for projects that aim to develop and then deploy drugs or other interventions directed primarily for use in low income countries.

Prof Sir Brian Greenwood FRS, Professor of Clinical Tropical Medicine, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
Ian’s knowledge, expertise and contacts in drug development for infectious diseases is of great value to those of us working in the field. His understanding of the way that the private sector, international organisations and academia works provides great support to both strategic and operational aspects of R & D projects and proposals.
Prof Simon Croft, Professor, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

I have worked with Ian Boulton since about 2000 when he worked with GlaxoSmithKline and formed part of the Product Development Team (PDT) that I was leading for the Medicines for Malaria Venture and WHO-TDR.  I was impressed by three of Ian’s characteristics: (a) his depth of reading on malaria and antimalarial drugs enabled him to engage meaningfully with scientific subject experts; (b) the degree to which he brought a commercial discipline to the PDT concerning the specifications of the drugs we were trying to develop; and (c) his constant standards of professionalism which affected the way in which the PDT conducted its business.  Because of this previous interaction, the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM) has now asked him for help in judging the quality of “Research Impact Statements” (RIS) being prepared for the 2021 Research Excellence Framework (REF), helping LSTM academics to measure the quality of evidence underpinning their RIS claims.  Ian has brought his scientific depth, commercial discipline and professionalism to the new and ongoing relationship, where his opinion is proving to be invaluable.

Prof Peter Winstanley, Emeritus Professor of Medicine, University of Warwick
I have worked with Ian, mainly in our work related to the Roll Back Malaria Partnership (RBM), since 2004. Both as a RBM Board member himself and subsequently as a consultant, Ian has brought the rigorous thinking and experience of the private sector to a largely public sector oriented world.  His knowledge of market dynamics and the vital but often poorly understood role of the private sector was critical to the success of the Affordable Medicines Facility for Malaria (AMFm), which showed clearly that access through the private sector to quality affordable antimalarial drugs could be increased significantly. With his knowledge and experience in the full range of drug discovery, development, and delivery, Ian can provide essential support to all those seeking to improve access by under-served populations to life-saving commodities, especially by using his skills working with both the private and public sectors. Ian is very knowledgeable about business sector issues relating to neglected diseases, ranging from manufacturing to distribution, marketing and sales. He is an excellent communicator and strategist, and works well building coalitions within and across sectors. Ian is one of the very few people who can explain complex matters to make these understandable for people who do not have the same level of expertise he has. This and his outstanding capability to engage himself and work constructively in different platforms with changing issues and participants makes him indispensable for engagement with key stakeholders.
Prof Bernard Nahlen, Director, University of Notre Dame Eck Institute for Global Health (former Deputy Coordinator US President's Malaria Initiative)
Ian and I have been working together in the same arena now for many years – being an employee of GlaxoSmithKline, engaged in Roll Back Malaria, and more recently as consultant to various private sector delegations like RBM and the Global Fund. Ian is one of the very few guys who can explain complex matters to make these understandable for people who do not have the same level of expertise he has. This and his outstanding capability to engage himself and work constructively in different platforms with changing issues and participants makes him indispensable for the private sector constituency and the overall engagement with key stakeholders. Ian is a key person in this constellation. Personally I like his patience but strong will to make things happen.
Gerhard Hesse, Senior Expert, Bayer Senior Expert Service, University of Bonn
During my 10 years with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, I have had multiple opportunities to work with Ian, especially since joining the RBM Board in 2008.  Both as a RBM Board member himself and subsequently as a consultant, Ian has brought the rigorous thinking and experience of the private sector to a largely public sector oriented partnership.  His knowledge of market dynamics and the vital but often poorly understood role of the private sector was critical to the success of the Affordable Medicines Facility for Malaria (AMFm), which showed clearly that access through the private sector to quality affordable antimalarial drugs could be increased significantly.  With his knowledge and experience in the full range of drug discovery, development, and delivery, Ian can provide essential support to all those seeking to improve access by under-served populations to life-saving commodities, especially by using his skills working with both the private and public sectors.
David Brandling-Bennett, Former Senior Advisor - Malaria, Global Health Division, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Ian is an exceptionally clear thinker and communicator who brings a very pragmatic and action-oriented perspective to complex, global health problems. It has been a pleasure to work with him on many different issues in global health over the years.
Colin Boyle, Deputy Director, UCSF Global Health Sciences
Ian is a valued and highly-professional consultant and colleague. He worked very hard under a tight timeline and politically charged atmosphere to deliver an extremely well-written and useful document for the Executive Committee of the RBM Board.. This provided the background needed to develop consensus and move a potentially divisive issue towards resolution. Ian has served with me on the RBM Board, and is a strong contributor to the success of the Private Sector Delegation on that Board.
Matt Lynch, Previously Director of Global Programs on Malaria, Center for Communication Programs, Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University
I have known and worked with Ian Boulton for more 10 years, both while he was leading the Diseases of the Developing World Initiative at GlaxoSmithKline and since he has established TropMed Pharma Consulting. He is one of the world’s leading experts on Discovery, Development, and Access to Medicines in diseases that disproportionately affect the developing world, especially malaria and neglected tropical diseases. He is an outstanding collaborator who has a capacity to analyse complex multifaceted problems into a coherent plan or recommendation having carefully validated it with all stakeholders. He has a fine strategic mind. He is a also first-rate analyst who is able to put together plans and budgets as well as set up systems, giving him a broad capacity useful for any organization whether a start-up, under reorganization, or evaluation. His work for Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV) was of the highest standard and contributed significantly to our thinking on a key strategic challenge. I regularly turn to Ian to discuss difficult issues. He combines deep pharmaceutical industry experience with intimate knowledge of leading global health organizations (Global Fund, Roll Back Malaria, WHO, etc.), and of institutions and markets in a wide array of geographies, including across the developing world. He is also a fine facilitator and team leader with the ability to bring diverse groups together to consensus on difficult issues while still focused on practical solutions. He is a valued and well-respected colleague.
Prof Win Gutteridge, Board Member, Medicines for Malaria Venture
Ian is one of the leading world experts on Drug Discovery, Development, and Accessibility of Medicines for the Developing World. His expertise across a wide range of infectious diseases that primarily afflict patients in the Developing World is broad-based – ranging from drug design,through clinical development and delivery, to healthcare systems.He has been singularly helpful in advising international organisations and pharmaceutical companies in this field.
Prof Trevor Jones, President, Sigma Tau Pharmaceuticals Inc.: formerly Director-General, ABPI; Director of R&D, Wellcome Foundation
I have worked with Ian Boulton, Founder of TropMed Pharma Consulting, for three years during my tenure as Board Member (alternate) for the Private Sector of The Global Fund to fight HIV/AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis. Having known Ian in his role of representing the Private Sector on the Global Fund’s Market Dynamics Committee (MDC) his maturity, experience and intuition rang true regarding issues and in depth understanding in regard to cultural sensitivities and core issues. Ian’s ingenuity and concern have proved invaluable for achieving solutions of mutual acceptability to key stakeholders in the private and public sectors. Ian’s tenure with GlaxoSmithKline and TropMed Pharma Consulting have hewn his skills to a master level of transparent communication regarding core issues and being able to drive acceptable solutions through common understanding. When it comes to commodity supplies as related to the Fund, Ian clearly, concisely, and fairly represents not only the interests of his constituency but what is best for all impacted by these dreadful epidemics. He had shown that he is able to get results and is held in high regard by the Private Sector constituency members and others within the Global Fund. His sense of fairness and evidence based solutions carry the day.
Richard Wilkins, President, RCW Group LLC, Formerly General Manager Health & Medical Services, Chevron Corporation
I have known Ian for several years, working with him and also sitting on the same Board and in different working groups and task forces of the Roll Back Malaria Board. He is an outstanding colleague who has a capacity to turn multiple and diverse pieces of information into a coherent plan or recommendation having carefully validated with all stakeholders. He is a first-rate analyst who is able to put together plans and budgets as well as set up systems, giving him a diverse capacity useful for any organization whether a start-up, under reorganization or evaluation. This is in addition to his own area of pharmaceuticals where he is also a valuable asset. Ian also writes well, clearly and concisely. A wonderful colleague and a thorough professional.
Alan Court, Senior Advisor to the WHO Ambassador for Global Strategy, UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy for Malaria
Ian has a first-class and in depth understanding of both the issues and the sensitivities of working at the interface between the private and public sectors. This comes from his experience as a Board Member of RBM representing the Private Sector and his work with GSK and the Global Fund. He had shown that he is able to get results in this situation where solutions to issues have to be negotiated rather than handed down. I therefore retained him to support the work of the RBM Task Forces of which I was Chair to use this expertise to achieve the stretched objectives set by the RBM Board on roles & responsibilities, accountability, and performance monitoring. Ian’s work was invaluable to bringing this work to a successful conclusion. That the RBM Board adopted our detailed and complex proposals in full is in no small part due to Ian’s ability to develop logical but realistic solutions to the problems encountered and then to communicate them in a clear manner that allowed the Board to come to a properly informed decision. I would recommend him whole-heartedly to anyone considering engaging him on similar projects.
Mikkel Vestergaard Frandsen, Chief Executive Officer, Vestergaard Frandsen Group
In pharmaceuticals, biologicals, and indeed the broader life science arena, the interface between public and private enterprise has never been so proximal, so active, and so crucial, both for the specific purposes of advancing medicines research, development and appropriate use and for the global goal of advancing the interests of the health and well being of patients and populations more generally. Against this context, Ian brings a unique insight and understanding to the public/private interface, drawing on a wealth of senior operational and strategic experience undertaken across, and from both sides of this equation. On the Public side of the equation, Ian’s credentials include Board membership of the Roll Back Malaria (RBM) initiative in which this strategic participation was amplified by his more operational contribution as a member of the RBM Task Force on Affordable Medicines Facility for malaria – AMFm. On the Private industry side, Ian held various key roles within GSK, including leadership of GSK’s public private partnerships to develop the antimalarials Lapdap, CDA, and tafenoquine, and his leadership of GSK’s Diseases for the Developing World (DDW) Strategy Team. He also led the team responsible for the development of sitamaquine for visceral leishmaniasis. In the Public/Private interface in life sciences I think Ian brings a world class experience and expertise.
Peter Bains, Chief Executive Officer, Sosei Group
Ian brings strategic insights from years of experience in large pharmaceutical companies to the field of public health and malaria. His work in this field combines pragmatism, objectivity and rigor in a refreshing manner. He is one of the rare to find individuals who have strong expertise in pharmaceutical R&D, raw material sourcing and manufacturing, and also the ability to understand the dynamics of multi stakeholder institutions in global health.
Prof Prashant Yadav, Strategy Leader - Supply Chain, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (former Director-Healthcare, William Davidson Institute, University of Michigan)
Ian was highly professional in every respect – his inputs were valuable, thorough and provided exactly what we were looking for. I would definitely commission him again.
Mary Moran , Director, Policy Cures
I have worked with Ian for almost twenty years, initially when he had a senior role with GSK helping us deliver a new and affordable antimalarial drug as part of the very first PDP in this area. Subsequently I have regularly looked to Ian for support across a broad range of activities important to the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM) that have required his exceptional skills set. Ian is a total professional in everything he does, he has a keen eye for detail and can quickly grasp the most relevant aspects of the most challenging of problems. I have relied on his relaxed pragmatic approach to help facilitate some tricky discussions around global health solutions and practical steps to delivery, in “brain-storming” to bring new ways of thinking to a range of biomedical/health questions and more recently to help our team understand and measure the impact of our research activities in a global health setting.  I can say in all honesty that Ian has never failed to deliver a quality service across the board for the team in LSTM and we will certainly be calling on him again in the future to help us deliver the Schools mission.
Prof Steve Ward, Deputy Director, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine
During an 18 month period as RBM Board colleagues, I worked with Ian on several large scale endeavours and through many Board decisions which have affected the global malaria landscape. In short, we would not have gotten done all we did (or gotten along as well as we did) without Ian’s ability to lead, his personal credibility, patience, vision and dedication which he lent the cause so freely and often. As a voice of compassion and reason Ian was one of our most respected peers in this arduous, and important process. Ian was instrumental and very capable in bringing the sector to terms with the Affordable Medicines For Malaria venture; his leadership there was irreplaceable. As a key member of the Performance subcommittee he helped design a new era of accountability. Along with his ability to deliver superior strategy and unrivalled communication skills, we were able to achieve more for the worlds poor because of Ian. Ian is a great team player, who has been important to malaria and has the respect of the leaders and stake-holders around the world who share this mission.
Kevin Starace, Formerly Founding Chair & Chief Development Officer, Financing 4 Development
I worked directly with Ian as private sector representative on the Board of Roll Back Malaria. Ian is very knowledgeable about business sector issues relating to neglected diseases, ranging from manufacturing to distribution, marketing and sales. He is an excellent communicator and strategist, and works well building coalitions within and across sectors. It was a privilege to work with him over 4 years.
Steven C Phillips, Formerly Senior Fellow, Chatham House & Medical Director, Global Issues and Projects, Exxon Mobil Corporation
I regularly turn to Ian for advice. He combines deep pharmaceutical industry experience with intimate knowledge of leading global health organizations (Global Fund, Roll Back Malaria, WHO, etc), and of institutions and markets in a wide array of geographies, including the developing world. Ian’s engagements were the Roll Back Malaria Partnership were reliably honest and thoughtful, and always beautifully expressed. I highly recommend Ian for anyone looking for strategic marketing support or simply for a reality check.
Girindre Beeharry, Director, Global Education Learning Strategy, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
I worked with Ian over a period of almost 10 years – specifically in the preparation’ launch and marketing of two major ethical drug brands in the Japanese market. Ian’s leadership qualities, incisive skill, diligence and intelligent and innovative marketing expertise were the major factors behind the success of both products, despite facing intense competition from both Japanese and European competitor companies. It was always a pleasure to work with such a reliable person. I have no hesitation in recommending Ian as a uniquely gifted marketing and strategic planning expert.
Peter Blower, Formerly Director, Gastrointestinal and Neuroscience Product Research, SmithKline Beecham Pharmaceuticals
Ian and I worked together on the Diseases of the Developing World team at GlaxoSmithKline. Ian is a strategic thinker who is able to articulate a clear vision for success. He is knowledgeable on all aspects of medicines for the developing world, and understands the challenges in discovering, developing and delivering drugs to serve populations that are unable to afford conventional medicines. His breadth of experience working in different regions and depth of knowledge of the pharmaceutical industry give him a unique insight into developing innovative solutions to complex and seemingly intractable problems in delivering new medicines to treat neglected diseases. A strong team player, he was a pleasure to work with.
Ken Duncan, Deputy Director, Discovery - Therapeutics, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Ian is a very experienced pharma professional with a far reaching network. He is insightful, visionary and engaging. He has a vast experience across Japan, Asia, Africa, Middle East.
Bruno Strigini, Former CEO, Novartis Oncology (Managed Ian at SmithKline Beecham)

Panels & Presentations

Our expertise is often called upon to participate in panels and to give presentations on  our areas of expertise. Events and organizations we have spoken at include:-

  • Academy of Medical Sciences
  • All Party Parliamentary Group on Malaria & Neglected Tropical Diseases
  • International Society for Neglected Tropical Diseases
  • UNITAID Malaria Market Forum 2012
  • Friends of ALMA Manufacturers’ Forum 2011
  • Pan-African National Malaria Control Programs Meeting 2012
  • WHO-MMV Artemisinin Forums 2008 and 2009
  • Asia-Pacific Technology Network
  • Cambridge Science Week 2008
  • Artemisinin Enterprise Conference 2008
  • Euro-Africa Health Investment Conference 2012
  • “Connecting the Chain” Stakeholder Forum 2006 (organised by the Netherlands Foreign Ministry).

Our major clients

  • Aliko Dangote Foundation
  • Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (Germany)
  • Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade (Australia)
  • Department for International Development (UK)
  • FIND
  • GBCHealth
  • Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria
  • Innovative Vector Control Consortium
  • Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine
  • London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine
  • Malaria No More UK
  • Medicines for Malaria Venture
  • Roll Back Malaria Partnership
  • TB Alliance
  • UNITAID
  • University of York CNAP Programme
  • World Health Organization
  • Private companies working on drugs, vector control, and other commodities

Articles, Presentations & Publications

WHO Technical Consultation on Universal Access to Core Malaria Interventions in High-burden Countries (February 2018)

July 9th, 2018|Categories: Other Publications|

The WHO Global Malaria Programme convened a High-level Consultation on how to ensure universal access to core malaria interventions in high-burden countries in Geneva 12-15 February 2018. Ian Boulton acted as rapporteur for the meeting. The report that was issued was submitted to the WHO Malaria Policy Advisory Committee at its meeting 11-13 April 2018.

Malaria RDTs in the Private Retail Sector

April 5th, 2017|Categories: Other Publications|

The Roll Back Malaria Partnership Case Management Working Group (CMWG) convened a workshop in April 2013 to review the current state of knowledge and lessons learnt about the use of rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) for malaria in the private retail sector. At this meeting, it was agreed to develop the findings into a paper that would put the available information into the public domain.

Mid-term Evaluation of the RBM Resource Mobilisation Strategy (2012-2015) (October 2014)

January 15th, 2017|Categories: Roll Back Malaria|

In 2014, TMPC was asked to undertake an independent evaluation of the Roll Back Malaria Partnership’s Resource Mobilisation Strategy 2012-2015. This was originally developed by RBM to increase the funding of efforts to control and eliminate malaria in order to meet the targets set in the Global Malaria Action Plan. The report was presented to the RBM Board at its meeting in Bangkok in December 2014.

ISNTD D3 2015

January 4th, 2017|Categories: Presentations & Conferences|

In May 2015, Ian Boulton was asked to present on “Avoid Delays: Getting Deployment Right” at the International Society of Neglected Tropical Diseases (ISNTD) D3 Conference. The D3 Conferences look at issues concerning the discovery and development of new drugs for NTDs, but the purpose of this presentation was to highlight the importance of planning early for the deployment of the drug, especially around the regulatory and production plans as well as the optimisation of the manufacturing process.

Evaluation of the Product Development Partnerships (PDPs) (January 2015)

January 4th, 2015|Categories: Governmental Organisations|

In 2014 TropMed Pharma Consulting was part of a consortium who were asked by the UK and German Governments to evaluate the work of three Product Development Partnerships (PDPs) which they have been funding – FIND, Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi), and the European Vaccines Initiative (EVI) – over the period 2009-2013.

APLMA – supply side issues for antimalarial commodities (June 2014)

June 5th, 2014|Categories: Governmental Organisations|

The Asia-Pacific Leaders’ Malaria Alliance (APLMA) is an affiliation of Asian and Pacific heads of government formed to accelerate progress against malaria and to eliminate the disease in the region by 2030. This paper was prepared to support the second meeting of the Access to Quality Medicine and other Technology Task Force in June 2014.