Consensus Conferences

AHF convenes meetings among health experts from the Latin American Region on specific health topics to develop consensus statements, recommendations and statement papers on various health topics impacting Latin America. The papers are published in renown medical journals and are used to guide health policy and increase education in the Region to ultimately improve the health status of a particular disease.

Consensus Papers:

Increasing Access to Immuno-oncology Therapies in Brazil
Vaccination Recommendations for Adults with Autoimmune Inflammatory Rheumatic Diseases in Latin America
Brazilian Health-Care Policy for Targeted Oncology Therapies and Companion Diagnostic Testing
Multiple Sclerosis in Central America and the Caribbean: Treatment and Care Recommendations
Optimizing Post-Operative Pain Management in Latin America
Recommendations to Improve Adult Vaccination Coverage in Latin America
Recommendations to Ensure Safety and Effectiveness of Biosimilars in Latin America: A Point of View
Recommendations for the Regulation of Biosimilars and their Implementation in Latin America
A Consensus Statement: Meningococcal Disease Among Infants and Adolescents in Latin America
Influenza Among the Elderly in the Americas: A Consensus Statement
Pertussis in Latin America: Epidemiology and Control Strategies

Other Papers:

The Challenge of Changing the Inactivated Poliomyelitis Vaccine in Latin America

Recommendations For Increasing Access to Immuno-oncology Therapies in Brazil

Immuno-oncology therapies activate the immune system, making it able to recognize cancer cells and destroy them and are expected to become an important part of cancer therapy in years to come. However, the science of immuno-oncology is still evolving. Brazil is a country uniquely primed with both opportunities and strengths for clinical oncology research. Among its strengths, the country counts with growing access to information, an unfortunately high cancer burden, improving patient education, access to new drugs for research centers, regional networks and human resources.  In June, AHF convened a meeting of six Brazilian key opinion leaders in the fields of immuno-oncology, health economics, and regulatory aspects to develop recommendations for increasing access to immuno-oncology therapies in Brazil. The resulting article, "Increasing Access to Immuno-oncology Therapies in Brazil" is currently under review for publication.

Panelists included:

  • Dr. Stephen Stefani 
  • Dr. Carlos Gil Ferreira
  • Dr. Gustavo Fernandes 
  • Dra. Andreia Melo
  • Dr. Carlos Gadelha  
  • Dr. Denizar Vianna 

Recommendations for Adult Vaccination in Patients with AIRD in Latin America  

AHF recently convened a consensus conference among expert infectologists and rheumatologists to develop recommendations on vaccination for adults with autoimmune inflammatory rheumatic diseases in Latin America.

The resulting article, Vaccination Recommendations for Adults with Autoimmmune Inflammatory Rheumatic Diseases in Latin America, is currently under review for publication.


Panelists included:

  • Dr. Claiton Brenol
  • Dr. Valerilio Azevedo
  • Dra. Paola Coral
  • Dr. Pablo Bonvehi
  • Dr. Roberto Muñoz Louis
  • Dra. Carla Vizzotti
  • Dr. Julio Granados
  • Dr. Carlos Pineda

AHF Convenes Consensus Conference on Oncology

Companion diagnostics (CDx) are tests being developed to identify patients most likely to benefit from specific treatments based on their own genetic makeup and biology. In the case of oncology, CDx and related pharmacological-based interventions could improve the predictability of the oncology drug development process and become an important tool for oncologists in choosing the optimal treatment for specific patient groups or sub-groups. While regulatory agencies like the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the European Medicines Agency are now actively encouraging the use of CDx and related pharmacological-based interventions in the development and use of prescription drugs, clear and harmonized guidelines have yet to be developed in Brazil, Latin America’s largest markets.

As a result, the Americas Health Foundation (AHF) planned, organized and convened a meeting of 6 Brazilian experts on CDx and related pharmacological-based interventions in the area of oncology in Miami, Florida to review existing barriers and develop practical recommendations concerning policy fixes for the use of companion diagnostics and personalized medicines for oncology in Brazil. The goal of this meeting was to stimulate early collaborations that will result in faster access to promising new treatments for patients with serious and life-threatening diseases. The resulting paper, entitled "Brazilian health-care policy for targeted oncology therapies and companion diagnostic testing," was published as a policy review on July 27, 2016 in the Lancet OncologyClick here for a link to the full article, and click here to see the press release. 

Panelists included:

  • Stephen Doral Stefani
  • Patricia Prolla
  • Carlos Gil Ferreira
  • Maria Isabel Achatz
  • Fabricio Marchini
  • Maria Dirlei Begnami  

AHF Convenes Consensus Conference on MS in Central America and the Caribbean

In July 2015, AHF convened a consensus conference in Panama City to address “Multiple Sclerosis in Central America and the Caribbean: Treatment and Care Recommendations.”

The conference engaged six experts from Central America and the Caribbean to develop practical recommendations on the initiation and optimization of disease-modifying therapies in patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis that reflect the unique epidemiology of multiple sclerosis and the clinical practice environment in Central American and Caribbean countries. The resulting paper, Esclerosis múltiple en América Central y el Caribe: Estado actual y recomendaciones clínicas, was published in Revista Mexicana de Neurociencia. Click here for a link to the full article.


Panelists included: 

  • Dr. Fernando Gracia, Panama
  • Dra. Irene Treviño Frenk, Mexico
  • Dr. Alexander Parajeles, Costa Rica
  • Dr. Byron Molina Klee, Guatemala,
  • Dr. Avidesh Panday, Trinidad and Tobago         
  • Dr. Armando Guirado, Dominican Republic

Acute Post-Operative Pain Management in Latin America

Post-operative pain affects millions of patients world-wide. It is well-known that effective pain management with minimal adverse effects will facilitate early mobilization, fluid and food intake and the resumption of normal physical activities, all of which are crucial for optimal rehabilitation after surgery.  In contrast, poor post-operative pain management not only delays recovery and results in excess morbidity,

 For this project, AHF project planned, organized and implemented a conference of Latin American medical experts on pain management who explored the state of post-operative pain management in Latin America and developed recommendations to optimize pain management in the Region. The article was published online on June 18, 2016 in the Brazilian Journal of AnesthesiologyClick here to read the article.

Panelists included:

  • Dr. João Batista Garcia, Brazil
  • Dr. Carlos Pineda, Mexico
  • Dr. Fernando Cantu, Mexico
  • Dr. Durval Kraychete, Brazil
  • Dr. Carlos Guerrero, Colombia
  • Dra. Patricia Bonilla, Venezuela
  • Dra. Elizabeth Diaz  Perez de Valtolina, Peru

Summit Meeting of Latin American Medical Societies on Adult Vaccination

This is a project being carried out by the Americas Health Foundation (AHF) as a component of its "Vaccines For All" platform. For this project, AHF project planned, organized and implemented a summit meeting of Latin American medical societies directly involved in both vaccines and adult care. In particular, the Summit brought together representatives of 15-20 regional and national medical societies primarily focused on pediatrics, infectious disease and immunology. The objective of the Summit was to produce an official consensus on Guidelines for Adult Vaccination in Latin America, collectively developed and endorsed by these major Latin American medical societies. The produced Guidelines can then be used as the basis for future education and awareness campaigns developed for both the public and medical professionals, as well as a tool for guiding health policy pertaining to adult vaccination in the Region. The article, Recommendations for Improving Adult Vaccination in Latin America, was published in the December 2015 edition of the Revista Panamericana de Infectología.  To read the complete article, click here.

Panelists included:

  • Ana Paulina Celi, Ecuador
  • Gustavo Lopardo, Argentina
  • Martha Cecila Guerrero Almeida, Mexico
  • João Bastos Freire Neto, Brazil
  • Heli Salgado Velez, Colombia
  • Julio Gomez Rincon, Colombia
  • Graciela Perez Sartori, Uruguay 
  • Alfredo Guerreros Benavides, Peru
  • Flavia Bravo, Brazil
  • Juan Pablo Moralejo, Guatemala
  • Susana Lloveras, Argentina
  • Carlos Magalhaes, Brazil
  • Gabriel Israel Soto-Nieto, Mexico


Meeting of Latin American Experts to Address the Gap Between National Registries on Biologics and National Surveillance Agencies Dealing with Biosimilars

The Americas Health Foundation (AHF) recently planned, organized and convened a meeting of experts from Latin America to address the gaps between National Registries on Biologics and National Surveillance Agencies dealing with biosimilars. The group of experts developed official recommendations concerning how to integrate the data from both organizations. The article, 'Recommendations to ensure safety and effectiveness of biosimilars in Latin America: a point of view' was published online in February 2015 by Clinical Rheumatology and is available through pubmed. Click here to read the full article. 

Panelists include:

  • Dr. Carlos Pineda, Mexico 
  • Dr. Pedro Lipszyc, Argentina
  • Prof. Jose Julian Lopez, Colombia
  • Dr. Carlo Caballero-Uribe, Colombia 
  • Dra. Marcia Gonclaves de Oliveira, Brazil
  • Dr. Marcelo Mario Matos Moreira, Brazil
  • Dr. Valderilio Azevedo, Brazil


AHF Convenes Latin American Experts On Biosimiliars To Review WHO Implementation Guidelines in Region/Develop Recommendations for Harmonized Regulations

The Americas Health Foundation (AHF) convened a panel of six Latin American experts on biosimilars in December 2013 to review the current use of these biopharmaceutical agents in Latin America. The Workgroup discussed current regulatory pathways and developed recommendations on how best to improve the process and achieve harmonization between countries in the Region. The article, 'Recommendations for the regulation of biosimilars and their implementation in Latin America', was published in the GaBI Journal in June 2014. Click here to read the article. 

Panelists included:

  • Dr. Eduardo Mysler, Argentina
  • Dr. Valderiilo Feijo Azevedo, Brazil 
  • Dr. Francisco Flores-Murrieta, Mexico
  • Dr. Alexis Aceituno, Chile
  • Dr. Juana Hughes, Uruguay
  • Ms. Eva Maria Ruiz de Castilla, Peru

Click on the link to see a news clip, which is also available at the The Americas Health Foundation YouTube page.


AHF Convenes a Panel of Physicians for a Consensus Conference on Meningococcal Disease in Latin America

In April 2013, AHF convened a Consensus Conference in Miami with a panel of expert physicians from Latin America with the goal of developing a consensus statement to address meningococcal disease in Latin America among children. Six physicians made up the panel representing five countries to develop a consensus statement and recommendations on this important health topic. The article, A Consensus Statement: Meningococcal Disease Among Infants and Adolescents in Latin America, was published in the March 2014 edition of The Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal. Click here to read the article.

The panelists included:

  • Dr. Ricardo Ruttimann, Argentina
  • Dr. Marco Safadi, Brazil
  • Dra. Mercedes Macias, Mexico 
  • Dr. Xavier Saez-Llorens, Panama
  • Dra. Angela Gentile, Argentina
  • Dra. Maria Elena Santolaya, Chile


AHF Conducts Consensus Conference on Influenza Among the Elderly in Latin America

Following a consensus conference co-hosted by AHF and Fighting Infectious Diseases in Emerging Countries (FIDEC), a Special Report entitled Influenza among the elderly in the Americas: a consensus statement, was published in the October 2013 issue of the Pan American Journal of Public Health. It calls for better influenza surveillance and continued vaccination of people aged 65 and over in Latin America, to reduce the disproportionate number of influenza-related deaths and illnesses in this fast-growing age group. Click here to read the full article.

Panelists included:

  • Ricardo W. Ruttiman, MD, Fighting Infectious Diseases in Emerging Countries (FIDEC)
  • Pablo E. Bonvehi, MD, Instituto Universitario Cemic, Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • Diana V. Compte, MD, Instituto Nacional de Cancerologia, Mexico City, Mexico 
  • Raul E. Isturiz, MD, Centro Medico De Caracas & Centro Medico Trinidad, Caracas, Venezuela
  • Jaime A. Labarca, MD, Pontificia Universidad Catolica De Chile, Santiago, Chile
  • Edison I Vidal, MD, Universidade Estadual Paulista-UNESP, San Paulo, Brazil


AHF Convenes Consensus Meeting on Pertussis In Latin America

AHF joined with the Latin America Society of Pediatric Infectious Disease (SLIPE) to convene a meeting among six Latin American experts to review the status of pertussis in Latin America and recommend control strategies in the Region. The article developed from the meeting, 'Pertussis in Latin America: epidemiology and control strategies', was published online at in 2014. Click here to read the full article. 

Panelists included:

  • Dra. Luiza Helena Falleiros Arlant, Brazil
  • Dr. Agustin de Colsa, Argentina
  • Dr. Dario Flores, Argentina
  • Dr. Jose Brea, Dominican Republic
  • Dra. Maria Luisa Avila Aguero, Costa Rica
  • Dra. Daniela Flavia Hozbar, Argentina