Fighting Neglected Diseases: A Double Push-and-Pull Program
49 Pages Posted: 29 May 2008 Last revised: 25 May 2014
Date Written: August 4, 2008
This paper contributes to a better understanding of the pharmaceutical market for neglected diseases and propose a program that creates incentives and encourage research and development of new medicines for neglected diseases. The current patent system ensures that incentives are directed towards generating products that people want. However, the patent system has failed to create incentives to produce products for which there is a social need but no economic demand, such as drugs for diseases that primarily affect populations with little purchasing power. This paper investigates why it is occurring and shows the impact of this problem worldwide. It reviews several proposed reforms to encourage the research and development of new drugs for neglected diseases. Getting developing countries involved in the research process turns out to be critical not only for the pharmaceutical industry but also for poor and developing countries. This is a key feature of the proposed Double Push-and-Pull program, which proposes to, systematically, reorganize some of the ideas to spur innovation by involving effectively the developing countries in the process of research and development of new drugs for neglected diseases, since they are the most affected by them. The main goal of this program is to find a connection between global decisions, policies and local people's priorities regarding neglected diseases. It is a program that makes possible a link between local needs, reality on low-income countries and global assistance.
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