Innovation and Public Health
There are three principal areas of consideration when looking at research priorities.
The first concerns the global flow of funds. For instance, the private sector, stimulated by the patent system and market forces, mobilizes considerable resources to develop treatments for diseases where significant markets exist. But it is less motivated by these factors in developing treatments where the potential market is too small. Liability risks may also be a powerful disincentive for research in particular areas (as, for example, in the case of contraceptive R&D).
The second issue concerns the cost of research and development. A current concern in both the developed and developing world is the apparently escalating cost of drug discovery and development. This is particularly the case in developing countries since it could exacerbate the gap between the cost of treatments, including their development costs, and what governments and people in developing countries are able to pay for treatments.
And finally the incentives and funding for research on treatments rather than prevention need to be measured against the potential health benefits of each.
Research and Development for Neglected Diseases- Lessons Learned and Remaining Challenges | IFPMA | October 2004
Neglected Diseases and the Pharmaceutical Industry | IFPMA | December 2003
Working paper on priority infectious diseases requiring additional R&D | WHO/Industry Drug Development Working Group | July 2001
Contraceptive Research, Development, and Use: Lessons from Norplant | Institute of Medicine | (1998)
Genomics and World Health Report | Advisory Committee on Health Research | (2002)
10/90 Report on Health Research 2003-2004 | Global Forum for Health Research | (2004)
The Economics of TB Drug Development | The Global Alliance for TB Drug Development | (2001)
- Report of the Commission of Macroeconomics and Health [PDDF 776kb]
- Bad Bugs, No Drugs: Antibiotic-Resistant Bacterial Pathogens and Why We Are Concerned