Health partnerships review: Focusing collaborative efforts on research and innovation for the health of the poor
“The poor die young. Data from every part of the world show that, whether comparing richer and poorer populations within or between countries, those that are least well off have shorter life expectancies and heavier burdens of disease than those that are relatively wealthy. While the highest attainable standard of health has been declared a human right, this health inequity reflects a collective neglect at national and global levels – neglect of diseases, of health systems and ultimately of people….”
“….Three areas of failure can be highlighted that represent different dimensions of the problem – failures of science (where basic knowledge or tools are lacking), failures of the market (where economic incentives for the production of needed medicines are lacking), and public health failures (where systems and programmes to implement available interventions are lacking)….” From Stephen Matlin, Executive Director, Global Forum for Health Research
“…..Over the last few years, partnerships between public and private sector organizations have become an increasingly common mechanism to address some of the diseases of the poor in developing countries.
The ultimate goal of most of these partnerships is to improve and increase access to treatment, particularly for ‘neglected diseases’. Many also express the goal of contributing to the alleviation of poverty through improved health.
The need for such partnerships can be explained by a failure of public health systems – the inability of the public sector to provide public goods entirely on its own, due to lack of resources; competing priorities for the limited resources available; management issues; conflict and post-conflict situations; etc. There is also a failure on the part of the private sector when there is little or no commercial incentive for the development of diagnostics and medicines for most of the diseases endemic in developing countries and affecting mainly the very poor…”