Innovation for product development in disease endemic countries - 2009 annual report
An outline of progress made in TDR’s ‘Innovation for product development in disease-endemic countries’ research function during 2009
Several factors, including limited or no access to effective health tools (drugs, vaccines, diagnostics and insecticides), are responsible for the high burden of disease in developing countries. Tools often fail due to resistance, formulation, compliance and safety issues. New products are urgently needed, but the perceived lack of commercial return on investment has prevented the pharmaceutical industry from investing in infectious tropical diseases. The emergence of public–private partnerships (PPPs) and increasing funding from governments and philanthropic agencies has led to increased product development for malaria, tuberculosis, HIV and some select neglected diseases. However, the pipelines of some of these PPPs are weak, and most of the activities are driven and managed from developed countries where the targeted diseases are not endemic. A longer term solution to the product research and development (R&D) and access crisis will require greater participation, leadership, investment and ownership by the disease endemic countries (DECs) themselves. The need to support local research and development efforts to tackle local health needs in developing countries has been recommended and documented by several high level reports.