Trade, foreign policy, diplomacy and health

5. Genomics Knowledge

Halla Thorsteinsdottir, Abdallah S Daar, Richard D Smith, Peter A Singer


Conclusion

The GPGH concept is useful as it:

  • promotes wider use of genomics
  • identifies those elements to focus on when promoting genomics for global health
  • demonstrates importance of 'access goods'
  • makes clear the interconnected fate of nations – rich and poor

Genomics has significant global public goods characteristics, but they are sub-optimally developed and utilized in developing countries. In order to strengthen genomics as a global public good, concerted, collective, and focussed effort by international organizations and developing countries is needed. The GPGH concept is helpful in this in four ways:

1. First, promotion of wider use of genomics. 2. Dissecting the different elements of genomics and its different attributes, aiding identification of those elements to focus on when promoting genomics for global health. 3. Identifying the importance of ‘access goods’ to ensure that the value of genomics knowledge is fully exploited. 4. Making clear the interconnected fate of nations – rich and poor - and thus that the wealthy should support initiatives within poorer nations to enable the generation, dissemination and use of genomics for their own health concerns.

Overall, the GPGH analysis of genomics highlights requirements needed for genomics knowledge to be fully exploited and its full potential value realised as widely as possible. It thereby lays the foundation for strategies on how to optimise not only the generation of genomics knowledge but also how to advance it and use it. It helps us understand why collective actions are required in promoting genomics and which collective actions are most likely to result in realising its potential. By helping us analyse genomics and identify strategies to promote it, the GPGH concept strengthens the vitality of this powerful tool to improve global health and ameliorate one of the major ethical challenges of our time: inequities in global health.

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