The Case for Essential Medicines

It’s well-known that the diseases of the ‘first world’ do not align with those of the ‘third world.’ Malaria, measles, polio—these became rare in the US even before our grandparents were born. In the 2010 census, the average tuberculosis prevalence in the US was 5.8 per hundred thousand. nike air max 2017 chaussure timberland pas cher That same year, Nepal’s prevalence was about 250 per hundred thousand. Adidas Zx pas cher Pakistan saw rates as high as 325. We see similar prevalences among most of the world’s population; by the numbers, the first world citizens are in the great minority. nike requin It might not come as a surprise, then, that no new tuberculosis drugs have been developed since the mid-1970s. ugg boots pas cher nike free run Malaria is in a similar state: though new antimalarials have been developed, the inexpensive types come with terrible side effects. adidas zx flux Meanwhile, drugs to combat the issues of the first world—cancer, diabetes, heart disease—have boomed, both in terms of availability and profit margin. Back in 2001, a team of health specialists led by Dr. chaussure tn pour homme nike air max tn soldes Patrice Trouiller put together a great paper on the economics of drug development, making a case for why there has been so little innovation in drugs to treat tropical diseases. adidas pas cher The basic answer? The demand is almost completely in the developing world, and the developing world can’t return the initial investment. nike kwazi This imbalance is crystallized in the figure below (Trouiller 2001).   Depressing? Maybe. But Trouiller et al. chaussures nike air max offer a solution: research policy reform. timberland chaussure They call for certain drugs to be classified as ‘essential’—that is, the “neglected diseases” (948) such as tuberculosis, malaria, and measles, should be subsidized by international organizations like the WHO to be developed more cheaply. In addition, they argue that patent policy should be modified to make sure these crucial drugs can be developed in the countries that need them most. As we can see, the free market alone can’t fix this problem. chaussures running nike Link to the full article here.

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