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Can Diseases of Poverty Pay?

This article was originally published in Start Up

Executive Summary

Medicines to fight significant global health problems are scarce because the lack of commercial return trumps the fact that drug targets are well characterized and the required R&D investment is relatively inexpensive. The Gates Foundation hopes to create a more robust marketplace for global health medicines through non-dilutive funding. Gates money, plus Priority Review Vouchers and other creative tactics to ensure a market for these medicines may also persuade companies to develop drugs for long overlooked diseases such as malaria and tuberculosis. It's not yet clear whether these alternate funding schemes will prove attractive, but they may start making global health increasingly a part of business planning.

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