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How To Encourage Drug Industry To Tackle ‘Neglected’ Diseases

Washington Post: Why the drug industry hasn’t come up with an Ebola cure
Jason Millman, Washington Post reporter

“The lack of an Ebola cure amid the deadliest outbreak in the disease’s history is highlighting a significant challenge in the public health world: developing life-saving cures to those who need them the most. In many cases, drug manufacturers don’t have strong enough economic incentives to devote resources to making drugs for populations that would have trouble affording them. … The problematic lack of effective cures isn’t just limited to just Ebola. There’s a whole category of ‘neglected diseases,’ which affect about 1 billion people in low-income countries, according to WHO estimates. The high cost of developing drugs, combined with an inability of the patient population to afford them, have left these diseases without treatments. … So the key question is how to encourage drugmakers to develop cures for these diseases, when the economic incentives don’t match up with the public health needs…” (8/13).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.