Record investment in the fight against poverty diseases
In 2017, more money than ever before was invested in research and development for tackling poverty-related and neglected diseases. However, this figure of 3.6 billion US dollars is well below WHO recommendations, as evidenced by the latest report from the Policy Cures Research think tank.
Every year, the G-FINDER report, which is based on data from hundreds of organisations including FAIRMED, details the sums that are spent on research and development towards new products for the prevention, diagnosis, control or cure of poverty-related diseases.
Thereby, specific consideration is given to diseases that occur primarily in developing countries. Alongside the large group of neglected tropical diseases such as leprosy or elephantiasis, these also include tuberculosis and diarrhoeal diseases. The report also deals with well-known illnesses such as HIV and hepatitis C, for which child-appropriate medicines are often lacking.
“We are not where we need to be”
In the financial year 2017, the public sector (primarily governments), the private sector (primarily multinational pharmaceutical companies), as well as foundations and individuals, invested 3.566 billion US dollars, which represents an increase of 232 million US dollars over the previous year and is the highest level since the survey was first conducted in 2007.
“Despite this, we are not where we need to be," said co-author Anna Doubell during the presentation of the report in Geneva. Her reasoning: “Not a single country met the WHO target of allotting at least 0.01 percent of GDP to research into the healthcare needs of developing countries. Only the United States and the United Kingdom were close to approaching that goal. “No other country has reached even half of the target," commented the research director of Policy Cures Research. The sting in the tail: In the 11-year history of the G-FINDER report, only the United States has ever reached this mark.