DNDi Director: ‘Reality Check’ Needed For Neglected Diseases 11/02/2014 by Intellectual Property Watch 2 Comments Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Research and development into neglected diseases – those predominately affecting poorer populations and for which there is little commercial incentive – is undergoing “remarkable advances and rude set-backs,” says Bernard Pécoul, executive director of the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi). Now, governments need to show stronger leadership in bringing about long-term solutions, he said. Pécoul expressed his views in a piece published by DNDi this month, entitled, “Time for a Reality Check for Neglected Diseases.” The World Health Organization has been working for years to address the neglected disease market failure but so far has only been able to come up with a few “R&D demonstration projects,” of which DNDi is a beneficiary, and a plan for a Global Health R&D Observatory, which will collect data (IPW, WHO, 25 January 2014). But, Pécoul said, “These steps, taken alone, certainly do not respond to the magnitude of the problem of ensuring innovation and access to health technologies for millions of people living outside the lucrative market.” He noted that many have sought a global instrument to address the problem, but he advocated working constructively with what has been agreed. The proposal for an R&D instrument was pulled from the table due to developed country opposition (IPW, WHO, 29 November 2012). DNDi has been working since its inception to bring innovative ways to deliver new therapies to populations in need, he said. But, he added, “I cannot emphasize enough that these are ad hoc fixes to the systemic problems in this field. Public leadership is needed to set up the favourable environment required to support all the actors involved in control, prevention, and elimination of certain diseases.” He mentioned the recent announcement by pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca to discontinue work on neglected diseases, and South Africa’s effort to reform its IP policy, which recently came under pressure from foreign companies (IPW, Developing Country Policy, 22 January 2014). Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Related "DNDi Director: ‘Reality Check’ Needed For Neglected Diseases" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.