News Roundup [abridged Versions Appear In The Paper Journal]

Drug companies neglect research into diseases affecting the poor

BMJ 2001; 323 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.323.7317.827 (Published 13 October 2001) Cite this as: BMJ 2001;323:827
  1. Lynn Eaton
  1. London

    Drugs companies are failing to develop new drugs for diseases that predominantly affect poor people because they are not profitable enough, says a report from the international medical aid agency Médecins Sans Frontières.

    “Drugs are not developed according to public health need, but according to profitability,” said Dr Bernard Pécoul, director of the agency's Campaign for Access to Essential Medicines.

    The report describes the research and development activities of 11 major pharmaceutical companies, representing combined sales of nearly $117bn (£78bn). The medical aid agency specifically asked them for the overall resources devoted to malaria, tuberculosis, sleeping sickness, Chagas' disease, and leishmaniasis. …

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