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Strategies for Sustainable Access to Treatment for the World’s Poorest

Author: Thomas J. Bollyky, Senior Fellow for Global Health, Economics, and Development
November 30, 2011
Journal of Law, Science, and Policy

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Abstract

Intellectual property rights have long dominated treatment access scholarship and debates, but are at present neither the cause nor the solution for the inaccessibility of treatments for the neglected diseases that afflict the world's poorest. Prizes and grants have helped stimulate research and product development for neglected diseases, but must be funded in order to realize and sustain costly R&D efforts. With global health budgets are tightening, innovative financing schemes are also unlikely to satisfy the substantial resource demands of neglected disease R&D under current cost assumptions.

Much greater attention must be paid in global health to the strategies that can improve access to neglected disease treatments by making their development and introduction cheaper, faster, and less uncertain. This paper describes four practical strategies that would help achieve these goals and sustainably meet the treatment needs of the world's poorest people.

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