The following is a guest post by my colleague Yanzhong Huang, senior fellow for global health at the Council on Foreign Relations.
The Ebola epidemic showed in harrowing detail the human devastation caused by a lethal infectious disease outbreak for which no medicines are widely available. Such a scenario could also occur outside of West Africa through a number of health-based threats—such as a new global pandemic, the specter of biological terrorism, or an accidental laboratory release. Ongoing efforts to develop new medical countermeasures against such health security threats have proved challenging because there is no underlying commercial market to support the financial investment needed.
Last week, Stefan Elbe, director of the Centre for Global Health Policy and professor of international relations at the School of Global Studies at the University of Sussex, and Kendall Hoyt, assistant professor at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth College, visited the Council on Foreign Relations to share their views on potential strategies to improve the incentive structure for developing urgently needed pharmaceutical products. Listen to this podcast for a “to-the-point” discussion of these issues and the important insights of Professors Elbe and Hoyt.