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Lancet. 2007 Jul 28; 370(9584):297-298.Several affluent countries have announced donations totalling US$1.5 billion to buy new vaccines that will help eradicate pneumococcal diseases in the world's poorest children. Donations from the UK, Italy, Canada, Russia, and Norway launch what many hope will be a new era to ease the burdens of disease and foster economic growth. Yet only a quarter of the money will be spent on covering the costs of vaccines-three-quarters will go towards extra profits for vaccines that are already profitable. The Advanced Market Commitment (AMC), to which the G8 leaders and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation have committed, is the difficulty. An AMC is a heavily promoted but untried idea for inducing major drug companies to invest in research to discover vaccines for neglected diseases by promising to match the revenues that companies earn from developing a product for affluent markets. By committing to buy a large volume of vaccine at a high price, an AMC creates a whole market in one stroke. However, no moneyis spent until a good product is fully developed. (excerpt)
WORLD HEALTH. 1993 Mar-Apr; 46(2):4-6.A 1990 meeting of vaccine research and application specialists ended in the Declaration of New York stating that current science can be used to develop vaccines which can be administered earlier in life, requiring 1-2 doses instead of many doses, and in the form of cocktails of several vaccines; maintain their potency in warm temperatures; and are affordable. In 1991, WHO, UN Development Programme, UNICEF, the World Bank, and the Rockefeller Foundation established the Children's Vaccine Initiative (CVI). Its main goal is 1 oral immunization to be administered shortly after delivery to protect all babies against all major childhood diseases. CVI also aims to streamline the provision of an adequate supply of affordable, safe, and effective vaccines; to expedite the development and production of new and improved vaccines; and to simplify the complex logistics of vaccine delivery. As of spring 1993, CVI partners have created an organizational structure to guide and manage CVI activities, begun a strategic planning process, and developed a heat-stable poliomyelitis vaccine and a single-dose tetanus toxoid vaccine. CVI consists of a Secretariat, a Consultative Group, a Management Advisory Committee, a Standing Committee, and Product Development Groups. Many specialists are currently working to advance strategic planning, biotechnology, immunology, epidemiology, vaccine supply, quality control, regulatory matters, licensing, patents, and financial and legal issues. The high cost of research and development through more and more sophisticated technologies (e.g., genetic engineering), high insurance premiums to obtain liability coverage, and limited companies doing research and development, possibly resulting in price-setting, contribute to the rising costs of vaccine development and production, posing a considerable obstacle for CVI. International vaccine producers have proposed a 2-tier price structure: a market price for developed countries and an affordable price for developing countries. The private sector awaits means to match corporate profits with public health goals before participating fully in CVI.
Development: Seeds of Change. 1987; (4):11-8.3 basic categories of institutions in research and development (R&D) of biotechnology include universities, small biotechnology R&D venture capital financed firms, and transnational corporations in the US and other more developed countries (MDCs). Almost 24 transnationals, which predominantly manufacture pharmaceuticals and petrochemicals, lead the biotechnology industry by contracting research arrangements with universities or venture capital financed firms or by establishing their own R&D, manufacturing, and marketing activities in biotechnology. On the other hand, in less developed countries (LDCs), the private sector plays no role or a relatively small role in biotechnology. National level government programs are developing biotechnology capabilities in some LDCs, however. In MDCs, the move towards privatization of biotechnology, especially with the ability to patent technologies, restricts the free flow of research information, thereby inhibiting the diversity and pace of technological innovation, widening the technological gap between MDCs and LDCs, and thus maintaining LDCs' dependence on MDCs. The leading role of transnational corporations in biotechnology R&D causes skewed research priorities that the corporations determine based on their own global strategies. These research priorities are determined by potential profit, and not by the needs of the LDCs. Even though products of biotechnology have the capability to improve the lives of many in the world, they displace more traditional products of LDCs. For example, sugar will soon be displaced by immobilized enzyme technology produced high fructose, therefore affecting the economies and poor of sugar exporting nations. LDCs must act now so as not to fall behind in the biotechnology revolution, such as establishing their relevance at the grass roots level.
Role of the pharmaceutical industry of the developing countries in research on fertility regulation.
In: Diczfalusy E, Diczfalusy A, ed. Research on the regulation of human fertility: needs of developing countries and priorities for the future, Vol. 2. Background documents. Copenhagen, Denmark, Scriptor, 1983. 975-86.The pharmaceutical industry of the developing countries is at present not equipped for and unlikely to contribute much to the discovery and development of new fertility regulating agents, but could play an effective role in process development, and in the organization of clinical trials. In view of the crucial role of the pharmaceutical industry to bring the research effort on a new contraceptive to fruition, and because of the waning interest of the industries of the developed countries in this field, the pharmaceutical companies of the developing countries should be encouraged to get involved in research by special incentives from their national governments, such as tax exemption for investment made for inhouse research of for sponsored research. The subsidiaries of multinational corporations, which dominate the pharmaceutical industry in the developing world, must establish research centers in these countries with efforts focussed on local priority health problems, such as contraceptive development; such research conducted in some of the developing countries would be more cost effective. It would be necessary to establish government or public sector research institutes to supplement the research facilities of the private industries, particularly for animal toxicology studies; these institutions could even serve as regional centers, supported by international agencies, since some of the smaller countries may not be able to develop their own centers. The collaboration between industrial, academic and public secotr institutions should be encouraged and formalized to establish partnership in research on contraceptive development; the exact mode and form would depend upon the scientific and technical institutional structure and industrial development status of each country. (author's modified)
Ottawa, Canada, IDRC, 1982. 384 p.The 1115 projects listed in this publication represent 10 years of research activity supported by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), from the 1st year of operation in 1971 to March 1981. In another sense they represent an account of the growing human resources competent to contribute to science and technology in developing countries--an illustration of how technology and skills are acquired in the process of securing a measure of well-being for the world's poor. The subject/area index lists projects according to their specific subjects or field of research and according to country of geographic region. Projects have been indexed using the IDRC Library Thesaurus, which is based on an internationally accepted controlled vocabulary of descriptors used to index and retrieve information about development. A brief project rationale and statement of research objectives is given for each project. The expected duration of the research is given in months, followed by a notation of "active" or "completed". A project is deemed to be completed when the initiating program division is satisfied that the work undertaken during the course of the project is finished. The project recipient organization and location is included, as well as a grant figure representing the IDRC contribution to the research. Program areas within IDRC include agriculture; food and nutrition sciences; cooperative programs; information sciences; social sciences; communications; projects of the Office of the Secretary; Special Governing Board Activities; and those of the Office of the President. Precedence for projects is given to requests from developing countries.