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    A World Bank vaccine commitment.

    Glennerster R; Kremer M

    [Unpublished] 2000 Apr. 11 p.

    Malaria, tuberculosis, and the strains of AIDS common in developing countries kill five million people each year. Over the last 50 years, these diseases have killed six times as many people as have died in all wars. Yet research on vaccines for these diseases remains minimal. This is in large part because R&D on vaccines is a global public good in which no one country has sufficient incentive to invest. It is also because these diseases primarily affect poor countries, and therefore potential vaccine developers believe they will be unable to sell enough vaccine at a sufficient price to recoup their research costs. World Bank president James Wolfensohn recently said that the institution plans to create a $1 billion fund to help countries purchase specified vaccines if and when they are developed. Such a fund could help ensure that there would be a market for malaria, tuberculosis, or AIDS vaccines if they were developed, and thus would create incentives for vaccine research. It could also help ensure that any vaccines developed would be affordable in poor countries. The program would be highly focused on areas of deep poverty and would be highly cost effective. (excerpt)
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