Ending the R&D Crisis in Public Health

Promoting pro-poor medical innovation

Publication date: 13 November 2008

Diseases that disproportionately affect the developing world cause immense suffering and ill health.

  • Medical innovation has the potential to deliver new medicines, vaccines, and diagnostics to overcome these diseases, yet few treatments have emerged.
  • Current efforts to resolve the crisis are inadequate: financing for research and development (R&D) is insufficient, uncoordinated, and mostly tied to the system of intellectual property rights.
  • Delivering appropriate medicines and vaccines requires reforms to the existing R&D system and a willingness to invest in promising new approaches.
  • Ultimately, it is a combined responsibility of all countries to find ways to ensure global R&D is organized to improve human health; inability to pay should not disenfranchise a large majority of the world’s population from access to effective healthcare.