New Drugs for Neglected Diseases
Dr. Bernard Pecoul, Director General of the Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative (DNDi) briefed the IASC on the work of the organization. DNDi is a not-for-profit drug development organisation established in 2003 by governmental institutions, World Bank, UN-agencies and MSF to improve the quality of life and health of people suffering from neglected diseases, most of which fall outside the existing systems and market mechanisms for research and development of drugs. Dr. Pecoul underlined that even though spending on drug development globally has increased in recent years, only about 1% of new drugs are for neglected diseases. The reasons are two-fold: 1) The pharmaceutical industry sees no profit in developing drugs for diseases mainly affecting developing countries, and 2) public policies fails to redress this imbalance. Dr. Pecoul stressed the crucial role of governments in terms of: a) taking leadership and setting the international agenda (WHO has an important role to play in this regards); b) providing sustainable funding and; c) addressing regulatory aspects of drugs development and distribution such as the TRIPS.