Pandemics and the poor

Latest News from the Center, Policy Blog
This blog was originally published as part of the Future Development blog series of the Brookings Institution on June 19, 2017 and the original version can be found here. When epidemics or pandemics hit, they usually hit the poor first and worst. We have known this for a while. The German pathologist Rudolf Virchow described this link between poverty and vulnerability to outbreaks in his 1848 study of a typhus epidemic in Upper Silesia: For there can now no longer be any doubt that such an epidemic dissemination of typhus had only been possible under the wretched conditions of life that poverty and lack of culture had created in Upper Silesia. What we have not known, until recently, is how best to help the poor protect themselves from pandemics. To…
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Our new report on the role of the U.S. government in supporting product development for global health

Policy Blog
Despite recent progress in global health, poor populations in low- and middle-income countries continue to suffer and die disproportionately from poverty related and neglected diseases (PRNDs). For many of these diseases, new medicines, vaccines, and diagnostic tests are urgently needed. However, the lack of market incentives is a major barrier to research and development (R&D) for such health technologies. Governments and philanthropic foundations have helped to address this gap by funding product development for PRNDs. In a new study that we published yesterday, we focused on one important government funder of such product development: the United States government. Our study, called “Strengthening the United States Government’s Role in Product Development for Global Health,” conducted in collaboration with other colleagues in the Duke Global Health Institute and at the Duke Margolis…
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