Financing Sustainable Drug Development for Neglected Diseases: A Case of Push-Pull Mechanisms and Global Public Goods

  • Jimmy Le Paris School of International Affairs (PSIA), Sciences Po, Paris
Keywords: neglected tropical diseases, global health, pharmaceuticals


Neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) often afflict the poorest populations of the world. This observation suggests that while demands for new drugs against NTDs continue to grow, there is still a low profit margin for any innovation produced. As a result, there are few incentives for private industrial investments in drugs R&D for neglected diseases, and thus, urgent need for a new set of mechanisms to drive research towards these often  “forgotten” issues. One possible solution comes in the form of a collaborative partnership where drugs for neglected disease are seen by public, private and philanthropic organs as global public goods. In this scenario, multilateral collective action creates an artificial market where there are fewer risks for innovators and more results for benefactors. Coupled with policy-based push-pull mechanisms, these collaborations, like the Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative (DNDi), mitigate the challenges of a failed market and represents a paradigm for other potential sustainable development collaborations, post-2015.