Detail Briefing Paper

Back to overviewBriefing Paper 32

COVID-19 and the failure of pharmaceutical innovation for the Global South: The example of "neglected diseases" and emerging infectious diseases

(english version)

Werner Raza

Wien, March 2021

The debate over lack of access to COVID-19 vaccines for countries in the Global South joins a long history of struggle for effective and affordable treatments for those diseases for which the World Health Organization uses the telling adjective "neglected." Empirical evidence shows that the pharmaceutical innovation system has failed broadly in this area. The same applies to the category of new infectious diseases, which also includes coronaviruses. The COVID-19 pandemic should therefore be used for fundamental reform with the aim of aligning pharmaceutical innovation more closely with public health goals. The BP provides some specific suggestions to these topics.

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