A decade ago, a series of reports alerted the global health community to the fact that research and development (R&D) to address urgent health needs of the poorest populations of the world was at a standstill. Since that time, there has been a surge of initiatives aimed at stimulating R&D and ensuring access to the fruits of this innovation for neglected patients in developing countries.
Efforts to address medical catastrophes such as HIV/AIDS, malaria, and malnutrition have made progress, albeit incomplete, while further efforts are sorely needed to improve innovation and access for patients with drug-resistant TB; neglected tropical diseases with high mortality rates, such as Chagas disease; and vaccines for preventable diseases like measles, pneumonia, rotavirus, and others.
Various R&D initiatives, including product development partnerships, have begun to fill previously abandoned or non-existent drug development pipelines, with a limited number of new funding opportunities provided by a group of public and philanthropic donors.
While progress has been made, where do we stand today? Are urgent R&D needs indeed being met? How can we accelerate the delivery of medical innovations to neglected patients?
Lives in the Balance aims to bring together key actors in global public health to reflect on progress and shortcomings, consider the evidence and report on analyses of recent data, and chart out ways to effectively tackle current challenges by drawing on lessons from the past decade.
A broad range of scientists and medical professionals from countries hard hit by neglected diseases; policy-makers; academics; non-profit R&D initiatives; the pharmaceutical and biotechnology sectors; donors; civil society organizations; and medical journalists and editors will come together to review the current scientific and policy landscapes and pinpoint the remaining gaps as well as new opportunities for progress in the delivery of medical innovation to neglected patients.
Mount Sinai School of Medicine
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