• Drugs for 'neglected diseases': a bitter pill.

      Veeken, H; Pécoul, B; Médecins sans Frontières, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. hansvveken@amsterdam.msf.org (Wiley-Blackwell, 2000-05)
    • Drugs for neglected diseases: a failure of the market and a public health failure?

      Trouiller, P; Torreele, E; Olliaro, P; White, N J J; Foster, S; Wirth, D; Pécoul, B; Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Grenoble, Grenoble, France. (Wiley-Blackwell, 2001-11)
      Infectious diseases cause the suffering of hundreds of millions of people, especially in tropical and subtropical areas. Effective, affordable and easy-to-use medicines to fight these diseases are nearly absent. Although science and technology are sufficiently advanced to provide the necessary medicines, very few new drugs are being developed. However, drug discovery is not the major bottleneck. Today's R&D-based pharmaceutical industry is reluctant to invest in the development of drugs to treat the major diseases of the poor, because return on investment cannot be guaranteed. With national and international politics supporting a free market-based world order, financial opportunities rather than global health needs guide the direction of new drug development. Can we accept that the dearth of effective drugs for diseases that mainly affect the poor is simply the sad but inevitable consequence of a global market economy? Or is it a massive public health failure, and a failure to direct economic development for the benefit of society? An urgent reorientation of priorities in drug development and health policy is needed. The pharmaceutical industry must contribute to this effort, but national and international policies need to direct the global economy to address the true health needs of society. This requires political will, a strong commitment to prioritize health considerations over economic interests, and the enforcement of regulations and other mechanisms to stimulate essential drug development. New and creative strategies involving both the public and the private sector are needed to ensure that affordable medicines for today's neglected diseases are developed. Priority action areas include advocating an essential medicines R&D agenda, capacity-building in and technology transfer to developing countries, elaborating an adapted legal and regulatory framework, prioritizing funding for essential drug development and securing availability, accessibility, distribution and rational use of these drugs.
    • Introductory note: The access to Essential Medicines Campaign.

      Kindermans, J M; Matthys, F; MSF International, 37 Rue de la Tourelle, 1040 Brussels, Belgium. (Wiley-Blackwell, 2001-11)
      To ensure access to essential medicines for disadvantaged populations there are at least three conditions to be met: drugs prices must be affordable for poor countries; research and development of drugs for tropical diseases must take place; and there is a need for health exceptions to trade agreements.
    • Pricing of drugs and donations: options for sustainable equity pricing.

      Pérez-Casas, C; Herranz, E; Ford, N; Campaign for Access to Essential Medicines, Médecins sans Frontières, Geneva, Switzerland. carmen_perez@madrid.msf.org (Wiley-Blackwell, 2001-11)
      Effective medicines exist to treat or alleviate many diseases which predominate in the developing world and cause high mortality and morbidity rates. Price should not be an obstacle preventing access to these medicines. Increasingly, drug donations have been established by drug companies, but these are often limited in time, place or use. Measures exist which are more sustainable and will have a greater positive impact on people's health. Principally, these are encouraging generic competition; adopting into national legislation and implementing TRIPS safeguards to gain access to cheaper sources of drugs; differential pricing; creating high volume or high demand through global and regional procurement; and supporting the production of quality generic drugs by developing countries through voluntary licenses if needed, and facilitating technology transfer.
    • Survivors' Perceptions of Public Health Messages During an Ebola Crisis in Liberia and Sierra Leone: An Exploratory Study

      Schwerdtle, P; De Clerck, V; Plummer, V (Wiley-Blackwell, 2017-09-20)
      The outbreak of Ebola virus disease in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone was the largest epidemic of Ebola ever recorded. The healthcare workforce was diminished and exhausted as the region emerged from civil war. Few qualitative, descriptive studies have been conducted to date that concentrate on the voices of Ebola survivors and their perceptions of health messages. In this study, we employed an interpretive, qualitative design to explore participant experiences. Twenty five survivors who had recovered from Ebola were recruited from three villages in Liberia and Sierra Leone in August 2015. Data were collected using semistructured interviews. Data analysis revealed four themes: (i) degrees of mistrust; (ii) messages conflicting with life and culture; (iii) seeing is believing; and (iv) recovery inspires hope. The findings were explored in the context of the relevant literature. The themes highlight the need to develop culturally-appropriate messages, underpinned by a sound understanding of the community and a willingness to work with the culture and trusted leaders.