Neglect of Type III Diseases Continues
August 26, 2010
According to an analysis by KEI of FDA approved new molecular entities (NMEs)over the past 6 years, the research and devlopment divide for so-called neglected diseases is still starkly apparent.
Neglected diseases refer to conditions that primarily affect poor populations in poor countries. These diseases often account for a very high percentage of the world's avoidable deaths, but they attract little R&D funding because the populations, although large, are too poor to be considered viable markets. The Global Forum for Health Research reports: "In 1990, the Commission on Health Research for Development estimated that only about 5% of the world's resources for health research (which totaled US$ 30 billion in 1986) were being applied to the health problems of low- and middle-income countries, where 93% of the world's preventable deaths occurred."
In an effort to help raise attention to the problem, the WHO classifies diseases as being Type I (predominantly in rich countries), Type II (predominantly poor, but some in rich, e.g. AIDS), and Type III (predominantly in poor, little or no in rich).
KEI's study of 6 years of NMEs finds:
- 139 Type I products approved,
- 6 Type II products, and
- no Type III products approved.
Photo of prescription medicines (cc) Fillmore Photography.