Reboot biomedical R&D in the global public interest
We must reorient the research and development (R&D) system towards the public interest, argue the chief scientist at the World Health Organization, the president of Médecins Sans Frontières and 17 other public-health leaders. Despite impressive advances, the free market has led to inequitable access to the fruits of research, they write. For example, of more than 56,000 health products currently under development, 57% are for cancerous tumours. Only 0.5% are for the neglected tropical diseases that affect nearly 2 billion people. The authors explain how the shift can be made, with a nine-point checklist for R&D in the global public interest.