4 Health Econ. Pol'y & L. 1 (2009)

handle is hein.journals/hecpol4 and id is 1 raw text is: 

Health Economics, Policy and Law (2009), 4: 1 -10
o Cambridge University Press 2009  doi 10. 1017/S1744133108004702

Editorial



Product development partnerships (PDPs)
for neglected diseases: considerations
on governance

CORINNA SORENSON*
LSE Health, The London School of Economics and Political Science, UK

Neglected diseases (NDs), such as malaria, tuberculosis, cholera, schistosomi-
asis, and Chagas disease, result in an estimated 35,000 deaths per day world-
wide (DNDi, 2006). They are also associated with a considerable disease and
social burden caused by chronic disabilities, disfigurement, reduced productiv-
ity, and stigma (WHO, 2007). Indeed, NDs pose a major challenge to the fulfil-
ment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), notably in Sub-Saharan
Africa, Asia, and the Americas.
   Despite their social and economic impact, minimal investment has been made
to research and develop (R&D) treatments (e.g., vaccines) for NDs, principally
because they are not considered a lucrative commercial 'market' (Trouiller
et al., 2002; Mrazek and Mossialos, 2003). The absence of R&D means that
there are no or few treatments available for NDs, accounting for less than
2% of new drugs marketed during the last 25 years, and many of the limited
available treatments are outdated, ineffective, and unsafe (Trouiller et al.,
2002; Yamey, 2002). While various 'push' and 'pull' mechanisms (e.g., tax
credits, advanced purchase commitments) have been put forth to spur the devel-
opment of new technologies and better align the social and financial incentives
required to meet this aim, they have been somewhat ineffective, underused, or
not sufficiently pursued (Brogan and Mossialos, 2006; Fehr et al., 2006).
   One such mechanism, Product Development Partnerships (PDPs), has received
considerable traction and support over the last ten years. The rise of PDPs was
largely predicated on the recognition that the public (government, non-govern-
mental organizations) and private sectors (philanthropic foundations, phar-
maceutical companies) are solely unable to garner the resources, technical
capacity, and political will required to make significant advances towards
improved access to ND treatments. This particular partnership model provided
a viable solution to the risk and uncertainty inherent to the drug development
process. A recent article by Buckup (2008) argues that PDPs are warranted in

*Correspondence to: Corinna Sorenson, LSE Health, London School of Economics and Political Science,
Houghton Street, London WC2A 2AE, UK. Email: C.Sorenson@lse.ac.uk

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