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dc.contributor.authorDegeling, C
dc.date.accessioned2014-08-26
dc.date.available2014-08-26
dc.date.issued2014-08-20
dc.identifier.citationDegeling C. 2014. How Western national interest drives Ebola drug development. The Conversationen_AU
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/2123/11700
dc.description.abstractEbola virus disease typically only occurs in rural and remote areas among resource-poor populations. Until the large, recent outbreak in West Africa, cases of the illness were a rarity. So the fact that we even have experimental drugs for the disease tells a story about how responses to global health crises are shaped by the social and political interests of the developed world. Major pharmaceutical companies have shown little interest in developing effective treatments for diseases such as this. There’s no incentive for the commercial risks of research and companies naturally prefer to focus on diseases that can sustain large markets of wealthy regular users. A similar inattention is suffered by people who have what are collectively known as neglected tropical diseases, which affect about a billion of the world’s poorest people. They cause death and ill-health but also entrench social and political disadvantage. Even though most are preventable, and easily treatable with appropriate resources. For those affected, the burden of these diseases, on average, equates to the loss of 56 years of healthy life through early death or chronic disability. Yet, the US Centers for Disease Control estimates that for 50 cents per year per person, the burden of neglected tropical diseases could be eliminated. So it seems a little incongruous that drugs for Ebola virus disease were in development at all, given the relatively small number of cases and the poverty of those most at risk of infection. Let’s consider the most advanced drug: ZMapp, which is produced by Mapp Biopharmaceuticals and is the experimental treatment the fuss has been about. The incentive for developing ZMapp was clearly not its broad commercial potential. Instead, it is for developing capacity for biodefence.en_AU
dc.language.isoen_AUen_AU
dc.publisherThe Conversationen_AU
dc.rightsCC BY-NC 3.0en_AU
dc.subjectebolaen_AU
dc.subjectdrug developmenten_AU
dc.titleHow Western national interest drives Ebola drug developmenten_AU
dc.typeArticleen_AU
dc.type.pubtypePost-printen_AU


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