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Fatal imbalance: the crisis in research and development for drugs for neglected diseases

"Fatal imbalance" is the product of MSF’s 'Drugs for Neglected Diseases' Working Group — a collaboration between scientists, health professionals, drug development experts, international organisations and non-governmental organisations.

It concludes that virtually no new drugs are being developed for diseases that predominantly affect the poor, such as sleeping sickness, Chagas disease and leishmaniasis. For example, of the 1393 new drugs approved between 1975 and 1999, just 13 (one per cent) were for tropical diseases.

The report explains that responsibility for correcting the 'fatal imbalance' lies with governments, who must become directly and proactively involved in searching for solutions at a global level. The report also recommends that capacity building and technology transfer projects to increase research and development expertise in developing countries be actively pursued.

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