NIH to develop drug pipeline for rare diseases. But. . . .

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May 25, 2009

Check out this article. The NIH is to find solutions for orphan diseases (possibly schistomiasis, among others) with its Therapeutics for Rare & Neglected Disease (TRND) effort. This kind of program is all too rare. Apparently, when drugs are discovered, they will be handed over to private companies for further development, clinical testing, and marketing.

  • Where will these companies be, and who will own the results?
  • Will they be US pharmaceutical companies or will they be companies or organizations such as AIDSfreeAFRICA in the developing countries where the diseases occur?
  • Will they be manufactured at US costs or at local costs in country?
  • Will the prices reflect US development and manuafacturing or in country development and manufacturing?
  • Will the profits stay in country or end up back in the US?

These countries need to develop their own pharmaceutical industries where they can meet local needs at local prices. Since the NIH is doing this work for the good of the disadvantaged, let it go the full monty and help these countries create their own capacity, even if they can’t do the basic research themselves.

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