ADVOCACY, COMMUNICATIONS & FUNDRAISING
MEDICAL INNOVATION ON THE POLITICAL AGENDA LIKE NEVER BEFORE
The early 2000s saw a massive boost in the political prominence of health, and with it, the question of access to medicines and health financing. The Millennium Development Goals defined health as a priority intervention for reducing poverty. The Doha Declaration reaffirmed the right of countries to act when intellectual property acts as a barrier to public health. And financial commitments were ramped up through the creation of the Global Fund, following calls by Kofi Annan to establish “a war chest to fight the diseases of poverty”. needs. And the price of new medications for cancer and hepatitis C in particular have raised questions about what constitutes a fair reward for research and development in countries across the globe. Public leadership is essential DNDi’s collaborative model has shown at a small scale that alternative approaches to R&D that address pressing public health needs are possible. To fully address the scale of public health needs, public leadership is needed on a more fundamental level, to redefine the ‘rules of the game’ that govern biomedical innovation.
Today, health has once more erupted into the political spotlight. The Sustainable Development Goals call for more efforts to “eradicate a wide range of diseases and address many different persistent and emerging health issues”. The Ebola
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crisis of 2014 brought to the world’s attention the lack of technologies to deal with potential pandemics. The threat of antibiotic resistance demonstrates how traditional incentive mechanisms fail to spur innovation to answer critical public health