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October 24/31, 2007

Leveraging University Research to Advance Global Health

JAMA. 2007;298(16):1934-1936. doi:10.1001/jama.298.16.1934

The world's destitute sick face a perilous disadvantage in accessing essential medicines. The crisis stems from 2 related problems. First, for the billion people affected by neglected diseases such as trypanosomiasis and cholera, few safe and effective treatment options exist. Because these neglected diseases predominantly affect the poor, they attract little research and development funding, leading to a paucity of therapies.1 Second, for other diseases, several interlinked factors impede access to medicines that do exist: high prices, underfunded and uncoordinated health care systems, and drug formulations ill-suited to resource-poor settings.