Drugs and Vaccines for Developing Countries

Adrian Towse, Eric Keuffel, Hannah E. Kettler and David B. Ridley

in The Oxford Handbook of the Economics of the Biopharmaceutical Industry

Published in print April 2012 | ISBN: 9780199742998
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

 Drugs and Vaccines for Developing Countries

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  • Economics
  • Health, Education, and Welfare
  • Economic Development and Growth


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This article sets out the context for the problem of insufficient affordable medicines to address health issues in developing countries. It also highlights some of the drivers of recent positive trends. It then detail policies and proposals that are intended to increase access to global medicines (i.e., those with a developed country market) by lowering prices, including differential pricing, compulsory licensing, and donations. Finally, it considers policies that are aimed at encouraging the development of new medicines for neglected diseases (i.e., those prevalent only in lower-income countries) by reducing company-borne costs and risks or by expanding the expected revenue for the manufacturer through increased product demand. In particular, it describes “push” mechanisms that subsidize research inputs and “pull” mechanisms that reward research output.

Keywords: affordable medicine; global medicines; new drugs; neglected diseases; research input

Article.  14142 words. 

Subjects: Economics ; Health, Education, and Welfare ; Economic Development and Growth

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