News of the WeekGlobal Health

Group Urges Action on Third World Drugs

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Science  03 Mar 2000:
Vol. 287, Issue 5458, pp. 1571
DOI: 10.1126/science.287.5458.1571a

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How can the pharmaceutical industry be enticed to make drugs and vaccines for infectious diseases that sicken or kill billions of people worldwide, yet offer little in the way of economic returns? The senior policy officials who met last week at the Global Health Forum, a closed-door meeting hosted by the Institute for Global Health in San Francisco, came up with few new ideas, but their message is being heard loud and clear: President Clinton has already signaled his interest in launching an initiative aimed at narrowing the seemingly intractable gap in health between rich and poor countries, and last week a bill was introduced into the U.S. Senate that would incorporate many of the forum's suggestions.