How Three Scientists ‘Marketed’ Neglected Tropical Diseases And Raised More Than $1 Billion
Professor David Molyneux, Sabin Partner and former Director of the Center for Neglected Tropical Diseases at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine in the U.K., is quoted discussing how he and other scientists thoughtfully packaged diseases of poverty, primarily located along the equator, to become "neglected tropical diseases". Dr. Peter Hotez, Sabin President, also comments on the disease burden that still doesn't "stack up" to other diseases such as Malaria or HIV in terms of funding.
Once termed NTDs, the idea to "market" them to politicians and private foundations resulted in a surge of funding in the last decade and elevated diseases such as trachoma, hookworm, and others into global health discussions.
"Funding has been far easier to come by for those who work on these maladies. WHO created the Department of Control of Neglected Tropical Diseases in 2005 and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation dedicated at least $114 million to neglected tropical diseases in 2006. The U.S. Agency for International Development quickly pledged another $212 million."
"An aggregated estimate of 1.4 billion people who are affected by these diseases has made headlines and prompted pharmaceutical companies including Merck, GlaxoSmithKline and Bayer to donate 1.4 billion treatments each year."