Wednesday, August 15, 2012

[EQ] India's Role in Global Health R&D

India’s Role in Global Health R&D

Paul Wilson and Aarthi Rao

This work was supported by a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Results for Development Institute. R4D – 2012

Available online PDF [96p.] at:

“……….Despite India’s rapid economic growth and growing technological prowess, it continues to suffer from widespread poverty and a heavy burden of infectious disease, including high rates of tuberculosis, malaria, and other so called neglected diseases.

To reduce this burden, India will have to strengthen its health system, especially for the poor, and increase access to existing medicines. But in India, as in other developing countries, new health technologies—such as affordable and locally adapted drugs, vaccines, and diagnostics—can also make a big contribution to combating disease. For some important diseases, there are currently no effective drugs or vaccines, whereas for others, existing technologies are too expensive, require infrastructure that is not broadly available, or are ill suited in other ways to local needs.

For example, there are no vaccines against malaria or dengue fever and no cheap and accurate point-of care tests for tuberculosis.

India already manufacturers most of the drugs, vaccines, and diagnostic tests it uses and has established itself as an important supplier of affordable drugs and vaccines to other developing countries. In most cases, these products were first developed by scientists and companies in high-income countries, but India’s capacity for innovation—and that of other rapidly developing countries, such as China and Brazil—is growing.

To what extent can India contribute to the development of new health technologies to meet the needs of its own population, as well as those of other low- and middle-income countries?

Are for-profit Indian firms more likely to invest in products for neglected diseases than are the established multinational companies based in high-income countries? What are the main obstacles to neglected disease research and development (R&D) in India, and how might they be overcome?

This report, based on interviews with policymakers, industry executives, and Indian and international experts, explores these questions. It surveys the landscape of neglected diseases R&D in India, assesses strengths and weaknesses, and makes recommendations for both the government of India and international organizations interested in the development of new technologies to combat neglected disease in developing countries….”


Executive Summary

1. Introduction

2. The Supporting Environment for Biomedical Innovation

3. Vaccines

4. Drugs

5. Diagnostics

6. Conclusions and Recommendations

Annex I: Government Initiatives to Support Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology R&D

Annex II: Government Agencies Involved in the Regulation of Health Technologies in India

Annex III: People Interviewed


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