Are PDPs efficient and effective in addressing the global health burden?
Product development partnerships (PDPs) have become an important tool in addressing the problem of market failure within the area of drug development for poverty-related neglected diseases (PRNDs). While a lack of incentives for R&D- based investment in such diseases persists within today’s profit-driven pharmaceutical companies, the gap between the rich and the poor in world society is increasing. Without new drug development for PRNDs, the World Health Organization (WHO) – key international organ for global health security - will be unable to meet its fundamental requirement in ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being for all under the Sustainable Development Agenda by 2030. Within this research paper, the question of the added value of PDPs, which seek to stimulate innovation for PRND medicines, shall be addressed. There has been a general tendency in recent times for seeking more purely private solutions regarding R&D for neglected diseases’ drugs. This raises the question whether PDPs are still effective and efficient in addressing the global health burden. To further explore this point, both business models, PDPs and purely private initiatives, will be evaluated by their advantages/opportunities and disadvantages/challenges. By comparing the two business forms, with regard to their efficiency and effectiveness for achieving this fundamental global health requirement, it will be shown that PDPs are indeed a crucial solution in addressing the global health burden. It is recommended to the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) to pursue a continuation of support and funding of PDPs.