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Vaccines don't sell themselves

Why do we need advanced market commitments for vaccines?

Consider that malaria affects more than 500 million people worldwide, and yet this past summer the Financial Times reported that French drugmaker Sanofi-Aventis faced half the demand it had expected for its anti-malaria compound artesunate. As a result, the company was contemplating destroying up to 10 million tablets of the drug.

That's from a Scientific American article this month on the difficulties of predicting market demand for vaccines in developing countries. If it's so difficult to gauge interest in a malaria drug, no wonder we see such limited attention from big pharma in diseases like river blindness, sleeping sickness, snail fever, and other neglected tropical diseases. (Via Global Health Policy blog)

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