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The Forum > Article Comments > Curing Ebola with Thomas Pogge > Comments

Curing Ebola with Thomas Pogge : Comments

By Jed Lea-Henry, published 21/11/2014

Yale Professor of philosophy Thomas Pogge has developed a solution to this paradigm of pharmaceutical development - the 'Health Impact Fund'.

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If the truth be faced up to Ebola is a symptom of the overpopulation problem facing Africa (and the planet).
Posted by ateday, Friday, 21 November 2014 8:17:53 AM
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I like the idea of a fund, and using it to develop new efficacious drugs big pharma, just won't/hasn't.
Why reward big pharma for doing nothing, and tantamount to paying ransom to free a hostage.
Look, most pharmaceuticals start their life in university labs and only after proof of concept are they taken up by big Pharma, sometimes.
Instead I would give this money to universities, to develop and commercialize their discoveries/research/clinical trials themselves.
Much in the way we might have, when CRSIO, were still a wholly owned Government instrument.
If the govt pays, then why do we need to include the profit motive, when all we really need is good research and good medicine.
As the Author notes, big pharma has had forty years to display its altruistic side!
For mine their often obscene profits would be better spent on more research or getting efficacious drugs out to those who can't afford them; and preferably before this disease repeats the aids experience and jumps across many western borders!
Think, aids was once confined to Africa!
Perhaps we should think of those who make those much maligned generic drugs (India, Brazil, Malaysia) as those we need to fund to finish/commercialize the research, and bring government subsidies medicine to the third world!
And arguably able to get a much bigger bang for our buck, than shoveling money into the insatiable maw of big Pharma!
Rhrosty.
Posted by Rhrosty, Friday, 21 November 2014 10:42:16 AM
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This is a good article outlining the strengths and weaknesses of our current funding for pharmaceutical research, and a plan to solve it. Some years ago The Economist magazine had a similar proposal, but as I recall it was proposing to reward the development of cures for particular diseases malaria for example, which kills far more people than ebola. That might work better than a quality of like based system that is open to dispute.

One issue would be that the researchers would need a high degree of confidence that they would actually be paid for their discoveries. Government have a habit of not delivering on their promises, especially on something that will take many years to deliver results. Maybe an independently administered fund would be the answer.
Posted by Rhian, Friday, 21 November 2014 2:34:53 PM
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I believe the overpopulation problem is pretty bad round at your place too ateday?
Posted by Jardine K. Jardine, Saturday, 22 November 2014 10:05:32 PM
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One way of curbing Ebola is by stopping the inherent desperation of people eating diseased animals in the jungles of these affected countries like Liberia. It strikes me that are we only concerned about the disease infecting us in the West without a care of what the underlying causes are. These countries as well as 11 others still pay a 'Colony' tax to their former colonial masters France which only adds to the poverty and poor infrastructure of these struggling nations, not to mention the wars fought for the undeveloped riches underground. So long as Africa continues to be raped, robbed and pillaged by the West and China diseases like this will only scare us momentarily from our inherent blindness to this and other tragedies occurring today on this continent.
Posted by UCan'tfoolallofdapeopleallofdatime, Sunday, 23 November 2014 5:42:16 PM
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