Policy Memo: Pharmaceutical Research on Tropical Diseases

SCENARIO- Why is there so little research on diseases that are endemic in developing countries? What can be done to promote this research? What are the arguments for promoting this research? Who should be involved in this promotion? Your audience is a director in the World Bank’s Global Health Division. She is an epidemiologist by training and thus already knows a lot about the incidence of tropical disease; but she is less familiar with how pharmaceutical markets work.

The response should be a 1-page policy memo (in 12pt font, single-spaced). The title of the policy brief should clearly convey the main point of the brief. Use sub-headings and organize the paragraphs and sentences carefully. Use bullet points, boxes, columns, bold, or italics. Please use a standard referencing style (any, discuss with me). References can go on a second page, but any figures or tables need to be on the first page. Do not include appendices. I have attached a grading rubric and a separate document with general advice for writing policy briefs. Read these closely; a policy brief is not an essay, a short story nor an opinion piece. Your goal is to give clear, reasonable and complete advice to a policy-maker who needs to make a decision on this issue.

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The following reading list will get you started. You should do some of your own research as well. You may focus on a specific under-researched disease that is endemic to developing countries, or write on the more general topic.
Recommended reading / references:
1. Kremer, Michael (2002), “Pharmaceuticals and the developing world.” The Journal of Economic Perspectives, 16:4.
2. Webber, David, and Michael Kremer (2001), “Stimulating industrial R&D for neglected infectious diseases: economic perspectives.” Bulletin of the World Health Organization, 79:8. 1
3. Ridley, David B., Henry G. Grabowski, and Jeffrey L. Moe (2006), “Developing drugs for developing countries.” Health Affairs 25:2.
4. Kremer, Michael, and Christopher Snyder (2015), “Preventives vs Treatments”, Quarterly Journal of Economics, 130:3 (Introduction only).
5. GAVI, The Vaccine Alliance 6. The Advance Market Commitment for Pneumococcal Vaccines

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