Drug companies worldwide have long been critisized for not investing into research and development on drugs that would help the ills of the third world. Instead of finding medicines for malaria, tuberculosis and AIDS, a lot of money goes into curing erectile dysfunction or high cholesterol.
U. N. Secretary Ban Ki-Moon recently met with leaders of drug companies such as Abbott Labs, GlaxoSmithKline and others. Moon's aim is to increase access to drugs for developing countries. Which is one of the Millenium Development Goals. This Reuters article details the pledge from the drug companies.
The companies also agreed to invest more in prevention, including vaccines and pre- and post-exposure prophylaxis, Ban said in a statement issued after he met with top executives at pharmaceutical and diagnostic firms working on AIDS and HIV, the virus that causes it.
"We noted that despite the gains, the epidemic continues to outstrip our best efforts. Only one-third of those who need antiretroviral treatment in low-and middle-income countries are getting it," he said.
"Each day, for every two people who are placed on antiretroviral treatment, five more are infected. Collectively, we still have more work to do."
Ban said the companies agreed to "invest further in research and development of new HIV-related medicines adapted to resource-limited settings to be used safely in children, adolescents, adults and pregnant women" -- in other words, to try to make drugs available to people in poor environments.
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