Collective action between parties

As the cases in Korea, Egypt, and Uganda show, a variety of players are instrumental in creating the environment necessary for a successful mass treatment program (3,4).



The transition of praziquantel from a profitable veterinary anti-helminthic to a drug of public health significance was made possible with a public-private partnership between Bayer Corporation and the World Health Organization, which funded and coordinated the expensive human clinical trials.
Korea: Government protection allowed the infant industry to compete against a large multi-national corporation. Private-public partnerships with the Korea Institute for Science and Technology (KIST) allowed the company to make significant advances in production technique, making praziquantel a more affordable drug.
Egypt: Significant government commitment to treating schistosomiasis was necessary in allowing the Egyptian International Pharmaceutical Industries Company to purchase the process patent for local production from Shin Poong Pharmaceuticals of Korea. The Korean company saw the viability of the business decision with the Egyptian government's funding commitment and intent to make a large purchase of the drug.
Uganda: The cooperation of non-profits and international agencies, including the WHO, the Gates Foundation, and a variety of developed country NGOs, was necessary in creating awareness and demand for treatment of schistosomiasis.


As World Bank economist Ramesh Govindaraj points out (4), there are four major players in this field: pharmaceutical producers, NGOs, international agencies, and national governments. Each has a distinct role to play in the process of medication procurement:

Pharmaceutical producers: While multinational corporations lack the financial incentives to developdrugs for tropical disease, companies are realizing the benefits in "employee morale and public relations (4). Since Merck's groundbreaking donation of ivermectin, other drug companies have been trying to spruce up their images with similar programs. Other potential approaches are to sell the drugs to third-party purchasers, such as international aid organization, or to sell patents to third-party puchasers, such as smaller domestic drug companies.
NGOs: NGOs have the ability to streamline the process of drug donation, increasing efficiency and ensuring that drugs reach the people in need.
International agencies: Have the monetary resources to provide loans for drug procurement, and make current projecs possible while local governments find ways to fund projects. These agencies also have a broad reach, and can help with global efforts, such as clinical trials and research efforts.
National Governments:

National government play a huge role in drug procurement; without their commitment, help from international organizations, NGOs and corporations is out of the question. National governments can 1) obtain loands from multi-lateral and international aid institutions. 2) can ensure that drugs are being purchased at the best price by purchasing in bulk and using nbational distribution channels, and 3) can enable domestic producers to cheaply produce and supply drugs by offering protection to these companies.


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