Nonprofits such as the Gates Foundation and Seattle-based PATH are working with pharmaceutical companies to push development of vaccines for neglected diseases that ravage developing nations. They've taken the unorthodox step of paying for research the drug companies would not do otherwise, because there isn't demand for such drugs in wealthier countries.
The foundation also must provide funds for poor countries to buy the vaccines, convince government leaders to include them in their health budgets and find an effective distribution system.
It's like building a market from scratch, said Erik Iverson, the foundation's associate general counsel.
"The Gates Foundation is seen as a venture capitalist," he said. "In return, what we want is lives saved."
Jim Kim, a Harvard health expert who formerly led the World Health Organization's (WHO's) AIDS programs, said lately when he thinks about how to solve the health-care crisis in developing countries and at home, he gets the most inspiration from his colleagues at Harvard Business School.
[The Seattle Times]