by Alvar J, Pécoul B. EU-topías 2014, ISSN: 2174-8454 - Vol. 7 (primavera 2014), pp. 75-84.
Summary: Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) are characterized by their high incidence in low-income countries, thus maintaining the disastrous poverty-disease-poverty circle. The NTDs are mostly unknown to the Western world and so they are not considered a priority, but neither are they known to the governments of stricken countries, since they only affect rural population with no political influence. The drugs for these diseases provide very low economic profits so they are not appealing to pharmaceutical research. The effort made to raise public and private awareness has changed the perception of these diseases. The launching of public-private alliances and projects has allowed the improvement in control programs to prevent some NTDs by administrating oral drugs on a large scale. Another group of NTDs, with ineffectual and toxic medication, requires selective control programs and a great deal of preclinical investigation. For that, public-private alliances have been created to develop drugs (PDPs). The Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) has been able to develop six new drugs at a much lower cost than the usual at the pharmaceutical industry. The leadership of WHO and the collective commitment assumed in the London Declaration of 2012 have lead to an ambitious plan to eradicate, eliminate or control ten NTDs before 2020.