Small Doses: Finding and making the medicines children need

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Save the Children UK

Millions of people still die every year from preventable infectious diseases and other conditions and many more are left to suffer with the lifelong debilitating effects of untreated illnesses. This is truer for children in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) than almost all others, as they are affected both by the lack of health technologies for conditions that primarily affect these parts of the world and the lack of those that are suitable specifically for children. Not only is there is a desperate need to both develop new health technologies and ensure that they are accessible to those that need them, human rights require it.

Most new health technologies are developed by the private sector, which makes decisions on what to produce based mostly on whether there is a large enough market to justify investment. Where there is no significant market – one that allows companies to generate enough profit for their shareholders – private companies are less likely to invest. This problem is often called ‘market failure’.  Currently, there is a failure on the part of the whole global community to represent and protect the health needs and rights of the world’s most vulnerable and marginalised people.

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