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ABSTRACT

According to some estimates, less than 10% of the world's biomedical research funds are dedicated to addressing problems that are responsible for 90% of the world's burden of disease. This paper explains why this disparity exists and what should be done about it. It argues that the disparity exists because: 1) multinational pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies do not regard research and development investments on the health problems of developing nations to be economically lucrative; and 2) governmental agencies that sponsor biomedical research face little political pressure to allocate funds for the problems of developing nations. This paper argues that developed nations have an obligation to address disparities related to biomedical research funding. To facilitate this effort, developed countries should establish a trust fund dedicated to research on the health problems of developing nations similar to the Global AIDS Fund.