Author: Nee, Eric
Source: Stanford Social Innovation Review
Number of pages: 4
The pharmaceutical industry spends billions of dollars developing drugs to cure the ailments of wealthy Westerners, but very little to treat the diseases that kill millions of people a year in the developing world. Victoria Hale, who was recently awarded a MacArthur fellowship for her efforts, is trying to change all that.
Hale’s San Francisco-based nonprofit, Institute for OneWorld Health, is partnering with foundations, for-profit drug companies, NGOs, and governments around the world to bring these neglected drugs to market. She just scored her first success, receiving approval from the Indian government to sell a drug that cures visceral leishmaniasis. This disease, also known as black fever, kills 200,000 people a year and afflicts many times that number. And she has more drugs – to treat malaria, Chagas’ disease, and secretory diarrhea – in the pipeline.
In an interview with SSIR managing editor Eric Nee, Hale discusses what role the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation plays in her organization, why for-profit drug companies are knocking at her door, and why her optimism about the chances of saving millions of lives every year is growing.
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