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About the Program
The development of health innovations and technologies, from novel antibiotics to treat drug resistant infections to point-of-care diagnostics for resource-limited settings, can contribute to improved health outcomes for individuals and communities. But these health innovations require more than funding to reach the people who need them. They face scientific, financial and structural hurdles that must be addressed. New models for sharing knowledge and for scientific collaboration are needed to bring such technologies to market. The traditional model for pharmaceutical R&D often falls short in delivering technologies appropriate, affordable and adapted to meeting the burden of disease afflicting low- and middle-income countries.
The Program on Global Health and Technology Access is undertaking important research on the ownership and control of knowledge of these and other life-prolonging medicines and innovations that can be harnessed to improve global health. Under the leadership of Anthony So (Professor of the Practice of Public Policy and Global Health at the Sanford School of Public Policy and faculty member of the Duke Global Health Institute), the Program is exploring the complex interactions among law, business, economics, policy and medicine to determine how knowledge and resources can be effectively managed for global health. Such approaches might include open-source collaboration on research, tiered pricing for patented drugs and generic competition for those off patent, the public sector’s strategic use of intellectual property rights from pooling patents to humanitarian access licensing, innovative financing mechanisms, and local or regional production of pharmaceutical products.
With the goal of transforming how health technologies are innovated, distributed and brought to the market, the Program seeks to lower the barriers that prevent low- and middle-income countries from accessing affordable health technologies.