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ask the Obama administration why it's standing in the way

Brian M. Till

May 24, 2013

I wrote a long piece this week for the Atlantic about one of the most innovative ideas I've come across in a long time. It's called the R&D treaty, and it's currently in limbo at the World Health Organization. The idea is to iron out a huge problem in our system for developing drugs: if you have a disease that only affects the poor, there's no way the major pharmaceutical companies are going to invest heavily to cure your disease. The US government is the only country that invests seriously in this type of research -- on so called neglected diseases -- and the treaty would commit other nations to funding at a similar level, 0.01 % of GDP. The politics around the negotiations have become quite nasty, with the US using very backhanded methods to prevent the measure from moving forward.

So, please read about, and let your voice be heard. Tweet Secretary Kathleen @Sebelius, whose department manages the negotiations, or the @WhiteHouse. Post on FB. Email friends. Talk. Do!

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