Saturday, June 7, 2008

Little Interest in Tropical Diseases

Most tropical diseases are neglected by medical research. Why? "The sad situation is that... the pharmaceutical industry isn't looking for [new treatments],"says Michael Ferguson, a molecular biologist at the University of Dundee, Scotland. There is no financial incentive for drug companies to do so, since they stand no chance of recovering their investment. These companies prefer to produce high earning drugs for such conditions as Alzheimer's disease, obesity, and impotence. In the meantime, says the magazine New Scientist, an estimated "1 million people worldwide die each year from malaria, while safe and effective treatments remain as elusive as ever."

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