Bearing Witness

by Billy Shore

“Neglected Diseases Are Perpetuated By Poverty”

Monday, March 28, 2011


The Institute for One World Health, the world’s first nonprofit pharmaceutical has announced a new breakthrough in the fight against cholera and diarrheal disease which combine to kill 1.5 million children a year. The drug they are developing could be the first synthetic drug to reduce fluid loss and work in combination with oral rehydration therapy. The ABC News coverage of the story can be found at

Death from cholera is preventable but as the iOWH’s Elena Pantjushenko points out, “neglected diseases are perpetuated by poverty. Those most affected are the poorest populations often living in remote, rural areas, urban slums or in conflict zones. With little political voice, neglected tropical diseases have a low profile and status in public health priorities. “

As a result there are no economic incentives and therefore no markets for solving such problems. Which is why a nonprofit pharmaceutical, that can serve as a proxy for market forces, is such a critical innovation. It took the classic “unreasonable” person to come up such an idea, which is one reason that founder Victoria Hale figures prominently in my new book, THE IMAGINATIONS OF UNREASONABLE MEN, @