Health is a sustainability issue

Rare and neglected diseases remain a serious problem in our modern world, despite advances in science and technology. Big pharmaceutical companies don't fund research and development into treatments for these diseases because they aren't profitable. The drugs end up costing much more to make than they'll earn back, so they remain un- or underfunded.

Each rare disease affects relatively few people, so the market is too small to make a profit on treatments. Neglected diseases affect about 1 billion people, but most are in underdeveloped, tropical countries. So, although the market is big, treatments are a poor return on investment because the countries can't afford to pay for them.

An article published in the Sustainability journal in 2019 recommends that we change our perspective to see healthcare as a sustainability issue, rather than an economic one. What if, instead of evaluating a drug in terms of the market, we look at its effect on society and the environment? The authors suggest that pharmaceutical companies be key players in this change of perspective. Companies would lead the way in seeing these drugs as opportunities, not problems. Funding the development of drugs to treat rare and neglected diseases is a chance for the pharmaceutical industry to contribute to the sustainability of our world, especially where the need is most urgent.

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What are some examples of rare diseases? Do you know anyone who has/had one? Do Homework
Does your country suffer from any neglected diseases? Do Homework
How is healthcare a sustainability issue? Do Homework
Is healthcare a universal human right? Do Homework