The recent Ebola outbreak has triggered substantial debate about what should be done in the future to prevent global public health crises of this kind.  GAiA is exploring lessons that can be learned from the Ebola crisis for how the world can fight diseases that primarily afflict the global poor.  We can and must do better.

Our work:

July 2015: GAiA hosted a similarly-sized workshop, “Learning from Ebola: How Drug-Development Policy Could Help Stop Outbreaks of Infectious Diseases,” which focused on the Ebola virus outbreak and actionable strategies to improve future responses to similar public health emergencies, including the creation of public and private incentives to invest in medical technologies for neglected diseases. Participants discussed several ways in which drug development policies might be altered—either fundamentally or incrementally—that could strengthen the portfolio of ongoing research projects and reduce the incidence or severity of similar outbreaks in the future. (Press release)

July 2015: Quentin Palfrey and Terry Fisher submitted a blog post to Intellectual Property Watch summarizing the June 10 workshop. The post elaborated on several of the group’s recommendations including developing systematic incentives for investment in R&D into vaccines and medicines that treat diseases that disproportionately affect the global poor. Secondly, the group emphasized a need for greater coordination among humanitarian funding agencies to ensure that scarce funds are directed towards the most urgent problems. Thirdly, the attendees discussed the need for affluent countries to acquire and stockpile sufficient quantities of the vaccines and drugs to enable them to be distributed rapidly in regions where outbreaks occur.