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Historically, diseases that primarily affect people living in developing countries where social securities and insurance usually do not exist, and poverty prevents people from paying a high price for medicines, have not been lucrative for the pharmaceutical industry. These diseases include the big three – HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and malaria and various Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs).
To address this problem of market failure a new breed of private, not-for-profit organizations have emerged over the last two decades. These so-called product development partnerships (PDPs) are indeed alternative in the way they secure financing, organize research and development (R&D), share results, and bring the final product to market.
This study examines PDPs through the lenses of commons by looking into the development of Synriam® - a new antimalarial drug. It investigates the preconditions necessary for the creation of a commons of medicines to be shared equitably with those who need it.