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Innovative Finance for Neglected Tropical Diseases: Discussion Paper


Despite affecting nearly two billion people—primarily across low- and middle-income countries—the availability and deployment of innovative new treatments for neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) are rare. For diagnostic tests, the situation is similarly concerning; of the 20 NTDs identified by the World Health Organization, tests do not exist for six NTDs, and for the remaining NTDs, the tests are either not fit-for-purpose or not accessible where they are needed.

With support from McKinsey Consulting, GLIDE developed an innovative finance (IF) workstream to coordinate and lead a 6-month technical exercise with a small core group of 20 organizations, including representatives from traditional pharmaceutical companies and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), product development partnerships, and civil society. The objectives of this exercise were to condense existing evidence, galvanize inter-sectoral discussions, and capture the voices of leaders committed to finding IF solutions for NTDs. The results of this exercise are four prioritized finance mechanisms: i. debt swaps, ii. milestone-based funding and end prizes for NTD diagnostics, iii. development impact bonds, and iv. pooled procurement (as a market-shaping prospect)—that are proposed for further interrogation with a broader stakeholder community to understand the viability of application to a specific disease(s), instrument(s), and country or regional contexts.

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