Are public-private partnerships the solution to tackle neglected tropical diseases? A systematic review of the literature
Pharmaceutical companies are reluctant to invest in research and development (R&D) of products for neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) mainly due to the low ability-to-pay of health insurance systems and of potential consumers. The available preventive and curative interventions for NTDs mostly rely on old technologies and products that are often not adequate. Moreover, NTDs mostly affect populations living in remote rural areas and conflict zones, thereby hampering access to healthcare. The challenges posed by NTDs have led to the proliferation of a variety of public-private partnerships (PPPs) in the last decades. We conducted a systematic review to assess the functioning and impact of these partnerships on the development of and access to better technologies for NTDs. Our systematic review revealed a clear lack of empirical assessment of PPPs: we could not find any impact evaluation analyses, while these are crucial to realize the full potential of PPPs and to progress further towards NTDs elimination.