For people living in the world’s richest countries, the quality of health care has been rising for decades. But in the developing world, diseases like cholera, dengue fever, and leishmaniasis are endemic. These illnesses are contracted by the world’s poorest each day, causing social, political, and economic devastation that extends far beyond the health of just one individual.
These diseases, and the others chronicled in BIO Ventures for Global Health’s (BVGH’s) 2009 Global Health Primer, represent some of today’s most pressing health needs. They also demonstrate the disparity inherent in neglected diseases. At BVGH, we believe that it is simply unfair that where we are born is the biggest determinant of the health we will enjoy and how long we will live. We all have a role in creating this basic inequity and thus, we believe, an obligation to solving it.
The Global Health Primer, now in its second edition, is a resource for biotechnology innovators interested in learning more about global health as well as for innovators in the global health community interested in learning about R&D pipelines. It focuses on the 19 infectious diseases that cause the greatest burden of disease – outlining the technologies currently available, summarizing the current pipelines for new products, and pointing out gaps in the drug, vaccine, and diagnostic inventory. It also highlights the major players in global health and in different disease areas.
The information presented in the primer clarifies the tremendous strides that have been made in disease research and targets ways for innovators to create breakthrough products. While significant progress in global health R&D has been made, major challenges abound. By highlighting both the successes and opportunities, we at BVGH hope that more organizations will be compelled to engage in global health and provide much needed solutions for the millions battling these diseases each day.
The 2009 Global Health Primer is available for download at <http://www.bvgh.org/documents/BVGH_GlobalHealthPrimer.pdf > on the BVGH Web site: www.bvgh.org . Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org  to request a hard copy of the document.
[Submitted by BVGH Interim CEO Melinda Moree, PhD]