Non-Profit Pharma Puts Cures Over Cash

Institute for OneWorld Health finds cheap, new uses for partially developed meds
By Kristina Loew,  Newser User
Posted Oct 24, 2008 7:04 PM CDT
The Institute for OneWorld Health is the first non-profit pharmaceutical company in the US.   (Shutterstock)
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(Newser) – Combating diseases that afflict only the poor doesn't plump the profit margins of pharmaceutical companies; now comes one that sets out to do just that as a non-profit, Good Magazine reports. Using grants to look at long-forgotten compounds, fund clinical trials, and distribute affordable meds to the world’s poorest populations, the Institute for OneWorld Health can on widespread diseases other companies neglect.

OneWorld, the first US non-profit pharmaceutical, can keep costs low by building on foundations left by for-profit firms. “There are lots of perfectly fine drugs or drug candidates that get discarded because the people who are developing them don’t see the potential for a high-value market,” one exec says. Adds a company adviser: “If we prove that the concept is sustainable and scalable, it will be a big success, not just for us but also for the patients.”