Drugmakers pledge to donate 14 billion treatments for tropical disease


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"Today, we have joined together to increase the impact of our investments and build on the tremendous progress made to date," Bill Gates said in a statement. "This innovative approach must serve as a model for solving other global development challenges and will help millions of people build self-sufficiency and overcome the need for aid."

The group pledged to: 

• Sustain or expand existing drug donation programs to meet demand through 2020; 

• Share expertise and compounds to accelerate research and development of new drugs; and

• Provide more than $785 million to support R&D efforts and strengthen drug distribution and implementation programs.

The announcement follows a 2010 World Health Organization report that called for new resources to overcome neglected tropical diseases. The WHO this week unveiled a new strategy setting targets for what can be achieved by the end of the decade.