Drugmakers pledge to donate 14 billion treatments for tropical disease


"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.