Developing ANDI: A Novel Approach to Health Product R&D in Africa
July 6, 2010 Editor 0
A novel approach to supporting health product research and development (R&D) and access in Africa is urgently needed. Successful implementation of such an endeavor requires sustainable capacity, infrastructure, funding, leadership, and an understanding of the status of health R&D in the African continent.
As part of the development of the African Network for Drugs and Diagnostics Innovation (ANDI), we analyzed biomedical research output and collaborative research undertaken across the continent by evaluating peer-reviewed articles published between 2004 and 2008, as well as other innovation indicators, such as R&D investments and manufacturing capacity.
Significant health R&D capacity exists in different parts of Africa, but this capacity is fragmented, uncoordinated, and not properly utilized to address African health problems. Most biomedical collaborations of African institutions are with institutions in Europe and the United States rather than with other African institutions. This lack of intracontinental collaboration, combined with low levels of investment, contributes to gaps in the continental research agenda, a lack of local ownership of research undertaken on the continent, and suboptimal utilization of available research capability.
We discuss the establishment of ANDI as a new approach to address these challenges, through the creation, coordination, and funding of African health R&D networks focused on the discovery, development, and delivery of tools to address Africa’s unique health needs.
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