Private companies have limited incentive to develop products that address poverty-related diseases such as malaria, HIV, and tuberculosis because the chances of technical failure during development are high and the potential for profit may be minimal. But over the past two decades, a critical tool has emerged to help address this gap: the product development partnership(PDP), which brings together public, private, academic, and philanthropic expertise and funding to develop and deliver global health products that would otherwise have little or no chance of coming to market. Many of these PDPs take a portfolio-based approach, spreading investments among multiple companies to increase the probability that at least one viable product will emerge to meet the need. This paper examines one successful PDP effort, PATH’s G6PD Diagnostic Initiative, to highlight key factors that can lead to challenges and contribute to success. Although each PDP is unique, and PDPs can vary greatly in scale, scope, and the number and configuration of partners, many of the lessons from this initiative are broadly applicable to other global health efforts and may be helpful to funders, product developers, policymakers, and researchers as they consider engaging in PDPs.
Publication date: January 2022