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Unlike neglected tropical diseases, NCDs threaten low-, middle-, and high-income countries and consequently there are large markets and powerful incentives for research and development into drugs, vaccines, and diagnostics for common NCDs. However, these technologies may not always be appropriate in developing countries. For example, insulin, which is commonly used to treat diabetes, requires refrigeration, which has limited availability amongst households in resource-poor settings.

We developed this survey as a precursor to a larger study that will landscape research and development (R&D) needs for NCDs in developing countries. The aim of the overall work is to determine whether the development of new drugs, vaccines, and diagnostics for the special needs of developing countries could have a substantial impact in reducing the burden of NCDs in low- and middle-income countries. Your input is greatly valued!

1. What are the major gaps in research and development for NCDs in developing countries, if any? In addition to general R&D, please comment specifically on new product R&D gaps (e.g., new diagnostics, drugs, technologies).

2. Are there any specific drugs, vaccines, or diagnostics for NCDs commonly used in developed countries that are not appropriate for or ineffective in developing countries?

3. Are there any major challenges or barriers to NCD control and prevention in developing countries that might benefit from new drugs, vaccines, or diagnostics (e.g., polypill, low-cost point-of-care diagnostics)?

4. How important is new product R&D to the control and prevention of NCDs relative to increased funding, greater community awareness, policy change, health systems strengthening, and improved access to medicines? Should new product R&D for NCDs be a priority? Why or why not?

5. In addition to your comments above, please rate perceived importance of new product R&D on a 1-5 scale.

  Not at all important Somewhat unimportant Neutral Somewhat important Important

6. Are you aware of any specific publications or reports currently available that address R&D gaps for NCDs or for a specific NCD (e.g., cardiovascular disease, diabetes, mental health). We would also appreciate references to any organizations or individuals that are researching or are otherwise interested in this issue.

7. Please provide your contact information including degree and title. Indicate if you would be interested in participating in a follow-up phone interview to further explore your suggestions.

Thank again for your help. We plan to circulate the results of this survey and the larger study when they are available.

Shantanu Nundy, M.D.
YP-Chronic, Member