Gates Foundation Grant for Microbicide Research ‘Fills Void’ Left by Pharmaceutical Companies, Editorial Says
A $60 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to the International Partnership for Microbicides is "helping to fill a void" left by pharmaceutical companies that are unwilling to perform microbicide research because of the products' lack of potential for "hefty profits," a Louisville Courier-Journal editorial says (Louisville Courier-Journal, 4/6). The grant, announced last week, will be used to research the possible use of microbicides to prevent HIV transmission. Microbicides include a range of products such as gels, films, sponges and other products that could help prevent the sexual transmission of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 4/1). While microbicide technology would be "crucial" to all women, the power of such protection would be an "extraordinary blessing" to women in developing nations, where religious and cultural traditions often do not afford women the power to make their own sexual health decisions. The editorial concludes that while many may call Bill Gates a "fierce, and sometimes unfair, business competitor," such critics cannot deny that he and his wife have been "generous benefactors of worthy causes at home and abroad. Unlike some wealthy Americans, they do their economic class proud" (Louisville Courier-Journal, 4/6).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.