Main Site | Join Robin Hood Coop | Projects | Events | Blog | Media | Forums | Mailing List | Twitter | Facebook

Nonprofit organization that manufactures generic drugs for third world

Third world needs cheap medicines. There are generic drug manufacturers in third world, but they are not nonprofit. So large nonprofit organization that makes generic drugs for third world and distributes them is needed. Portfolio can be thousands of generic drugs. When manufacturing is nonprofit medicines are cheap, and when pharmaceutical factories are in cheap countries, like Nigeria, India or China, nonprofit medicines are really cheap. This NPO needs its own pharmaceutical factories, because if outside factories are used, they take their own profit for medicine manufacturing. If portfolio is large, thousands of generic drugs, perhaps billion dollar - class investment is needed. But there are rich donors for nonprofit organizations, like Bill and Melinda Gates foundation and others. Not only generic drugs, also food supplements, and vitamins and minerals, and aid devices for handicapped people can be manufactured, and health education material (youtube videos and books and brochures) etc. If manufacturing capacity has surplus those really cheap generic drugs can be sold in western countries too, and nonprofit that makes those generic drugs for third world can earn money that way too and invest that money in the third world.
“Developing drugs for developing countries” 2006, OneWorld Health (Victoria Hale), works only for USA, “Access to medicine in developing countries” (Raniah Alsairi).
If this NPO that makes generic drugs for third world has extra capital left, it can design and produce new medicines, not only produce those whose patents are expired, and then patent and sell those new medicines, or let them go free to public domain so third world countries can benefit them.

If you google “developing countries nonprofit generic drugs” you will find that there really are few NPOs that make generic drugs for third world market. Most generic drug NPOs are for rich western countries. One exception is OneWorld Health that actually is not for USA only, but global NPO and now part of “PATH” organization.
Instead of generic medicines those NPOs work on vaccines mainly, not prescription drugs for third world. There are almost endless amount of medicines whose patents expired 2001 or earlier, so generic drug production of NPOs for third world market should be enormous now. But it is not. So big NPO that produces and distributes generic drugs for third world is needed, and production should be large scale, thousands of different generic drugs. Price of medicine covers manufacturing and distribution costs, but because NPO produces those medicines, price has no profit like usual medicines, so price is really cheap.
Medicine production can take place in some countries where labor is cheap, in India, Brazil, Nigeria, China etc. and pharmaceutical factories are either bought and then expanded in those countries or build from ground up. When producing factory is owned by NPO price of medicine is really cheap.
Instead of small scale production that NPOs that make medicines for third world usually do, this should be billion dollar (nonprofit) business with mass production of thousands of different medicines.
“Access to affordable essential medicines 1”, “The high cost of prescription drugs: causes and solutions” S. Vincent Rajkumar, “WTO should institute case-by-case patent waivers for generic drugs in developing countries”, “rebootrx org”, needymeds generic drug list.

There are organizations like Doctors Without Borders that give medical help to people in third word countries. But what good of that help is when those patients have no money for prescription medicines? So although they are diagnosed by doctor, they have no money to buy medicines.
There are health aid organizations, but they are mainly concentrated to provide vaccines for third world. But what about prescription medicines? There are nonprofit generic drug producers, but those are mainly for rich western countries. Then there are lots of generic drug producers in cheap countries like China, India etc., but those are for-profit generic drug producers. So where people of third world get cheap generic drugs? Really, really cheap generic drugs, so that even poorest of people have money to buy at least some vital generic medicines.
The way to make this possible is nonprofit generic drug producing organization for third world. It buys pharmaceutical factories from countries like China, India, Brazil, Nigeria etc, or builds them in those countries and other cheap workforce countries, and begin producing cheap generic drugs, hundreds or over thousand different prescription drugs, producing them in mass scale manufacturing for billions of people. Perhaps billion-dollar class investment is needed, but when this thing gets going it can provide to billions of people cheap medicines, and because production and distribution is nonprofit, price is cheaper than generic drugs made by for-profit medicine manufacturer. When price of medicine covers production and distribution costs but makes no profit, only early investment is needed to make pharmaceutical factories, then this thing can continue for dozens of years or centuries and people in third world would get really cheap (generic) medicines.
Billions and billions are spend each year for development aid in third world countries, but this simple way to offer cheap medicines to third world people can save hundreds of millions of people when timescale is dozens or hundred years or more, and actually money needed for investment to achieve this is very small compared to other nonprofit investment projects in third world countries, comparing how much lives it can save.
Also food supplements, vitamins, aid devices for handicapped people etc. can be made.
And if production capacity is big enough, those generic medicines can be produced for western countries also, and if this nonprofit organization has nonprofit price only for medicines that are sold in third world countries, this organization can add little profit margin to generic medicines sold to western countries, and because organization is nonprofit, this profit that is generated by selling generic medicines in western countries can be used in investments in third world countries, so when patient in western countries buys generic medicine that is sold by this organization, that western patient also gives money to third world development aid at same time he/she buys this generic medicine, because that development aid is included in the price of this medicine.
Also if this nonprofit organization also handles distribution of medicines, that means that in third world countries in big cities at least, is pharmacy/drugstore operated by this nonprofit organization (or some other nonprofit organization). Perhaps WHO or some other can open pharmacy/drugstores in poor third world countries, at least in big cities? Then people of those countries would get medicines cheaply, when pharmacy does not take profit for selling medicines. This nonprofit pharmacy/drugstore can sell not only nonprofit generic drugs, but all kind of medicines, like normal pharmacy/drugstore does, at cheap price if operation is nonprofit basis, pharmacy/drugstore takes money (in medicine prices) only to cover pharmacy/drugstore operating costs, not profit, so then making (generic) medicines and distribution them to patients all work on nonprofit basis, and medicines are then really cheap. WHO or some other big health organization should own those pharmacy/drugstores in developing countries, and at least in big cities can be at least one such nonprofit drugstore/pharmacy.