We here at Prescription Access Litigation focus on pharmaceutical issues in the United States – how much drugs cost, how they’re marketed, etc. And as many problems as there are here in the U.S. with people getting access to medicines for life-threatening conditions, those problems increase exponentially in developing countries. In fact, the pharmaceutical industry’s misplaced priorities mean that we have at least five different hardly-distinguishable prescription drugs for heartburn but almost no new treatments for the diseases that affect billions but that aren’t “profitable” – malaria, tuberculosis, and countless other diseases of which we in the U.S. have the luxury of ignorance.

Sonia Shah, the author of the excellent expose, The Body Hunters: Testing New Drugs on the World’s Poorest Patients, has started a new website, ResurgentMalaria.com.

As she describes it, ResurgentMalaria.com is ” the first-ever website devoted to independent commentary and news about malaria, a wily scourge that has stalked humankind since we evolved from apes. Created in conjunction with my new book on malaria (forthcoming from Farrar, Straus & Giroux in 2009), ResurgentMalaria.com features the latest news without the spin, provocative commentary, in-depth histories, and a lively discussion on what it all means.”

A recent entry here on this blog quoted Bill Gates (whose Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has made malaria eradication one of its top priorities), who said “Malaria kills 1 million people a year; baldness hasn’t killed anyone yet. Less than 10 percent of the money spent on curing baldness is spent on fighting malaria.”

(from Chicago Tribune, Microsoft’s Gates says computers not cure-all, February 25, 2008)