Why We Need Open Source Pharma
Advancement in technology makes everything reachable and affordable for a common man, except healthcare. Medical bills are going high which often disrupts financial balancing of a middle income family. Then what happens for those people living in poor living conditions without proper food, clothes, shelter and sanitation getting affected by infectious diseases such as malaria , HIV/AIDS co-infected by TB and other deadly diseases which needs medication for several months? In fact, they are more prone to get affected because of unhealthy surroundings, malnutrition and the death toll rises to multiple folds among them. The majority of the population in under developed countries belongs to the above said class. A couple of million people die every year in these countries due to chronic infectious diseases without proper medication which includes children under 15 years of age as per WHO reports. While looking at a drug in a chemistry perspective, it's a chemical compound which is actually very cheap to synthesize comparing to the price we pay for it as a drug. Pharma companies are keeping the patents of drugs and the process of its development behind their closed doors as their monopoly and were reluctant to invest upon 'poor man's ' diseases. The current drugs are becoming less effective due to the emergence of drug resistance. The internet became accessible to a larger population after open source Linux based Android smartphones were developed. Likewise, a similar system need to be developed in all the stages healthcare scenario, from early stages of drug discovery until it reaches the needy people to make it affordable especially for tropical infectious diseases. Moreover, the license/ patent based current pharmaceutical industry may force to slash dawn their prices with the growth of open source based drug research. Hopefully, Open Source Pharma once materialized by channelizing the expertise from different disciplines by crowd sourcing mode will meet this goal.