:World Health Organization (WHO) assistant director-general for health security Keiji Fukuda gestures on May 14, 2014 in Geneva during a press conference following a closed-door emergency talks on the deadly MERS virus, which has killed 142 people in Saudi Arabia and is sparking rising concern over an increasing number of cases elsewhere.  - 

Pharmaceutical companies have one very obvious reason to avoid developing drugs and vaccines for infectious diseases like malaria and tuberculosis: There’s basically no money in it.

That’s because most people with those conditions are poor and have little means to pay. So what kind of incentive do you need to get drugmakers to take on global health epidemics? The answer may be a new index that ranks companies by who has the most effective drugs.

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Follow Dan Gorenstein at @dmgorenstein