The need for drugs for neglected diseases and also for drug R&D is high in India.
India tops the number of cases for 11 different neglected tropical diseases such as lymphatic filariasis, visceral leishmaniasis, trachoma, tapeworm, roundworm, hookworm, whipworm, dengue and leprosy.
WHO data shows that 58% of the newly diagnosed leprosy cases in the world in 2018 were in India. This despite the fact that India officially eliminated leprosy in 2005, reducing its prevalence rate to 0.72 per 10,000 people at the national level.
In 2017, there were around 2.8 million new cases of TB, which brought down the global decline of TB. One-third of all TB deaths worldwide happen in India.
Funding: According to the G-Finder report, TB research gets the largest of all Indian government funding, with Rs 147 crore (30%). Malaria is a close second with Rs 115 crore (23%), while leprosy gets Rs 39 crore, dengue Rs 35 crore and HIV/ AIDS Rs 14 crore.
The high-disease-burden NTDs in India are not evenly distributed, but instead focused in areas of urban and rural poverty – likely to be greater among women.