Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 2016

Publication Citation

23 Indiana Journal of Global Legal Studies 865 (2016)


The recent Ebola outbreak in West Africa has captured the public imagination as few other epidemics have, as its rapid spread and lethal effect demonstrated the devastating toll that infectious diseases can exact from a world unprepared to confront them. In light of the epidemic's tragic consequences, numerous experts have called for reform of the system of global health governance whose shortfalls allowed the epidemic to assume the horrifying dimensions it did. Among the many inadequacies that the outbreak uncovered is the insufficient amount of research into and development of treatments and vaccines for infectious diseases of poverty, among them the so-called "neglected tropical diseases." This lack of vital research and development long predated the present Ebola outbreak, and, given how widespread calls of reform have been since the epidemic, it bears assessing whether the crisis will provide the impetus necessary for meaningful change to the calcified research and development framework that has long ignored Ebola and like ailments. Due to a variety of factors that this Note seeks to explain, however, this will likely not be the case.