The Gates Foundation in India: A Primer

Published on Aspects of India’s Economy/Vol 57, by Sandhya Srinivasan, May 2014.

… What are BMGF’s objectives?

Key elements of the BMGF strategy(5) – as described on the Foundation website – are as follows:    

  • (i) using partnerships to leverage public and private resources to influence policy;
  • (ii) using State projects as ‘incubators of innovation’; and
  • (iii) underscoring the role of technology.

The BMGF strategy (as described on a website page that has since been changed but is available as an archived(6) page says:

  • “The foundation does not invest in delivering health or education services. Instead, we identify ways to leverage systms and innovate so these services achieve better outcomes for people.
  • All strategies leverage our partnerships to achieve impact…
  • All strategies underscore the role of technology.” (emphasis added).

In other words, BMGF’s objective is to influence Government policy. The foundation’s memorandum of understanding with the Bihar government (Bihar and Uttar Pradesh are the two states where the foundation’s work is concentrated, according to the foundation website) elaborates on this strategy: to use the foundation’s resources to “leverage public and private resources” for its objectives, and use “the state as an incubator of innovation” to influence national-level programmes and policy.

What are Product Development Partnerships (PDPs), and how does BMGF employ them to pursue its objectives?

  • The Gates Foundation has played a key role in promoting ‘Product Development Partnerships’ (PDP), a form of public-private partnership. PDPs bring industry and government together through what is described as a non-profit venture to develop technologies for health.
  • According to the website of the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative(7) (a Gates grantee), the PDP is meant to “accelerate product development”, working in collaboration with “academia, large pharmaceutical companies, the biotechnology industry and governments in developing countries”. The products are vaccines, drugs, diagnostics, pesticides etc. For example, the PDP Innovative Vector Control Consortium (also a Gates grantee) is a “not for profit company and registered charity to overcome the barriers to innovation in the development of new insecticides for public health vector control … .”(8)
  • The last job of its chief executive officer was at Bayer CropScience.
  • The PDP’s job includes taking the product through clinical trials and regulatory approval – and getting country governments to introduce it into their programmes. While the proponents of PDPs justify them on the ground that they focus on disease areas without viable commercial markets, in fact an examination of PDPs indicates that one of its jobs is to identify the market. A study by the Boston Consulting Group(9) commissioned by PATH’s Malaria Vaccine Initiative (with funding from USAID and BMGF) looks at the public and private markets for a malaria vaccine at various prices, what donors would fund, the US military as a market, and so on.PDPs are essentially ways for industry to influence the decision-making process and get entry into the large and relatively untapped markets of public health programmes in developing countries. A presentation(10) by representatives of the Global Alliance for TB Drug Development and PATH’s Malaria Vaccine Initiative describes what it calls “country decision making”. Globally, PDPs work with multilateral agencies. Locally, “PDPs, WHO, pharma and other actors can assist in the generation of a public health case for and against adoption.” They may also need to assist in the “definition of disease burden; establishment of new decision-making bodies; support for local advocacy; and Phase IV studies.”
  • Not only does the product have to be developed and brought to market; the demand for this vaccine or drug needs to be created; organisations – including advocacy groups and the media – need to lobby for its inclusion in the country’s programmes. Phase IV studies, sometimes described as demonstration projects are conducted to establish the product can be introduced into a government programme. The PDP
  • is also advised to assist in the establishment of “new decision-making bodies”. It is not clear what these new decision-making bodies could be, who they would represent, and how they would be established.

What role do contract research organisations (CROs) play in BMGF’s activities? … //

… (full text, addendum, notes).


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Article in Vol 57: The Real Agenda of the Gates Foundation, by Jacob Levich, May 2014:

Why is Snowden in Russia? Ask the State Department, he says, on Russia Today RT, May 29, 2014;

on Twitter: NBCnews InsideSnowden;

Snowden’s Lawyer: Mutually Agreed Solution with US Would Be Most Sensible, on Spiegel Online International, Interview Conducted by Hubert Gude and Jörg Schindler, May 28, 2014: Is it still possible that whistleblower Edward Snowden will testify in Berlin? His German attorney Wolfgang Kaleck, 53, says it is. In an interview with SPIEGEL, he also discusses negotiations over Snowden’s possible return to the US … (Translated from the German by Daryl Lindsey);

Obama’s Foreign Policy: A US Military-Intelligence Agenda Which Seeks to Destabilize the Planet, on Global, by Joachim Hagopian, May 28, 2014;

Doku mit Dr. Rath: Das Chemie-Pharma-Öl-Kartell, 43.16 min, von Freiheit durch Wissen am 9. Mai 2014 hochgeladen … über die Machenschaften vor und während des 2. Weltkriegs. Die vereinigten Chemieunternehmen unter dem Namen von IG-Farben waren es, die über die Deutsche Bank Hitler an die Macht brachten und auch unterstützten … (und 79 andere Videos in autoplay).

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