The promise and challenges of nanovaccines and the question of global equity

Stammers, Trevor and Hunt, Geoffrey and Erden, Yasemin J. (2013) The promise and challenges of nanovaccines and the question of global equity. Nanotechnology Perceptions, 9 (1). pp. 16-27. ISSN 1660–6795

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Abstract

Among the many potential benefits arising from the rapidly advancing field of nanomedicine is the possibility of a whole new range of nanovaccines in which novel delivery mechanisms utilizing nanoparticles could make obsolete the use of needles for administering any vaccine. However, as the massive resources of the worldwide pharmaceutical industry are deployed to develop nanovaccines, urgent questions arise as to which diseases should be targeted and which populations will benefit most. This paper explores how such targeting of nanovaccines might be decided in an ethically optimal way and considers some of the practical considerations and potential problems of implementing such a global nanovaccine policy. There seems little doubt that nanomedical research could develop vaccines against most major global infectious diseases. Throughout the history of medicine, however, it is well recognized that insufficient attention and resources have been given to public health and preventive medicine and the environmental causes of ill-health remain underresearched. We urge that national governments and regional authorities of wealthier countries incentivize their powerful pharmaceutical corporations to develop nanovaccines within a global and long term perspective and not just to focus on the diseases of the developed world.

Item Type: Journal Article
Subjects: 100 Philosophy & psychology > 174 Occupational ethics
600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health
School/Department: School of Arts and Humanities
Depositing User: Jonathan Lucas
Date Deposited: 29 Jul 2013 08:53
Last Modified: 25 Sep 2013 12:30
URI: http://research.stmarys.ac.uk/id/eprint/520

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