Britain's Royal Society on Monday (January 31) urged rich nations like the United Kingdom to help poor countries build more robust research and development capacities. Responding to that call, the UK government said it planned a significant increase in research funding for international development in the near future.

Julia Higgins, vice president of the Royal Society, said in a speech that the UK government should earmark investments to help countries in sub-Saharan Africa and elsewhere to build a domestic pharmaceutical industry.

In her speech, delivered at a meeting at the Canadian High Commission, Higgins said the UK government's recent pledge of $1.8 billion over 15 years to the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization was "a truly important initiative."

But what the countries of sub-Saharan Africa really need is their own domestic pharmaceutical industry, which carries out its own research, Higgins said. "So the developed countries need to invest...

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