Following is the text of the speech of Shri Vilasrao Deshmukh, Minister for Science and Technology and Earth Sciences on the occasion of Malaria Day. “The entire World observes 25th April as Malaria day every year. One of the best ways to observe the malaria day is to discover and launch new drugs for fighting the disease. We have assembled to launch a drug that will help in our fight against the disease. It is a pleasure that we are able to launch the new drug on the 25th April, the malaria day. Pleasure is even more enhanced because this drug is the outcome of strong collaboration. This has been developed under a viable Public Private Partnership. It is a product delivered from a PPP project under the Drug and Pharmaceutical Research Programme of the Department of Science and Technology. There are three special reasons to celebrate this launch. First of all, I understand that the drug being launched today is the first example of all-out indigenous effort. The drug has passed through all necessary stages of clinical trials. Let me congratulate the discovery team and all the people involved. We are celebrating an outcome of a collaborative effort of a large number of people representing both private and public sectors. Any collaborative effort is always laudable. If such an effort serves a national cause, it is even more special. Therefore, launch of a drug for malaria developed through collaboration is a good cause for special celebration. Second of all, the drug will help our fight against Malaria, a disease which affects poor people even more than others. Malaria parasite does not differentiate between rich and poor people, when it bites. However, larger number of poorer people is affected by the disease than the number of rich. This is on account of several reasons. Malaria is typically grouped among what is termed as “neglected diseases”. In my view there is no such thing as neglected diseases. There may be diseases suffered by “neglected people”. Therefore, there is a responsibility on all of us to ensure that we win the fight against malaria. I am aware that in the drug discovery, investments required for complying with phase 3 clinical trials are large. Therefore, the Government of India thought it appropriate to stimulate the drug discovery process by sharing the costs of phase 3 clinical trials in this case. I congratulate Ranbaxy and their R&D team for accepting the challenge of discovering new drugs for malaria. I congratulate them also commercializing their R&D outcome in record time. Any R&D for drug discovery to serve the 6 billion people of the world with poorer purchasing power is praiseworthy. Through launch of this drug, the sector is communicating to people with limited purchasing power that the Government and the pharmaceutical sector care for them. Therefore, I like to celebrate the underlying intention behind the project namely to serve the millions of people suffering from malaria. Thirdly, one of the purposes behind the present innovation is “affordable Human health care”. Affordability is health care is an important requirement. Through, research and development, many new drugs have been discovered globally. The investments needed for drug discovery in the modern world are large. As a result, the costs of several modern drugs are not always affordable to many. Innovations relating to human health care system should in-build three important considerations. They are availability, accessibility and affordability of the innovation. In this particular case for drug malaria, the three criteria have been duly considered. Affordability criterion has played a paramount importance in formulating the new drug developed for fighting against malaria. The Government has laid a pre-condition that the benefits of public investments into development of the drug should be transferred to the ultimate consumers. Ranbaxy has agreed to offset the price at the time of marketing giving due allowance for public investments into clinical trials. The spirit behind the public investment would be honoured in deed by the company. Therefore, the concern for affordability in the drug discovered and releases today merits special celebration. Ladies and Gentlemen, as the Minister in charge of Science and Technology, I have been concerned with issues relating to investment of science into the development of our people. Scientific achievements are important for our scientists as well as the country. Scientists focus on excellence. When such excellence in science combines relevance to the outcomes of research and development, it becomes even more important. Today, we see an example of combining excellence with relevance. Malaria is a disease which affects large number of vulnerable people among us. Today, we have launched a product which could serve their needs for affordable health care. It is hoped that millions of people would benefit from this new drug over the next few years. Let us think about the impact of such discoveries which help to solve social and human problems. It should give all the scientists involved in this discovery a huge level of satisfaction. Especially when the lives of large number of people could be saved and the human pain could be redressed or reduced, scientists could feel happy. Therefore, on this occasion, let me call upon our scientists to discover new solutions to national problems employing their creativity. Nothing could be more satisfying than serving people. There are other diseases in the world which require and await innovative solutions from research and development. Let this new drug launched today become the forerunner of many more such drugs to come in the years ahead. On this special occasion, let me call for a viable and durable partnership between the public funded research and privately funded development. The powerful tool of Public Private Partnership has not yet been fully exploited for rendering the human health care affordable and accessible in this country. I am aware that Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, Department of Biotechnology and Department of Science and Technology are actively implementing several programmes. We need new schemes to foster PPP for R&D for affordable health care. We would require new models for cooperation among entities in the public and private sectors for making drug discovery deliver values to people”.