Capitalism means that there is much more research into male baldness than there is into diseases such as malaria, which mostly affect poor people, said Bill Gates, speaking at the Royal Academy of Engineering’s Global Grand Challenges Summit.
“Our priorities are tilted by marketplace imperatives,” he said. “The malaria vaccine in humanist terms is the biggest need. But it gets virtually no funding. But if you are working on male baldness or other things you get an order of magnitude more research funding because of the voice in the marketplace than something like malaria.”
As a result, governments and philanthropic organisations have to step in to offset this “flaw in the pure capitalistic approach”. The Gates Foundationfocuses on finding under invested areas of basic science and focusing an innovation agenda on the needs of the poor, specifically looking at education and health.