There are numerous infectious diseases that slow down development, such as tuberculosis, cholera, RESPIRATORY INFECTIONS, DIARRHEAL DISEASES, and, notably, MALARIA and AIDS. Malaria threatens more than 40% of the world’s population (WHO, 1999) and emerges in contexts of poverty, environmental degradation and weak health protection. Its impact is reflected in the increase in mortality, the deterioration of living conditions and the slowdown in the development of the poor sectors. For its part, AIDS it constitutes an obstacle to socio-economic development not only because of the health cost involved but also because it especially attacks the most active age group (20-45 years), as well as the poorest regions, deteriorating their capacity for growth.
The availability and use of medications are linked to development. Although the pharmaceutical industry plays a key role in its development and commercialization at affordable prices, when guided by the profit motive, they do not usually see the creation of medicines to tackle diseases prevalent only in poor countries, such as malaria, as a priority. Socioeconomic development also influences the misuse of medicines, since in places where the education of the population and medical control has low levels; there may be a use of expired or banned drugs in rich countries.