Health Product Profile Directory

for smarter, more efficient R&D to tackle global health priorities


What is the Health Product Profile Directory?

The Health Product Profile Directory is a free-to-use online resource created and developed by TDR on behalf of WHO as a global public good to improve the efficiency of efforts to develop new products for neglected diseases and populations as well as threats to global health. It provides a searchable database of the 8-10 key characteristics used to describe desired health products, including medicines, vaccines, diagnostics and medical equipment. Links are provided to access the full Product Profile document where this is publicly available. The Directory was launched in May 2019 and will be continuously updated. Users should read the FAQ and user instructions document for full background information.

The Directory does NOT aim to cover all health products. Instead it describes health product profiles for which there is no market or limited incentive for research and development. These include profiles for products to combat: the poverty-related neglected diseases, diseases identified as having the potential to cause pandemics (e.g. Ebola), anti-microbial resistance, and health issues in low- and middle-income countries.

The Directory also includes profiles for products prioritized for global action by WHO and are clearly marked as authored by WHO. The Directory also lists those product profiles authored by Product Development Partnerships, commercial companies and other organizations that share the same inclusion criteria listed above. These are labelled non-WHO profiles.

Why was the Product Profile Directory created?

The Ebola outbreak of 2014-15 and other recent pandemics have highlighted the urgent need for centralized information at global level to guide and improve coordination of efforts to develop new health products for neglected diseases and populations. The initial concept for this resource is contained in the TDR report - Health Product Research and Development Fund: a Proposal for Financing and Operation (2016). Specifically, the Directory:

  • Provides a repository for existing health product profiles.
  • Introduces harmonization and standardization in the description of health product profiles.
  • Enables a high-level landscape analysis of R&D activity related to these product profiles.
  • Emphasizes access, equity and affordability as integral parts of the innovation process that need to be considered at all stages, not just after a product is developed.

What can I search for?

The Directory allows a user to search by disease, product type, date of creation, author (who produced the profile) and status (whether the profile is still active or has been archived as a historical record.) The Directory provides a url or contact email to enable the user to access, where available, the full document with more detailed information on the profile. The user can compare up to three product profiles directly on screen or download their search results directly into a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet for further analysis. The WHO Global Health R&D Observatory also provides graphics showing an analysis of the data in the Health Product Directory.

How do I submit a new profile?

Any organization that meets the inclusion criteria can submit a summary of their product profile via the online form. Please note this must include a url linking to the publicly accessible full document of the product profile or a contact email where requests for further information can be sent. Where a collaboration has generated a product profile a lead author of the profile must be selected.