603Joined Dec 2021


Potential new cause area: Obesity

Hey Gavin, good question. My intuition is that:

  1.  The medications, at least while they are patented, are likely to be quite expensive and therefore unlikely to be super cost-effective.  I have some links in the article that go into estimating cost-effectiveness of GLP-1 agonists, and it doesn't look too exciting. That being said, if there was a way to make them cheaper by 2-3 orders of magnitude (not sure how feasible), maybe this picture changes.
  2. In addition,  I would worry that access to them (as with all medicines) does reduce how scalable an itervention it is.  
  3. Yeah,  I think that this is probably an area of pharma where the market has sufficient incentives and is vast, and don't think there is that much scope for and/or benefit of a new organisation, profit or non profit :)
Being a donor for Fecal Microbiota Transplants (FMT): Do good & earn easy money (up to 180k/y)

Great post!

I think I would separate out two parts of this post

  • FMT and being an FMT donor as an effective way to do good
  • Being an FMT donor as a means of earning money, hopefully to give

On the first, I would be a lot more hesitant about some of the claims that are being made. The evidence for FMT is young, and relatively weak. I think it is far from being a potential treatment of a broad range of chronic diseases; FMT is currently approved for recurrent C. difficile infection in the UK. Things we do not know:

  • Is it helpful for other chronic diseases? If so, how much and is it cost-effective?
  • Can it be safely administered at home? You make the claim that donation and use of FMT can happen outside of the hospital setting; this is currently not recommended.
  •  Do we need super donors? There is a growing literature around the effectivneess of autologous FMT (use of your own stool for transplantation) may be as effective as a donation from someone else (one paper I am aware of, but I am sure there are many more). I would be hesitant in putting too much stock in one apprpoach early on in the R&D of this area.

On the second, I don't have strong opinions. I think it is worth more explicitly flagging that a super donor is quite a rare statistical occurrence, and that the activation energy and cost to be accepted and donate stool for the first time might not make net positive from a cost-effectiveness perspective ( I have not modelled this, but I wouldnt be surprised if this was the case

[Link] New Lancet study: Impact of the first year of COVID-19 vaccinations

Yeah it is a little bit of a counter-inuitive presentation. 

Basically of vaccines low income countries did receive in 2021, they  averted 180 300 (171 400–188 900) deaths. 

If LIC had achieved the WHO target of 40% vaccination rate, they would have averted an additional 200 000 (187 900–211 900) deaths

200 000/ 180 300 = 111%

Seven (more) learnings from LEEP

Great work. I think point 4 is really interesting:

4. Progress on the policy side is driving progress on the industry side and vice versa

I think this is perhaps applicable to other cause areas where a combination of industry and policy action might be helpful (e.g. corporate campaigns on cage-free chickens and policy change on the same, e.g. incentivising pandemic prevention investment). 

  1. How  easy/hard was it for you to understand the incentives of different stakeholders and map their relationships?
  2. Do you have any advice for others on how to approach this?
Misercordia Launch!!!

These are really nicely designed- well done! Look forward to them being available in the UK

New cause area: Violence against women and girls

Hi Yonatan, 

That is really interesting;  I think policy advocacy to change laws that prevent or reduce VAWG is a promising avenue, so thank you for sharing your experience from Israel.

On your second point, yeah I would probably agree that it likely affects more women and girls; completely my intuition and from my personal experience as a doctor, but I would also be unsurprised if it was higher. More research would help with this! 

New cause area: Violence against women and girls

Hi Deborah, I completely agree. I think that in particular, the economic and social costs of VAWG extend beyond the victim, and likely have quite significant broader and society level effects.

 I think you are right that it is difficult to assess in dollar terms- I have not been able to find anything that explores this in a robust or quantitative way, but I think some of the links that Julia and others pointed to are good starts. 

Thank you for your comment and taking the time to read this.

New cause area: Violence against women and girls

I think that comparisons about which is a greater scale and which is more neglected is unlikely to be solved in this thread. 

I focused on violence against women and girls because the root causes, types of violence and interventions for violence against women and violence against men were sufficiently different that it did not make sense to consider them together. 

However, I would certainly be interested in seeing a report on violence against men; I have relatively little knowledge on the field, so don't feel qualified to make claims about whether it might be a promising cause area.

New cause area: Violence against women and girls

Hey Julia really great point. And that World Bank resource that you point to is an excellent read. Thank you :)

New cause area: Violence against women and girls

Hey Darren, great point! Fear of violence and the broader affects of that was not something that I had considered, but seems like it is a significant  issue that is worth investigation. 

In terms of the context within which violence happens (or its source), from my understanding, most of it is within the domestic environment, with the vast majority being by someone who is known to the victim.

Broadly, I think that  root cause analysis would be a really interesting step in 'unlocking' new and potentially promising investigations in this space. WIth more time, I would love to do this

If you have any more resources on the same, please send them across

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