Background: Visceral leishmaniasis (VL) is one of the most neglected parasitic diseases causing large scale mortality and morbidity among the poorest of the poor in the Indian subcontinent and Africa.
Objective: This review aims to describe the potential and the (lack of) current impact of newly developed treatments on the control of VL. It describes how the problem of an empty research pipeline is addressed, and discusses the emerging threat of incurable HIV/VL coinfection.
Methods: The literature was searched for drugs used in VL.
Conclusion: Research and development of VL drugs has received a financial boost but no new drugs are expected in the next 5 years. Only three new and highly effective treatments have been licensed in the past 10 years. These remain, however, largely inaccessible as VL control programs in the developing world are lacking. This is deserving of immediate and urgent attention, especially in the context of the rapidly expanding HIV/VL coinfection.