In light of the failed global response to the scourge of Ebola, I agree with the Dec. 26 editorial “Ebola’s lessons” regarding the need for global readiness in tackling future outbreaks.

However, despite the best of efforts by international health organizations and other bodies, the key to the cure through sustained research and development lies with the private biomedical industry. The return on investment and shareholder value is the financial objective and the driving force of these pharmaceutical conglomerates. Unless incentives such as tax breaks for their meticulous research and development, which would entail billions of dollars, are offered, I am afraid we may see the same tepid response in developing vaccines that we saw before the Ebola crisis in fighting the next outbreak.

Atul M. Karnik, Woodside, N.Y.