With all eyes focused on federal deficit reduction, global health programs—including research and development for vaccines, drugs and diagnostics—are in danger. A new report, Saving lives and creating impact: why investing in global health research works, examines U.S. government funding of global health research and development (R&D) over the past decade and the results that this investment has yielded, both in the U.S. and abroad. The report is a joint effort of the Global Health Technologies Coalition (GHTC) and Policy Cures.
The U.S. government, the largest funder of global health R&D in the world, has invested $12.7 billion over the past ten years in the development of innovative health technologies, including vaccines, drugs and diagnostics, for the developing world, according to the report. This investment has generated the largest R&D pipeline ever for new global health products. With 365 health technologies currently in the R&D pipeline, it’s critical that the U.S. maintains that investment so that life-saving products reach the people who need them most. Plus, U.S. investment in global health is coming right back to the U.S. in the form of job creation and economic growth – around 64 cents of every dollar spent by the U.S. on global health R&D goes directly to U.S. researchers.
The evidence gathered here clearly shows that the U.S. investment in global health R&D has reaped benefits around the world, including here at home. The report does suggest, however, three ways that the U.S. government can generate an even greater return on investment in global health R&D:
- Maintaining funding for global health R&D and increasing it where possible;
- Focusing on translational research, especially clinical development; and
- Increasing funding to partnering mechanisms, like product development partnerships, which are focused on the translation of global health research.
Five U.S. government agencies are involved in global health R&D: the National Institutes of Health, U.S. Agency for International Development, Department of Defense, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Food and Drug Administration. A key finding of the report shows that these agencies are working together with nonprofit, academic, private and philanthropic sector partners to support the development of 200 of the 365 products in the global health R&D pipeline, which could be the next generation of life-saving health technologies.
To read a full version of the report, Saving lives and creating impact: why investing in global health research works, please click here.
GHTC and Research!America are cosponsoring an event to accompany the launch of the report today, April 27, at the Kaiser Family Foundation from 12:00pm-1:30pm. For more information, please visit http://www.researchamerica.org/event_detail/id:139. RSVP required.