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Global Health R&D

For generations, the United States has been a champion of global health R&D, driving innovation against neglected diseases like polio, meningitis, HIV/AIDS, and malaria. However, the current fight against COVID-19 demonstrates the need for even stronger commitment to global health R&D to develop effective treatments for disease. By cultivating public-private research partnerships and fostering international collaboration, global health R&D investment is instrumental to protecting American health and the global economy while bringing us closer to a world free of disease.

For more information on why the U.S. should invest in global health R&D, check out our Top 10 Reasons to Invest in Global Health R&D and our Investment in Global Health pages. Our blog posts also provide information on current global health issues.

Bridging the Gap in Global Health Equity

Global health threats new and old continue to afflict populations around the world, draining economies of resources, and a productive workforce. This is especially observed in low- and middle-income countries where diseases like malaria and tuberculosis continue to spread. These neglected diseases, among others like HIV/AIDS and Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs), make up 12.5% of the global disease burden, but still, receive less than 1% of global health R&D investment.

Americans Support Global Health Research

How important do you think it is that the U.S. is a global leader in research to improve health?

Response Percent
Very Important 58
Somewhat Important 32
Not too Important 4
Not at all Important 2
Not Sure 4

Source: A Research!America poll of U.S. adults conducted in partnership with Zogby Analytics in January 2020.

The Threat of Emerging Infectious Diseases

The increasing frequency and severity of infectious diseases like COVID-19, Ebola, and Zika pose additional health and economic risks. COVID-19’s rapid spread—having infected over 50 million people worldwide in the span of a few months—shows that disease does not respect borders, meaning diseases facing other countries can quickly threaten U.S. public health.

Given the number of Americans who travel overseas for work, global disease outbreaks also threaten the U.S. workforce and economy even if an outbreak does not begin on American soil. These emerging infections will be a “perpetual challenge,” as National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) Director Dr. Anthony Fauci described them. Though the U.S. remains the leader in funding of emerging infectious disease R&D—contributing over $600 million in 2018—sustained investment is pivotal to address current and future health threats.

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Mary Woolley's Weekly Letter

Leading the Conversation

“Science is a human enterprise. It matters who asks the questions. It matters who interprets the results. It matters who tells the stories.” This powerful statement opens a comment article […]

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Mary Woolley's Weekly Letter

America Needs Cures, Not Cuts

Women’s Health: The National Academy of Medicine’s (NAM) annual meeting this week featured women’s health topics, “From Cells to Society.” President Biden’s nominee for NIH Director, Monica Bertagnolli, MD (whose […]

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Mary Woolley's Weekly Letter

What Would Lincoln Do?

Differ We Must: I often quote Abraham Lincoln, “Public sentiment is everything. With public sentiment, nothing can fail; without it nothing can succeed.”  In his new book on Lincoln, “Differ […]

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Mary Woolley's Weekly Letter

Devil in the Details

Dear Research Advocate, First, some positive news: The 2023 Edelman Trust Barometer, an annual global survey released this week, finds scientists to be trusted by 76% of respondents — slightly […]

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Mary Woolley's Weekly Letter

It’s A Wrap

Dear Research Advocate, Each U.S. consumer is projected to spend a whopping $883 dollars on average on gifts and holiday items this season. That’s more than four times the $215 […]

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A Time to Say Thank You

Dear Research Advocate, More than 8 in 10 Americans say they know someone or have themselves experienced at least one brain disorder or mental health condition, according to a national […]

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Vote! And Keep Engaging

Election day is less than a week away (please be sure to vote!). To better understand what the election means for federally-funded R&D, register to join us for our Post-Election […]

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Events

Research!America Alliance Discussion with Dylan George, PhD, Director of Operations for the Center for Forecasting and Outbreak Analytics (CFA), CDC

Join us for an alliance discussion featuring Dr. Dylan George, Director of Operations for the Center for Forecasting and Outbreak Analytics (CFA) at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and […]

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Mary Woolley's Weekly Letter

10 Minutes to Impact

Dear Research Advocate, Members of Congress are back in their home states for August recess, with most focused on the midterm elections. Their Congressional staff members, meanwhile, continue to work […]

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Resources

Acting Now to Save Lives and Dollars; The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Pandemic Preparedness Research Plan (i)

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the need for readily available medical countermeasure platforms to expedite the development of vaccines and therapeutics against emerging infectious diseases (EIDs). Previous responses to […]

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