Top 10 Reasons To Invest in Global Health R&D


  1. Global health R&D saves lives
    • Under 700,000 people living with HIV/AIDS had access to life-saving antiretroviral therapy in 2000. Fortunately, largely due to programs such as the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), that number exceeds 20 million. PEPFAR has also enabled 2.2 million babies of HIV-positive mothers to be born free of HIV.


  1. Global health R&D creates jobs and opportunity for Americans
    • Approximately 89 cents of every dollar the U.S. spends on solving global health challenges stays in the U.S. - funding researchers and stimulating industry investments. From 2007 to 2015 alone, the $14 billion in U.S. government investments in global health innovations helped create nearly 200,000 new American jobs and generate $33 billion in U.S. economic growth.


  1. Global diseases do not recognize national borders
    • The CDC estimates that there are 300,000 cases of Chagas disease, a disease which has historically been concentrated among the poor in Latin America. The increasing number of cases of Chagas disease and the 2015 Zika virus outbreak illustrate the global reach of diseases. Building research capacity now is critical to ensure that we are adequately prepared for new global health threats such as the re-emergence of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2018.


  1. Global health R&D helps the U.S. maintain its competitive edge
    • While the U.S. is still the world leader in global health R&D, emerging nations such as China are rapidly increasing R&D investments. China is becoming a world leader in cell therapies such as chimeric antigen receptor cell therapy, or Car-T, a novel cancer treatment. In 2017, there were 116 Car-T clinical trials in China compared to 96 in the U.S. China is expected to surpass the U.S. in R&D funding by 2020.   


  1. Global health R&D protects our citizens and soldiers abroad
    • U.S. investment in global health R&D helps protect Americans who are serving, working or traveling abroad. As a major global health R&D contributor, the Department of Defense has been instrumental in protecting Americans by developing a variety of global health interventions. One of every four vaccines approved by the FDA in the last century has been developed with the DOD’s support, including those for Japanese encephalitis, meningitis, and malaria.


  1. Global health R&D supports U.S. research universities and student interest in the field
    • U.S. research universities — such as the University of Georgia's NIH-funded lab that is actively researching potential vaccine candidates for Chagas disease — are major recipients of federal funding for global health R&D. At the same time there is increasing student demand to study global health in the U.S. Between 2003-2015, global health undergraduate programs in the U.S. increased number of conferred degrees from 1,430 degrees to more than 10,900 bachelor’s degrees in public health and related disciplines.


  1. Global health R&D intersects with domestic R&D to drive cutting-edge medical discovery
    • The Human Genome Project (HGP) — an international research collaboration started with U.S. government R&D funding — has been critical in understanding the genomes of various global viruses such as SARS or H1N1. Through government investment in the HGP, the U.S. has been able to maintain a cadre of the world's most talented genomics researchers and scientists and remain one of the global leaders in this emerging scientific field.


  1. Global health R&D helps promote economic development and develop export markets
    • According to the World Health Organization, 8.4 million people contract TB every year, many of whom are potential wage-earners, and the direct and indirect loss in annual economic productivity amounts to $12 billion from the global economy. However, with public- and private-sector funding, there are many promising TB drugs, such as Moxifloxacin which is currently being used to fight drug-resistant bacteria. Overcoming TB with these drugs is crucial to fostering economic growth and development in developing countries and would help stabilize these potential export markets.


  1.  Global health R&D is a good investment that saves money
    • Research has led to the polio vaccine and the near-eradication of polio. Since 1988, 2.5 billion children around the world have been vaccinated, and the number of polio cases has decreased by 99.99%. Introduction of the vaccine has already generated an estimated $27 billion in net economic benefits, with only $9 billion invested since 1988 by the Global Polio Eradication Initiative. Completely eradicating the polio virus in the next 30 years could potentially yield a global net benefit up to $45 billion.


  1. A majority of Americans support global health R&D
    • There is widespread support for global health R&D among the American public. A survey commissioned in 2018 by Research!America found that 93% of respondents believe that it is either very or somewhat important that the U.S. remains a global leader in research to improve health.



Top 10 Reasons To Invest in Global Health R&D