Public Release: 

New report prescribes US action to maintain global health leadership, heed lessons of Ebola and Zika

Declining US R&D funding threatening to destabilize arc of progress against decades-old and emerging disease threats

The Global Health Technologies Coalition

At the start of 2016, it seemed like the worst Ebola outbreak in history, and the ensuing panic, were finally in the rear-view mirror. Little did we know that a virus called Zika was looming just over the horizon, ready to strike the world's most vulnerable--a reminder to us all that while we can and should celebrate our progress, we can never become complacent. Indeed both epidemics are stark warnings about the loss of lives, devastating economic impact, and tens of billions of dollars in emergency investments needed when the world does not have the health technologies in-hand to prevent or mitigate major global health threats. Sustained funding for global health research and development (R&D) can help to prevent epidemics in the first place--exponentially reducing these losses.

In the Sustainable Development Goals, the world has endorsed a bold vision for the global health gains to be achieved by 2030, but, as a new report warns, by failing to provide sufficient and stable US investment in global health R&D today, we are undermining our ability to respond to future health crises and putting us off course to achieve these next milestones in global health.

The report comes from the Global Health Technologies Coalition (GHTC), an influential alliance of more than 25 organizations advancing the development of tools and technologies to address existing global health challenges like HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis, neglected tropical diseases, and Ebola, and fight emerging threats like dengue, Chagas disease, and chikungunya. The report documents how past US support has helped nurture a growing global pipeline of promising tools for neglected diseases, but cautions that stagnant and declining American global health R&D investment could destabilize that progress and damage America's reputation as a scientific and humanitarian leader.

Some of the leading voices in global health will unveil the report at a briefing on Capitol Hill and discuss the policy actions the US government must take to accelerate development of urgently-needed tools to tackle existing and emerging health challenges, meet global health goals, and prepare today for the epidemics of tomorrow.

WHO:

  • Dr. Peter J. Hotez, President, Sabin Vaccine Institute; Dean, National School of Tropical Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine; Science Envoy, US Department of State; Past-President, ASTMH
  • Dr. Patrick Kachur, Principal Deputy Director, Center for Global Health, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Amb. Jimmy Kolker, Assistant Secretary for Global Affairs, US Department of Health and Human Services
  • Dr. David Shoultz, Global Program Leader, Drug Development and Devices and Tools, PATH
  • Erin Will Morton, Coalition Director, Global Health Technologies Coalition (GHTC) (moderator)
  • Others TBA

WHEN: Tuesday, April 19, 2016 from 12:30 to 2:00 p.m. (lunch will be provided)
Kennedy Caucus Room (SR 325), Russell Senate Office Building, Washington, DC

RSVP: For more information or to attend in person, contact Katy Lenard at klenard@burness.com or +1 301-280-5719

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About the Global Health Technologies Coalition

The Global Health Technologies Coalition (GHTC) works to save and improve lives by encouraging the research and development of essential health technologies. We are a coalition of more than 25 nonprofit organizations advancing policies to accelerate the creation of new drugs, vaccines, diagnostics, and other health tools that bring healthy lives within reach for all people. GHTC is housed at PATH and funded in part by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

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