KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

U.S. Global Health Research Investments Provide Economic, Health Benefits Domestically, Abroad, Report Shows

CIDRAP News: Report details economic benefits of U.S. global health R&D
“Against the backdrop of steep cuts in global health spending proposed in President Donald Trump’s budget, two health advocacy groups [Thursday] released a new report documenting how earlier government research and development investments have increased jobs in the United States and saved lives around the world…” (Schnirring, 7/20).

New Scientist: Trump’s plan to cut global health research may cost U.S. billions
“U.S. government proposals to spend less on global health research will be bad for many countries — but perhaps worst of all for the U.S. An analysis of U.S. research into diseases of poor nations has found that it massively benefits the U.S. … This is because government investment in research for diseases of the poor helps stimulate work on treatments that would otherwise be unprofitable for pharmaceutical and biotech firms to develop…” (Mackenzie, 7/20).

NPR: The Side Effect Of That New Malaria Drug? American Jobs
“…The details are in a study released [Thursday] by Global Health Technologies Coalition, an advocacy group, and Policy Cures Research of Australia, an independent research group. The researchers found that between 2007 and 2015, the U.S. government invested $14 billion in global health research and development. And that created 200,000 new American jobs and returned $33 billion to the U.S. economy…” (Gharib, 7/20).

The Verge: Health research dollars don’t just save lives, they create jobs
“…Global health research investment has been stagnant or falling since 2009, excluding the billions in emergency funding set aside during the Ebola outbreak. Global health research spending from the U.S. government usually goes to agencies such as the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as more indirectly to universities doing research…” (Chen, 7/20).

WIRED UK: Trump’s R&D cuts aren’t just cruel, they increase the risk of bioterrorism
“…Spending since 2000 resulted in 42 successful products, including 11 for malaria and 10 for TB. Want to ‘Make America Safe Again’? Start by investing in R&D. … The report estimates that R&D investment needed to protect against outbreaks is about $1 billion a year. The cost of such an outbreak to the global economy would be more than $60 billion a year…” (Clark, 7/20).

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Inefficiencies, Ineffectiveness Within PEPFAR Can Be Reduced With Better Data, U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator Birx Says

Devex: U.S. global AIDS coordinator downplays proposed cuts, says programs can be more efficient
“Ambassador Deborah Birx, the United States global AIDS coordinator, [on Thursday] downplayed the significance of White House proposals to cut U.S. global AIDS spending … Speaking at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, … Birx lauded ‘the depth of the administration’s commitment’ to U.S. global health programs, pointed to broad support from Congress, and said ‘inefficiencies and ineffectiveness’ persist in the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief’s programs. Better data can help to reduce those inefficiencies, she said…” (Igoe, 7/21).

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The Guardian Examines Implications Of President Trump's Reinstatement, Expansion Of Mexico City Policy

The Guardian: How Trump signed a global death warrant for women
“Six months ago, one powerful white man in the White House, watched by seven more, signed a piece of paper that will prevent millions of women around the world from deciding what they can and can’t do with their own bodies. In that moment, on his very first Monday morning in office, Donald Trump effectively signed the death warrants of thousands of women. He reversed global progress on contraception, family planning, unsustainable population growth, and reproductive rights. His executive order even has implications for the battle against HIV, tuberculosis, and malaria…” (Boseley et al., 7/21).

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Trump Administration Developing Comprehensive Plan Against Disease Outbreaks, Biological Attacks, Homeland Security Adviser Says

Reuters: White House developing comprehensive biosecurity strategy: official
“The Trump administration is developing the first comprehensive strategy to defend the United States against disease pandemics and biological attacks by terrorists, the top White House homeland security official said on Thursday. … The effort involves retired Admiral Tim Ziemer, who oversaw the Obama administration’s initiative to fight malaria in Africa, and the White House hopes to publish the new strategy ‘as soon as we can,’ said [White House Homeland Security Adviser Thomas] Bossert, who provided no further details…” (Landay, 7/20).

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Drug-Resistant HIV Threatens Progress Toward Ending AIDS, WHO Report Says

Deutsche Welle: What’s changed since the last HIV meeting?
“…[A]s world HIV experts prepare to talk through the latest science in Paris at IAS 2017, … new statistics suggest those experts will have to fight the battle on an emerging front: HIV drug resistance…” (Abbany, 7/20).

Reuters: HIV drug resistance could undermine progress in AIDS battle: WHO
“…Already in six out of 11 countries surveyed in Africa, Asia, and Latin America for a WHO-led report, researchers found that more than 10 percent of HIV patients starting antiretroviral drugs had a strain resistant to the most widely used medicines…” (Kelland, 7/20).

TIME: Drug-Resistant HIV Is On the Rise
“…The countries that went above the 10 percent threshold are Argentina, Guatemala, Namibia, Nicaragua, Uganda, and Zimbabwe. Researchers say the most rapid increase in resistant cases of HIV was observed in southern and eastern Africa. Currently the WHO recommends that countries that exceed that threshold review their treatment programs…” (Sifferlin, 7/20).

VOA News: Growing HIV Drug Resistance Posing Threat to Treatment
“…The World Health Organization is issuing new guidelines to help countries address HIV drug resistance. It recommends countries monitor the quality of their treatment programs and as soon as resistance is detected, people should be switched to a different drug treatment regimen. The U.N. agency warns increasing HIV drug resistance could lead to an additional 135,000 deaths and 105,000 new infections in the next five years if no action is taken. It projects the cost of HIV treatment could increase by $650 million during this time” (Schlein, 7/20).

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Billions In Cost-Savings Possible With Improved Aid Access, Strengthened Resiliency, Advances In Food Distribution Networks, WFP Report Says

U.N. News Centre: Cost of feeding hungry world surging due to conflicts and instability — U.N. agency
“Improved aid access, strengthened resilience, and advances in food system networks could provide as much as $3.5 billion in annual cost savings at a time when humanitarian needs are skyrocketing in multiple complex emergencies across the globe, a new United Nations study has found. … In its report, World Food Assistance 2017: Taking Stock and Looking Ahead, [the World Food Programme (WFP)] notes that its costs spiked by more than 140 percent over a seven-year period — from $2.2 billion in 2009 to $5.3 billion in 2015…” (7/20).

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International NGOs Must Shift Focus, End Competition, Change Structures To Survive Into Future, Report Says

The Guardian: ‘Change or die’: aid charities told to stop competing for funds or face extinction
“Big aid charities must ‘change or die’ over the next 15 years, according to a report that urges a major shift in focus and an end to rivalry. The organizations must be prepared to challenge their vested interests and the growing competition for funds, and change their structures, or they will not survive, says the analysis by a consortium of institutions and aid groups…” (McVeigh, 7/20).

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Faith-Based Organizations Explore Involvement With Family Planning Activities At Wilson Center Event

Washington Times: Faith-based groups face dilemma in cooperating with family planning organizations
“…Faith-based organizations (FBOs) and churches are effective vehicles for family planning education and resources, but religious convictions often deter such institutions from partnering in the cause. An event Tuesday at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars — attended by about 100 people, many representing international charitable organizations — highlighted facets of this tension…” (Ault, 7/20).

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Devex Examines U.N. Estimates Of Cost To Reach Health-Related SDGs

Devex: Here’s how much is needed to meet SDGs’ global health targets by 2030
“In its newest estimates, published this week, the World Health Organization has predicted that low- and middle-income countries will require an additional $134 billion per year between now and 2025 to reach health-related targets under the Sustainable Development Goals, leading to universal health coverage. Universal health coverage has been one of the most prominent goals under the 2030 sustainable development framework, catapulting even the world’s most influential leaders to reference it during their recent high-level meeting in Hamburg…” (Ravelo, 7/21).

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Least-Developed Nations, Donors Must Explore Innovative Financing Options, U.N. Report Says

Devex: Poorest countries need new ways to finance SDGs, U.N. report says
“The second-annual checkup on the Sustainable Development Goals wrapped up at the United Nations headquarters on Wednesday with a warning that growth and foreign assistance in the world’s poorest countries is not enough for them to collectively reach the poverty, health, and environment targets, as experts called for the least-developed countries and their donors to explore new financing options…” (Lieberman, 7/20).

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Amid Health Care Reform, Ukraine Government Aims To Take On More Responsibility To Prevent, Treat HIV

The Lancet: The HIV response in Ukraine: at a crossroads
“The Ukrainian government is preparing to take more programmatic and financial responsibility for both prevention and treatment of the HIV infection in the country, but as it struggles through a health reform, experts say progress in fighting the disease could stall…” (Green, 7/22).

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Chile's Chamber Of Deputies Fails To Pass Bill Easing Abortion Restrictions

Reuters: Bid to ease Chile’s abortion ban hits roadblock
“…The Senate narrowly passed a bill on Wednesday that would legalize abortion when a woman’s life is in danger, when a fetus is unviable, or when a pregnancy results from rape. On Thursday, the lower chamber — which passed an earlier version of the bill over a year ago — was expected to approve the modifications made by the Senate. That effort failed when one of the more conservative lawmakers in [President Michelle] Bachelet’s center-left coalition abstained. Other lawmakers were on vacation, leaving the government one vote short of the 67 needed for passage…” (de la Jara/Slattery, 7/20).

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Editorials and Opinions

Lancet Editorial, Opinion Pieces Discuss Global AIDS Epidemic, Future Of HIV Response

The Lancet: The global HIV/AIDS epidemic — progress and challenges
Editorial Board

“On July 20, UNAIDS released their annual report on the status of the global HIV/AIDS epidemic, which also includes a comprehensive analysis of progress towards ending AIDS as a public health threat. … The report emphasizes that there is no room for complacency. … Current approaches need to be more efficient, and innovations around diagnosis, treatment, service delivery, and surveillance and monitoring need to be brought to bear. The UNAIDS annual report is a vital benchmark for identifying progress, successes, shortfalls, and gaps in tackling the global HIV epidemic. The use of the 90-90-90 goals provides a useful framework that can help countries prioritize their paths and actions toward an AIDS-free world. But what actions will now follow?” (7/22).

The Lancet: 90-90-90 and ending AIDS: necessary and feasible
Reuben Granich, vice president and chief technical officer at the International Association of Providers of AIDS Care; Brian Williams, research associate at the South African Centre for Epidemiological Modelling and Analysis; Julio Montaner, director of the British Columbia Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS; and José M. Zuniga, ‎president and CEO at International Association of Providers of AIDS Care

“…Global public health security and human rights demand a focus on ending AIDS. Prioritizing expanded access to HIV self-testing, delivering life-long treatment through community-based comprehensive HIV services, efficiently using limited resources, harnessing new information technology, and enabling meaningful community engagement will all be necessary. Although there are signs of cynicism and complacency, now is not the time to falter on the collective global HIV response. It is time to double down on investment and finish the job of ending AIDS” (7/22).

The Lancet: The International AIDS Society — Lancet Commission on the future of the HIV response and global health
Chris Beyrer, immediate past president of the International AIDS Society (IAS) and professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health; Pamela Das, senior executive editor at The Lancet; Richard Horton, editor in chief at The Lancet; Owen Ryan, executive director of the IAS; and Linda-Gail Bekker, president of the IAS

“…[T]he International AIDS Society (IAS) and the Lancet have formed a Commission on the future of the HIV response and global health. … The IAS-Lancet Commission will interrogate questions of integration and service delivery as HIV services are increasingly integrated into health systems. It will explore key domains in global health with relevance to HIV, and propose ways forward for an invigorated and sustainable global health effort. The Commission will seek to provide evidence for concrete action by policymakers, international bodies, funding agencies, academic institutions, health service providers, and communities through comprehensive review, scenario-based modeling, costing, and policy development. … [T]here are potential vital synergies that could galvanize both HIV responses and global health efforts in the [Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)] era that can and should be explored” (7/22).

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Global Community, Governments Should Strengthen Commitment To Women, Access To Family Planning Methods

Huffington Post: When Women Are In Charge Of Family Planning, Everyone Wins
Jyoti Vajpayee, senior program officer for family planning at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in India

“…When women are empowered, they become active participants in decision-making for their family — determining its size, for instance. Enabling women to make informed decisions on whether and when to have children therefore becomes imperative. However, despite the progress made through multiple policy and intervention implementations in the last few decades, there remain some challenges that need to be addressed because for many women in India access to contraceptives is still a problem. … [G]overnments, as well as civil society organizations, should strengthen their commitment to empower women. Irrespective of their economic strata, all women should have access to high-quality health services. Arming them with the right tools and knowledge about reproductive health will put them in charge of making significant decisions like family planning. And when women are in charge of planning their family, everyone benefits” (7/21).

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Conflict Allowing Cholera's Continued Spread In Yemen, Into Other Countries

Fortune: Cholera Is Slaughtering Yemen and We’re Letting It Happen
Laurie Garrett, senior fellow for global health at the Council on Foreign Relations

“…This is the worst cholera epidemic in modern history, and it has already spread well beyond the borders of Yemen … Confronting this catastrophe commands honesty: Cholera is now rampant not only in Yemen, but South Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Sudan, and in refugee camps across the Middle East. … The horrible irony is that cholera is spreading primarily because Saudi Arabia and its Gulf state allies have been bombing Yemen’s infrastructure to smithereens for months, rendering every water supply contaminated. The reluctance of Ethiopia and other cholera-afflicted nations to truthfully state their health plights is due to the same countries’ — Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies — policies of boycotting all trade and food from nations that admit to having the disease. … There is, of course, a vaccine for cholera, and the U.N. system geared up after the Fourth of July to vaccinate a half-million Yemenis in a heroic mass immunization campaign. … But on July 13 the WHO canceled vaccine shipments. The Saudis had refused to guarantee a ceasefire, which would have allowed the U.N. safe passage and a few days’ window of immunization possibility. So here we are, in the 21st century, haplessly watching an ancient scourge slaughter innocents and spread inexorably across a region untouched by modern science and public health. Shame on all of us” (7/20).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

Blog Posts Discuss House Committee's Approval Of FY18 SFOPs, LHHS Appropriations Bills

Friends of the Global Fight Blog: Friends Welcomes Sustained Funding for the Global Fund and Bilateral HIV, TB and Malaria Programs
“…Friends of the Global Fight Against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (Friends) welcomes the [House Appropriations] Committee’s proposal of sustained funding for: the Global Fund at $1.35 billion; bilateral HIV programming, including the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), at $4.65 billion; the President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI) at $755 million; and USAID’s tuberculosis (TB) program at $241 million…” (7/20).

Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks”: House Appropriations Committee maintains funding for most global health programs finalizing spending measures for floor action
Rabita Aziz, policy research coordinator at the Center for Global Health Policy, discusses the global health aspects of the House Appropriations Committee’s FY 2018 State & Foreign Operations (SFOPs) and Labor, Health & Human Services (LHHS) appropriations bills (7/20).

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U.S. Investment In PEPFAR Critical To Addressing Global AIDS

PLOS Blogs’ “Your Say”: Rex Tillerson shouldn’t cut global AIDS funding. Here’s why.
Pranay Sinha, a physician at Yale New Haven Health System, discusses PEPFAR’s role in addressing global HIV/AIDS in developing countries, particularly in South Africa, and writes, “Globally, the progress is undeniable, but gaps remain. Without U.S. aid, HIV initiatives will lose momentum and the waning HIV and TB epidemics will flare” (7/20).

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CGD Podcast Discusses Future Of Family Planning Funding, Strategic Resource Allocation

Center for Global Development’s “CGD Podcast”: The Future of Family Planning — Podcast with Rachel Silverman
In this podcast, Rajesh Mirchandani, vice president of communications and policy outreach at CGD, speaks with Rachel Silverman, CGD’s assistant director of global health policy, about the future of financing international family planning efforts (7/19).

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Global Health Advocates Must Mobilize For Global Health At G7, G20 Meetings, Expert Says

BMJ Opinion: Ilona Kickbusch: Health diplomacy at the G20 — success or failure?
Ilona Kickbusch, director of the Global Health Centre at the Graduate Institute for International and Development Studies in Geneva, Switzerland, discusses the prioritization of global health at the G20 Summit, writing, “I suggest global health advocates … look critically at themselves, get out of their health bubble, and start to mobilize for global health and its determinants at the G7 in Canada and the G20 in Argentina. The door has been opened — together with WHO, global health advocates should walk through” (7/20).

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Blog Post Highlights Importance Of Educating U.S. Public About Near-Famine Conditions In 4 Nations

Council on Foreign Relations’ “Africa in Transition”: What Famines?
John Campbell, the Ralph Bunche senior fellow for Africa policy studies at CFR, discusses recent findings showing only 15 percent of Americans are aware of the hunger crises affecting 20 million people in four African and Middle East nations, and the need to educate the public about the near-famine conditions, an effort being undertaken by the recently formed Global Emergency Response Coalition (7/21).

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From KFF

Donor Government Funding For HIV Declined In 2016, Kaiser Family Foundation/UNAIDS Report Shows

Kaiser Family Foundation: Kaiser/UNAIDS Study Finds Donor Government Funding for HIV Declined by 7% in 2016, Falling to Lowest Level Since 2010
“Donor government funding to support HIV efforts in low- and middle-income countries decreased by US$511 million from US$7.5 billion in 2015 to US$7 billion in 2016, finds a new report from the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS). This marks the second successive year of declines, and is the lowest level since 2010…” (7/21).

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