Global Funding For TB R&D Declined Last Year, Report Says

“Funding for research and development [R&D] of new drugs, vaccines and rapid diagnostic methods for [tuberculosis (TB)] declined 4.6 percent in 2012 to $627.4 million after rising annually every year from 2005 to 2011, said [a report from] the Treatment Action Group, a New York-based AIDS research and policy think tank that also focuses on TB issues,” the Wall Street Journal reports. “Most of last year’s cuts came from private-sector donors, the group said, warning that reductions are likely this year as well, because major public-sector donors such as the U.S. government have been hit with budget cuts and across-the-board spending reductions called sequestration,” the newspaper writes, outlining some of the specific cuts and TB research efforts. “While the drop in funding wasn’t huge, it comes at a time of a worsening epidemic of drug-resistant TB, which public health authorities say can’t be confronted effectively without new tools,” the Wall Street Journal notes, adding, “The decline in investment for R&D is part of an uncertain picture overall for funding against TB, which killed an estimated 1.3 million people in 2012, but draws far less overall investment than HIV/AIDS, which was linked to the deaths of 1.6 million people that year” (McKay/Shah, 10/28).