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International Community Must Increase R&D Spending To End TB

Project Syndicate: Closing the TB Funding Gap
Willo Brock, senior vice president for external affairs at TB Alliance

“…According to the World Health Organization, the annual funding deficit for TB research and development is more than $1.3 billion, a shortfall that is exacerbated by a lack of market incentives within the pharmaceutical industry. … The R&D burden must be shared among the public and private sectors, and resulting treatments must be universally adopted and available. The goal should be to ensure that medicines are accessible and affordable for anyone who needs them … [H]ow can we guarantee access to medications — especially for the poorest patients — while maintaining funding streams for pharmaceutical R&D? … To strike the right balance with TB, the international community must recommit to R&D initiatives by showing the financial leadership agreed upon [at the high-level meeting] in September. … The longer we wait to increase R&D funding and strengthen collaboration on treatment, the higher TB’s death toll will climb. With so many lives at stake, the time for talking is over” (11/26).