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Investment In, Coordination Of R&D Essential To Responding To Global Infectious Disease Threats

Nature: Policy: Security spending must cover disease outbreaks
Tadataka Yamada, commissioner on the Global Health Risk Framework Commission and venture partner at Frazier Healthcare Partners; V. Ayano Ogawa, associate program officer for the Global Health Risk Framework Commission at the U.S. National Academy of Medicine; and Maria Freire, commissioner on the Global Health Risk Framework Commission, and president and executive director of the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health

“…[T]he Commission on a Global Health Risk Framework for the Future — an independent, international panel — published recommendations in January for addressing future global infectious disease threats. … Here we expand on the R&D element of these recommendations. … Society — national governments, industry, charities, and others — needs to invest an extra $1 billion per year for 15 years, over and above the amount currently being spent on R&D for infectious diseases and global preparedness. … To build and expand on independent public and private-sector activities and ensure synergy, we propose the creation of an independent high-level expert committee … to coordinate research activities, prioritize investments, monitor progress, minimize duplication of effort, and make timely decisions. … Three principles should guide R&D for epidemic or pandemic disaster preparedness. First, we must maintain consistently high ethical and scientific standards, particularly during crises. Second, we must define protocols and approaches to engage local scientists and community members early in the conduct of research. And third, we must agree on ways to expedite medical-product approval, manufacture, and distribution. It is imperative that these recommendations are adopted on a global scale. … We cannot afford to lose this battle” (5/3).