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U.S. Government Is Largest Funder Of Global Health R&D, Report Shows

“The U.S. government is the largest funder of global health research and development [R&D] in the world, spending $12.7 billion over the past 10 years,” according to a report (.pdf) released on Friday by the Global Health Technologies Coalition (GHTC) and Policy Cures, United Press International reports. The report, titled “Saving Lives and Creating Impact: Why investing in global health research works,” “found each year the U.S. government provided around 45 percent of the total global investment and 70 percent of all government investment worldwide in global health research and development,” the news service writes. “The U.S. funding helped lead to the development of more than half of the 45 new health products — including vaccines, drugs, diagnostics — in the last decade that have been used to save lives around the world, the report said,” according to UPI.

“In the last decade, the U.S. government more than doubled its yearly financial commitment to developing new global health products, from $685 million in 2000 to $1.4 billion in 2010,” UPI writes, adding, “[T]hese investments represent just 0.01 percent of U.S. gross domestic product, the report said” (4/29). “The report provides recommendations for how the U.S. Government can maximize its investments in new global health products,” including maintaining funding and increasing funding where possible, increasing focus on late-stage research and increasing funding partnerships, GHTC Senior Policy Associate Ashley Bennett writes in the organization’s “Breakthroughs” blog (4/27). According to the report, “[t]he focus of investments into global health research should switch from basic research to clinical trials to translate the findings from the past 10 years into products that benefit people,” BMJ writes (Roehr, 4/27).