WHO R&D Blueprint Could Help Create Coherent Global Response To Disease Threats

The Lancet: The need for global R&D coordination for infectious diseases with epidemic potential
Marie Paule Kieny, assitant director general of Health Systems and Innovation at the WHO; John-Arne Rottingen, director of the Division of Infectious Disease Control at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health; and Jeremy Farrar, director of the Wellcome Trust

“…In an increasingly globalized world, a coherent global response [to infectious diseases] is needed, not only in the immediate care of patients and countermeasures to transmission but also in the prompt initiation of research efforts. The timely establishment of the Global Research Collaboration for Infectious Disease Preparedness (GloPID-R) network … of research funding organizations in 2013 is an exciting development and fits neatly with the research and development (R&D) Blueprint Initiative of WHO. … The R&D Blueprint aims to reduce the time between the declaration of an international public health emergency and the availability of effective tests, vaccines, antivirals, and other treatments that can save lives and avert a public health crisis. … Although WHO is not a funding agency nor in general a major implementer of research activities, it has a global mandate to set evidence-based priorities and standards for research, ensuring that all voices are heard and avoiding conflicts of interests. Success of the R&D Blueprint will certainly depend on the concerted efforts of all stakeholders” (7/30).