Help Close the Gap…
Between 1975 and 2004, 179 new drugs were developed to treat cardiovascular disease; for tropical diseases and tuberculosis—diseases that affect the same number of people worldwide—only 21 drugs were developed.
When it comes to developing drugs for diseases that disproportionately affect people in low-income countries, drug companies are less interested. There is not a large paying market and the potential for profits to offset R&D costs is very limited. Diseases more prevalent in rich countries—like cardiovascular disease—are more attractive research targets. One way to address this gap in R&D focus is through increased government investment.
Spending more makes a difference…
Between 1993 and 2002, NIH funds spent on HIV/AIDS research increased roughly 150 percent. Between 1995 and 1999, US deaths from AIDS fell nearly 70 percent.
Progress made in treating HIV/AIDS domestically is directly related to increases in R&D spending. Much remains to be done to address AIDS domestically and certainly internationally, where existing treatments are often unaffordable and a vaccine is desperately needed. But progress against HIV/AIDS shows that money matters: government funding for R&D can make a big difference.
Families USA is calling on Congress to increase funding for global health research through the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control. Click here to join Families USA’s Global Health Network and get news updates and alerts to help us advocate for more research to fight malaria and other global health challenges.
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