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The United States is the largest public funder of global health innovation. Several US departments and agencies contribute to global health R&D, including the US Agency for International Development, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institutes of Health, Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, Food and Drug Administration, and Department of Defense. Each agency has a distinct mission and unique expertise, which make its contributions to global health R&D strategic and important across the continuum of product development. However, there is currently no clear interagency coordination strategy to guide US R&D efforts, delineate divisions of labor across programs, or promote interagency collaboration.
Without a formal coordination structure, we risk gaps in US programming for global health R&D, including translational research, host country capacity-building, and scaling of innovations. One possible consequence is that a breakthrough innovation may not make it from early-stage research in one agency to late-stage research or product introduction in another. Another could be failure to allocate resources for R&D among a range of neglected diseases and conditions. To effectively leverage important US investments in global health R&D in this era of fiscal challenges, it is critical that we promote formal collaboration, information-sharing, and partnerships within the US government.
Coordination among national governments, including the United States, and multilateral organizations is also essential to maximize the impact of R&D investments and accelerate product development and access. Strengthened mechanisms and frameworks are needed to bring together the international community to identify priority targets for R&D, align efforts, and share learning. Similar consequences from limited coordination of global health R&D at a national level also affect international efforts, including limited leveraging of resources and the perpetuation of gaps in product development.
GHTC works to promote more deliberate and effective information-sharing, transparency, and coordination of global health R&D. In the United States, the coalition works with agency officials to establish formal dialogue between the key government players in global health innovation and ensure transparent, consistent reporting of activities. We also champion the development of a comprehensive, integrated strategy for US government work in global health R&D.
At the global level, GHTC works with international partners to engage with the World Health Organization, G7, G20, and Global Health Security Agenda on R&D issues for neglected diseases and conditions, with the goal of creating effective mechanisms for international information-sharing and collaboration.