Scientists Call on WHO To Support Increased Funding for Neglected Diseases, Including HIV, TB, Malaria
More than 200 scientists in a resolution delivered to the World Health Organization's Executive Board on Wednesday called on the agency to support increased research and development funding for neglected diseases, including HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, Reuters reports. The resolution, which was submitted to the board by representatives from Brazil and Kenya, calls for an increase in funding for research based on need and a shift in focus from current profit-driven strategies. It also aims to drive the development of safe and inexpensive drugs for HIV/AIDS, TB, malaria and tropical diseases, such as sleeping sickness. In addition, the resolution says that WHO should establish a committee of interested countries to develop proposals for a framework to encourage needs-driven research and provide a report to the organization in three years. The resolution also calls on WHO's 192 member states to increase research into diseases that primarily affect developing countries. According to Medecins Sans Frontieres, 90% of the $105.9 billion in annual medical research spending is directed toward diseases that affect 10% of the world's population. In addition, of the 1,556 new products marketed worldwide from 1975 to 2004, 20, or 1.3%, were developed for tropical diseases and TB, according to MSF (Reuters, 1/25).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.