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The Ascent Begins: Tuberculosis Research Funding Trends, 2005–2016

NOVEMBER 8, 2017

By Mike Frick

The world spent $726 million on tuberculosis (TB) research in 2016, marking the first time annual spending has exceeded $700 million since TAG began tracking funding in 2005. Although this figure is $105 million above 2015 levels, it remains woefully inadequate when judged against the innovation gaps holding back the TB response and the ambitious global goals to end the TB epidemic by 2030.

TAG is releasing its latest report —The Ascent Begins: Tuberculosis Research Funding Trends, 2005-2016 —a week before ministers of health and other high-ranking officials from over 90 countries will convene in Moscow at the Global Ministerial Conference on Ending TB in the Sustainable Development Era. The political declaration to be discussed and signed at the Moscow Ministerial Conference must include decisive commitments by countries to increase their support for TB research. These commitments should include actions to remove impediments to research at the country level and efforts to coordinate and raise money for TB research and development (R&D) through the creation of new, collaborative platforms and mechanisms on the international level.

“Leaders meeting in Moscow have a precious opportunity to solidify the growing political consensus that accelerating research to combat TB and antimicrobial resistance must be a global priority,” said Mark Harrington, executive director of TAG, referring to respective proposals made by heads of state of the G20 nations and BRICS countries earlier this year to establish an R&D Collaboration Hub and TB Research Network. The task before delegates meeting in Moscow is to provide a blueprint for securing concrete financial commitments in support of TB R&D by U.N. member states at the 2018 United Nations High-Level Meeting on Tuberculosis.

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