CSIS Commission report highlights need for global health research, innovative financing

Contact: Kimberley Lufkin for the Global Health Technologies CoalitionĀ  202-822-0033

Washington, DC, March 18, 2010—The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) today released the final report of its Commission on Smart Global Health Policy, providing recommendations for US policymakers on creating a long-term and strategic approach to global health. The bi-partisan commission includes several influential global health experts, including Dr. Helene Gayle, President and CEO of CARE; Admiral William J. Fallon (retired); former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.); Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine); and former UNAIDS Head Dr. Peter Piot.

The Global Health Technologies Coalition (GHTC) applauds the commission's inclusion of research and innovative financing among its recommendations for strengthening US global health programs, developing new products, and bolstering health systems overseas.

The report highlights how the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for the first time has made global health one of its top priorities, priming the agency to utilize US science and research strengths to benefit global health. As stated in the report, NIH's leadership in particular could be utilized even more to develop new products such as vaccines and drugs. The report also calls on the United States to integrate its vast scientific and research resources with the nation's overall global health strategy to bolster field programs and health systems worldwide.

In addition, the report illustrates the vital role of incentives and innovative financing in advancing the development of new global health products such as vaccines, drugs, diagnostics, and other devices. Specifically, the commission recommends that the United States re-examine its capability to engage in an Advance Market Commitment (AMC) and the International Financing Facility (IFF). Both mechanisms identify new ways of raising and allocating funds to stimulate and accelerate global health R&D and ensure access to global health tools, and US involvement is key to their success.

"The report from the CSIS Commission on Smart Global Health Policy highlights how crucial research and innovation for new global health products are to overall US global health efforts," said Dr. Christopher Elias, president and CEO of PATH. PATH is a member of the GHTC, and Dr. Elias served as a member of the Smart Global Health Policy Commission. "It also illustrates how innovative financing mechanisms, such as an AMC and the IFF, play vital roles in spurring the development of new vaccines, drugs, and other tools that save lives worldwide. US policymakers should implement these recommendations to maximize the country's efforts to improve health around the world."

The report, A Healthier, Safer and More Prosperous World, is available on the Commission for Smart Global Health Policy website.

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The Global Health Technologies Coalition is comprised of more than 30 nonprofit organizations working to promote the discovery and development of new vaccines, microbicides, drugs, diagnostics, and devices for the developing world. The GHTC aims to strengthen US policies that will advance the creation of new global health products. The coalition focuses on policies related to public financing, regulatory pathways, and innovative financing mechanisms. See www.ghtcoalition.org for more information.

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