January 18, 2018

GHTC welcomes House passage of the Global Health Innovation Act

The Global Health Technologies Coalition (GHTC) welcomes yesterday’s passage by the US House of Representatives of the Global Health Innovation Act (H.R. 1660), a bipartisan bill that will strengthen efforts by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) to develop lifesaving drugs, vaccines, and other health technologies for people in need around the world.

This legislation, introduced by Representatives Albio Sires (NJ-8) and Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-25) and long championed by GHTC, aims to improve the effectiveness of current USAID health research programming by requiring the agency report annually to Congress on its health-related research and development (R&D) activities and articulate how it sets strategic goals and measures impact. The bill also directs USAID to report how it is working through public-private partnerships and with donors and other US agencies to magnify the impact of its investments and accelerate the development of urgently needed tools.

“USAID is an under-recognized powerhouse in developing new technologies to advance the health of people in the world’s poorest places,” said Jamie Bay Nishi, director of GHTC. “By enhancing monitoring, transparency, and oversight, this bill will help USAID continue its leadership in global health research and will help the agency and partners measure progress and identify gaps to more efficiently and effectively advance its mission and save more lives worldwide.”

Despite tremendous progress in global health over the past two decades, millions of people still suffer or die each year because we do not have the right tools to combat long-standing and emerging health threats. New drugs, vaccines, diagnostics, and other health tools are urgently needed, but progress cannot be made without sustained investment in R&D.

For decades, USAID has supported the development, introduction, and scale up of low-cost, high-impact technologies to address the health needs of poor and vulnerable populations worldwide.The agency’s deep international footprint, combined with its in-depth understanding of community needs and cultures, uniquely positions the agency to support product development for tools that are appropriate and affordable for use in low-resource settings. USAID has helped advance 22 new lifesaving global health technologies introduced since 2000—including a low-cost meningitis vaccine and the first child-friendly malaria medicine—and is supporting 36 promising products now in late-stage development.

“US investments in global health research deliver significant returns, not only saving millions of lives around the world, but also paying dividends for America by strengthening our economy, saving money, and improving our national security," said Nishi. “I want to thank Representatives Sires and Diaz-Balart as well as other members who supported the Global Health Innovation Act for championing America’s continued leadership in global health R&D through agencies like USAID.”



The Global Health Technologies Coalition (GHTC) works to save and improve lives by encouraging the research and development of essential health technologies. We are a coalition of more than 25 nonprofit organizations advancing policies to accelerate the creation of new drugs, vaccines, diagnostics, and other health tools that bring health lives within reach for all people. GHTC is housed at PATH.



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