G20 highlights importance of research and development for TB

Research and development to address tuberculosis has been recognised as a priority by world leaders at the G20 Summit.

In May G20 Health Ministers had already called for international action on TB within the context of the threat posed by antimicrobial resistance and in July the Leaders' Declaration echoed this by specifically noting the need to tackle TB:

"We will promote access to affordable and quality antimicrobials, vaccines and diagnostics, including through efforts to preserve existing therapeutic options. We highlight the importance of fostering R&D, in particular for priority pathogens as identified by the WHO and tuberculosis. We call for a new international R&D Collaboration Hub to maximise the impact of existing and new anti-microbial basic and clinical research initiatives as well as product development."

Ahead of the Health Ministers' Meeting and the Leaders' Summit, APPG Members engaged in a range of activities to press the UK Government to champion the inclusion of TB, particularly in light of the recommendations of the O'Neill Review.

Its inclusion could pave the way for progress to develop the tools that are urgently needed to tackle drug-resistance and bring an end to the TB epidemic, especially as momentum builds towards the first ever UN High-Level Meeting on TB in 2018 with a Global Ministerial Conference on TB being convened by the WHO in November 2017.

During the House of Lords' session on the Prime Minister's Statement on the G20 Summit, APPG Member Baroness Ludford called on the Government to ensure that momentum was not lost and that the Leaders' Declaration led to tangible results.

Forty parliamentarians also signed a joint letter to the Prime Minister ahead of the Summit and in her detailed and positive reply she stated that the UK "highlighted the importance of tackling TB at the G20 and supported its inclusion in the G20 Leaders' Declaration as a priority for AMR action".