APPG Launches New Report on Global Health Research

Wednesday, 9th December 2020 – Today, the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Global TB publishes a new report entitled ‘The Future of TB and Global Health Research: Dying for A Cure II'. The full report can be accessed here.

The report is based on an inquiry launched by the APPG earlier this year, and considers the UK’s future strategy for and investment in tuberculosis (TB) and global health research.

In their foreword to the report, the APPG Co-Chairs note that:

“COVID-19 has heightened awareness of the importance of science and innovation amongst the public and politicians. In response to the pandemic, unprecedented levels of funding have been mobilised to develop and deploy at pace new preventive, diagnostic and treatment tools. Regular reports of major scientific breakthroughs have offered new hope to millions of people around the world”

“In this context, it is important to remember that health threats beyond COVID-19 have long undermined the well-being of individuals, communities and economies globally. In the aftermath of COVID-19, infectious diseases like TB will remain and indeed spread with renewed menace. As health systems struggle to recover, the most dangerous forms of drug-resistant TB will continue to emerge. Just as an effective global response to COVID-19 is relying on the development of new tools, so too will global efforts to tackle older enemies like TB.”

“Five years on from the APPG’s first inquiry on the subject, this report reflects on lessons learned, considers progress to date, and makes a series of concrete recommendations on how the UK can foster innovation, deliver impact, and achieve greater return on investment through its global health research budget”.

The APPG’s 10 recommendations to the UK government are:

  1. Increase and stabilise long-term funding for research to ensure maximum return on investment, by committing to spent at least 5 per cent of ODA on research, and ensure spending for TB research does not fall below 0.1 per cent of Gross Expenditure on Research and Development between 2020 and 2025.

  2. Improve the strategic direction, coordination and balance of global health R&D spending across government departments, through the creation of a global health research strategy with strategic oversight from the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office.

  3. Strengthen international partnerships, including through continued association with the successor programme of the European and Developing Countries Clinical Trial Partnership and by evolving grant requirements to foster equitable international collaboration.

  4. Sustain support for the Product Development Partnership model by providing long-term, flexible funding, while setting aside additional funds to trial innovative and enabling mechanisms that support the innovation landscape.

  5. Retain a laser-like focus on delivering needs-based and high-impact innovation for challenges faced in low- and middle-income countries, by strengthening collaboration with affected communities and reinforcing critical civil service expertise in development research.

  6. Align investments in global health R&D with support for global health multilaterals, providing additional funding flexibilities and top-ups for actors who undertake critical catalytic initiatives that support the roll-out and scale-up of health innovations.

  7. Maximise the impact of UK-funded research by providing additional and targeted funding for operational research, evidence to policy and policy uptake initiatives.

  8. Ensure equitable access to the products of UK-funded innovation, by strengthening access provisions and shaping the global heath R&D landscape to deliver maximum impact on the epidemic.

  9. Leverage UK investments and diplomatic networks to bring new donors to the table, forge partnerships and close the financing gap for TB research.

  10. Improve global coordination of TB research investments through the creation of a global TB research forum hosted by the World Health Organisation.