Earlier this week the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Global Tuberculosis (TB) launched its 2014 report: "Dying for a Cure - Research and Development for Global Health" with a debate in Westminster Hall.
The report brings together evidence from private, public, philanthropic and academic sectors across the world to explore the roots of the market failure in the development of new drugs, diagnostics and vaccines for diseases like TB, malaria, HIV and other NTDs. It makes a series of policy proposals directed primarily at the UK Government to strengthen existing non-commercial development mechanisms and support global reform efforts. The report highlights the critical role of engaging the private sector in such a fashion as to advance new products without hindering access to new medicines.
The co-chairman of the APPG, Andrew George MP, who secured the Westminster Hall debate, summed up his remarks by stating: "The Government must make sure that we sustain our leading role in research and development. We must recognise that there is a limit to what commerce can do, in terms of funding and creating sufficient market incentives, to put in the enormous amount of work required to fill the gap in research and development. That work must be sustained, and we must not simply wait for the commission on antibiotic resistance to provide the stimulus to take it forward."
In his remarks to sum up the debate for the Opposition, Gavin Shuker MP, stated: "The inquiry and report that sparked today’s debate offer a number of pragmatic solutions that could underpin the currently failing commercial model or support the development of alternative structures and models for product development. It is crucial that these recommendations receive the attention they deserve."
The report launch marks the start, rather than the end, of a process to raise the profile of the market failure in relation to R&D for poverty-related and neglected diseases. UK Government support is absolutely critical to the fragile product pipelines that have already been developed, but much more work is required to bring those products through and maximise their impact.
Summing up for the government, Alan Duncan MP, Minister for International Development said: "I thank and commend the hon. Member for St Ives, and the rest of the all-party group on global tuberculosis, for the publication of a thorough report. We all appreciate the group’s tireless work in keeping our collective focus on global health—particularly research and development." He also committed DFID to reviewing and responding to the report over the coming weeks.
The report can be accessed here.
Source: APPG on Global TB