HIV/AIDS, TB, Malaria Account for 80% of Disease Funding in Developing Countries, Report Says
February 6, 2009
HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria initiatives accounted for about 80% of the $2.5 billion that was spent on research and drug development for developing countries in 2007, according to a report published Tuesday in PLoS Medicine, Reuters reports. In the report, which was funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, researchers from the George Institute for International Health at the University of Sydney wrote that other tropical diseases kill millions of people in developing countries but do not receive the same attention or funding as HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria (Tan, Reuters, 2/4).
The authors write that it is "remarkable that investment by some private firms is now rivaling or exceeding spending by many public organizations," adding, "While we commend these companies and philanthropists, their efforts are meant to support, not replace, those of wealthy governments around the world." The authors also said that some donors do not make investment decisions based on "scientific or epidemiological considerations" but are "influenced by factors such as the presence of advocacy and fundraising groups; by funder perceptions or preferences; or by the presence of policy frameworks and funding mechanisms that prioritize specific diseases" (Reuters, 2/4). According to the authors, research funding levels for a particular disease often have little correlation with the burden of that disease. Mary Moran, lead author of the study, said, "Some of the biggest or cruelest killers like pneumonia and Buruli ulcer have few advocates, no global funds and nowhere near the attention they deserve" (Hall, Sydney Morning Herald, 2/5).
The report is available online.
This article was provided by Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. It is a part of the publication Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report. Visit the Kaiser Family Foundation's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.