Policy & Politics
More Funding, Commercial Incentives, Cooperation Needed for HIV Vaccine Development, Researchers Say
June 24, 2005
An HIV/AIDS vaccine can be developed only with more funding, better commercial incentives and more cooperation among scientists, advocates and researchers said Thursday at a Senate Committee on Foreign Relations hearing, CQ HealthBeat reports. NIH provides $607 million annually for AIDS vaccine research, and $700 million annually is spent on vaccine research and development worldwide. However, AIDS vaccine research needs $1.2 billion annually, Seth Berkley, president and CEO of the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative, said. He urged Congress to pass incentives that would encourage the pharmaceutical industry to become more engaged in the search for a vaccine. "A legally binding agreement to pay a decent price to companies that successfully make an AIDS vaccine for use in the developing world would help overcome the substantial scientific and commercial risks they face," Berkley said. Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) condemned colleagues for last year eliminating funding for a provision that would have provided tax credits to the industry to develop a vaccine, CQ HealthBeat reports. "The Congress of the United States is culpable," Kerry said, adding, "The result is billions of more people are infected and millions more are going to die." Committee Chair Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) has introduced a resolution (SR42) that would support accelerated research on an AIDS vaccine. "We are continuing to work to identify legislative options that might help advance vaccine research," he said. Lugar also is urging the Group of Eight industrialized nations to increase their funding to the Global HIV/AIDS Vaccine Enterprise, which the group launched in June 2004. The G8 is scheduled to meet next month in Gleneagles, Scotland. Helene Gayle -- director for HIV, tuberculosis and reproductive health programs at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation -- said that the development of an effective vaccine will take time and "staying the course over the long haul is really what's key" (CQ HealthBeat , 6/23).
Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view the entire Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, search the archives, or sign up for email delivery at www.kaisernetwork.org/dailyreports/hiv. The Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service of the Kaiser Family Foundation, by The Advisory Board Company. © 2004 by The Advisory Board Company and Kaiser Family Foundation. All rights reserved.
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