Research America, an advocacy alliance working to make health research a higher U.S. national priority, together with local global health partners in New York, including AVAC, IAVI, the TB Alliance and others, hosted a panel discussion on global health research and development in New York. The discussion, moderated by Laurie Garret, highlighted the importance of preserving and protecting the U.S. budget dedicated to global health research and development and showed an enthusiasm among R&D leaders in New York to find innovative and new models for financing health research in the U.S. and abroad.
In her opening remarks, Congresswoman Nita Lowey (D-NY-18th) encouraged the 50 or so attendees, who primarily represented health-related non-government organizations in New York, to advocate U.S. government representatives for continued focus and funding of health research. Garret noted the lack of funding diversity for global health research worldwide with the U.S. National Institutes of Health and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation assuming more than 70 percent of the worldwide effort. Given this, she warned that the impending cuts to the NIH’s budget threaten global health programs worldwide. This opening prompted discussion from panelists on new ways of doing business and strategies to secure broader global support, financing and involvement in global health outside of the U.S. Margie McGlynn of IAVI highlighted one such strategy, advanced market commitments, while Rachel Cohen of DNDi mentioned the potential advantage of tiered pricing, which could set a cost for treatments based on the R&D expense to bring the treatment to market in a particular region.
McGlynn also noted the importance of having a local politically supportive environment to achieve the most ambitious missions of even global organizations like IAVI. She discussed the benefits of IAVI’s New York headquarters, including close proximity to biotechs, research universities and funders, which was only made possible with tax incentives, etc. led by the Bloomberg foundation. She also noted the advantages of hosting their lab in the bio-science park in Brooklyn, noting that the costs associated with equipment to ventilate and filter air would have been too much for a not-for-profit to afford.
The discussion concluded with a reminder from Research America’s CEO, Mary Woolley, to continue to educate local, state and national representatives on the progress being made on the global health R&D front in the hope of ensuring that health research remains a national priority.
View the full discussion below on Research America's webcast.