New report finds global health research infrastructure imperiled by COVID-19

Press release:

The strong foundation of global health research and development (R&D) that greatly accelerated the development of COVID-19 innovations is now being weakened by pandemic pressures that are diverting funding and expertise away from other dangerous diseases and putting clinical trials and scientific endeavors around the world on indefinite hold.

That’s a key conclusion of a new report released today from the non-profit Global Health Technologies Coalition (GHTC). It’s based on qualitative interviews with experts in academia, philanthropy, industry, government agencies and product development partnerships discussing how the battle against one all-consuming global health threat–COVID-19–is affecting efforts to combat a wide range of other diseases still sickening and killing millions of people worldwide.

“A lot of veterans of global health R&D are confronting a confounding situation of a pandemic that has generated new appreciation for the value of their work while at the same time potentially causing long-term harm to the field,” said GHTC Director Jamie Bay Nishi. “Global health R&D has always subsisted on thin budgets and a tight-knit coalition of infectious disease experts–and both of these, funding and talent, are being redirected to COVID-19, which is putting many important projects in a precarious position.”

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