Global Health Technologies Coalition says U.S. should spur scientific innovation

The Global Health Technologies Coalition, a group of 30 leading health organizations, recently issued a list of recommendations for U.S. policymakers that are intended to help spur scientific innovations aimed at saving lives around the world.

The group, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, recommended that the U.S. government should do its utmost to protect and sustain American investments in global health research and product development despite the difficult budget climate, according to

The report cited a long list of scientific achievements that have come about in the last year and noted that more advances are forthcoming. Past funding was credited with the development of new tools that had a demonstrable effect on public health, in addition to fueling American job creation and economic benefits.

"This past year we have seen breakthrough after breakthrough in global health - including vaccines, drugs, and tools that detect diseases," Kaitlin Christenson, GHTC's director, said, according to "The impact of the investments in global health technologies is immense. These discoveries literally save thousands and thousands of lives every day in the developing world."

Last year’s advances included the development of a proof-of-concept gel microbicide that can protect women against HIV and herpes and the launch of a new meningitis vaccine in Africa that costs less than 50 cents per dose and is expected to save thousands of lives. The world’s leading malaria vaccine candidate, RTS, S, also reached the last phase of clinical research in several African countries last year.

"US support has been instrumental for all of these innovations," Christenson said, reports. "What is encouraging is that US support has also helped accelerate other global health advances to come, in areas such as tuberculosis drugs, which would significantly shorten the amount of time a person would need to be on the medication. The advances are going to continue."