U.S. budget cuts could impact drug development for TB, HIV/AIDS

Cuts to research and development programs could jeopardize the development efforts of new drugs for TB, HIV/AIDS and malaria, according to a recent report from the Global Health Technologies Coalition.

The report said that the impending budget sequestration could cut an estimated 5.2 percent from programs throughout the government, including initiatives that put hundreds of new vaccines, diagnostics and drugs into the product pipeline. The analysis finds that the cuts to global health research and development could cripple people's health and lives around the world.

"We know that policymakers are currently facing difficult budget decisions," Kaitlin Christenson, the director of the GHTC, said. "But any reductions in funds could eliminate essential support for the development of global health tools and slow or halt the progress made against addressing a number of deadly diseases."

The report said that continued investment in research and development will provide the momentum needed to complete a new microbicide that could protect women from contracting HIV, new insecticides to control insects that spread dengue fever and other diseases, vaccines and drugs to fight drug-resistant TB and many more.

"There could not be a better time for the United States to renew its global health R&D legacy," the GHTC said.

The GHTC is a group of more than 25 non-profit organizations working together to increase awareness of the need for technologies that save lives in developing countries, such as vaccines, drugs and diagnostics.