[Ip-health] As first EU Ministerial meeting on tuberculosis closes, MSF calls on the EU to triple funding for TB R&D

Joanna Keenan joanna.l.keenan at gmail.com
Tue Mar 31 03:18:14 PDT 2015

As first EU Ministerial meeting on tuberculosis closes, MSF calls on the EU
to triple funding for TB R&D


As the first-ever Eastern Partnership Ministerial Conference on
Tuberculosis and Multidrug-Resistant Tuberculosis concludes in Riga, Latvia
today, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) calls on the European Union to take
concrete actions to boost the regional fight against TB, including tripling
European funding for research and development (R&D).

With drug-resistant TB recognised as an emerging public health crisis, EU
Member States and the European Commission must commit to filling funding
gaps, including the large deficit in R&D funding for the next generation of
tools to fight TB.

The World Health Organization estimates that US$2 billion is needed
annually for TB R&D, but in 2013 only $676.7 million was spent in this
critical area, with European government and public institutions
contributing less than a sixth of that, around $110 million, according to
Treatment Action Group, which monitors TB R&D spending. Despite a high
burden of TB in the region, the European Union contributed just $35.8
million*. The US government, by comparison, spent $248.5 million.

MSF responds to the Riga Declaration outcome of the EU Ministerial meeting:

“The Riga Declaration is an important first step in stepping up the fight
against TB in the European region, but must be followed up with concrete
actions by all European governments and the European Commission, including
a commitment to accelerate development of the next generation of tools to
fight TB.

“The dire treatment outcomes faced by people with drug-resistant strains of
TB can only be improved if concerted efforts are made to develop new and
better treatment regimens for TB, including a pan-TB treatment regimen that
can successfully treat everyone afflicted, including those with
drug-resistant TB.

“Given that European public institutions contributed less than a sixth of
the total global research and development costs for TB – which are already
woefully low – MSF calls on European governments and the European
Commission to triple European public funding for TB research, with the aim
of delivering new and better tools for diagnosing, treating and preventing
TB. .

“Governments must support more innovative and productive ways of doing this
work; for example, the pooling of research and development efforts,
including funding, data, and intellectual property, can deliver results
faster and more efficiently. R&D investments can be funded directly through
grants, prizes and other incentives, so that patients don’t bear the burden
of research costs later, through high-priced medicines.

“Current models for research and development are not delivering what TB
patients and treatment providers urgently need, and we can’t wait another
generation for new tools to beat back this deadly disease.”

-- Dr. Manica Balasegaram, Executive Director, MSF Access Campaign

*European Union funding is made up of funding from the European Commission
($16.8 million) and the European & Developing Countries Clinical Trials
Partnership (EDCTP) ($19 million).

Kind regards

Joanna Keenan
Press Officer
Médecins Sans Frontières - Access Campaign
P: +41 22 849 87 45
M: +41 79 203 13 02
E: joanna.keenan[at]geneva.msf.org
T: @joanna_keenan


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