Vaccines and Global Health: The Week in Review has expanded its coverage of new reports, books, research and analysis published independent of the journal channel covered in Journal Watch below. Our interests span immunization and vaccines, as well as global public health, health governance, and associated themes. If you would like to suggest content to be included in this service, please contact David Curry at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Bridging the gaps in malaria R&D: An analysis of funding—from basic research and product development to research for implementation
June 2018:: 20 pages PDF: http://www.path.org/news/press-room/881/
The development of this report was undertaken by PATH, the Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases, and Malaria No More UK, in collaboration with the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics, Innovative Vector Control Consortium, Medicines for Malaria Venture, and the World Health Organization’s Global Malaria Programme. Data collection was completed by Policy Cures Research.
Support for the development and dissemination of the report was provided by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the ExxonMobil Foundation. The views expressed in the report or related materials are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the funders.
New report finds $100 million shortfall in annual global investments in malaria research and development
Report highlights a ‘second valley of death’ threatening to keep developed malaria products from reaching those most in need
London and Washington, DC, 19 June 2018—A new report on the state of funding of malaria research and development (R&D) globally shows that funding for basic research and product development falls short of the need.
“Right now, annual investments in basic research and product development for malaria are about US $100 million less than what is required to meet funding targets,” said David C. Kaslow, MD, Vice President of Essential Medicines at PATH. “We see evidence of this shortfall across malaria R&D. In addition to that gap, however, we now face a ‘second valley of death’—not enough resources to move products through development, all the way to impact.”
The report, Bridging the gaps in malaria R&D: An analysis of funding—from basic research and product development to research for implementation, combines original research with regularly reported data on funding for basic research and product development. It is the first time a report has quantified the funds not only devoted to initial product development but to the additional research to improve access to those prevention or treatment products. This research for implementation included implementation research, operational research, and health systems research.
The report spotlights the results of a pilot survey of leading funders of malaria R&D covering a three-year period, 2014–2016. It found that research for implementation comprised 16% of total average annual malaria R&D investments of $673 million, averaging $107 million annually…
The report makes three overarching recommendations on basic research and product development in malaria, and five additional recommendations specific to research for implementation.
Overarching recommendations from the report:
- Improve coordination across intervention areas (from basic through implementation research). Product developers must work together to ensure that next-generation interventions will fit together seamlessly.
- Develop more innovative funding approaches. New types and approaches of funding mechanisms and incentives are clearly needed.
- Continue existing tracking of funding flows and strengthen systems to address data gaps. Key stakeholders, including those who have experience tracking resource flows and conducting research, should work together—in particular, on research for implementation.
Key research for implementation topics recommended for discussion:
- Agree to definitions and a core data set to track research for implementation. The use of a range of definitions complicates and, in some cases, prevents tracking and analysis into funding flows. Few funders are doing this, and many who would like to do this do not have the systems or personnel to do it.
- Determine how to collect data on research for implementation funding at the institutional, national, and subnational levels. This survey has been limited to a subset of organizations. However, there is a deep well of research to be mined at the local level that is necessary to complete the full picture.
- Investigate the value of tracking funding for training and capacity building for research for implementation. Several organizations provided funding for building this capacity, yet this report (and others) have identified gaps in research capacity. Can the tracking of funding for training be useful for funders and program planners?
- Review diagonal versus horizontal research for implementation. How can the outcomes of research for implementation be shared across health systems so that the learnings do not remain siloed within a particular disease area or type of intervention?
- Consider a funding target for research for implementation as part of any elimination or control program. The goal would be to increase funding to the areas with the greatest gaps, not to reallocate from within the current funding pool.