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Thursday, 27 September 2012

Investing in Global Health R&D: Is it worth it?

(L) Dr. Line Matthiesen, DG Research & Innovation, European Commission
MEP Maria Da Graça Carvalho, member of ITRE (Industry, Research & Energy Committee)
(R) Karen Hoehn, Vice Executive Director and Director of International Affairs, DSW

Sustainability Consult attended a study launch event (‘EU Return on Investments in Global Health R&D’) at the European Parliament on Wednesday 26 September.  Hosted by MEP Maria Da Graça Carvalho, the launch panel included representatives of the European pharmaceutical industry, such as GlaxoSmithKline’s VP for Government Affairs Jon Pender, academia, such as Professor Bruno Gryseels, Director of the Institute of Tropical Medecine at Antwerp, Dr. Line Matthiessen from the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Research & Innovation and NGOs such as Chris Wilson of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

The report, ‘Saving Lives and Creating Impact: EU Investment in Poverty-Related and Neglected Diseases’ was prepared by independent not-for-profit Policy Cures and commissioned by international development and advocacy organisation DSW (Deutsche Stiftung Weltbevoelkerung), which has been operating globally for over 20 years.  Exacerbated by migration flows and climate change, Poverty-Related and Neglected Diseases (PRNDs), including HIV & AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, account for 4 million deaths worldwide.

Presenting the study’s findings, Policy Cures Senior Policy Analyst Roni Liyanage highlighted Europe’s leading role in tackling poverty-related and neglected diseases (PRNDs) through investment in Global Health R&D, one key collateral benefit of which was the creation between 2002 and 2010 of over 13,000 jobs in Europe.  In addition, 66 cents of every euro invested by the European Commission and Member States is reinvested back into European laboratories, universities and companies, while each euro invested by the EU attracts a further 1.05 euro in investments into Europe from abroad.

DSW’s study launch took place in the context of Horizon 2020, the European Union’s key ‘Framework Programme for Research and Innovation’, which will be voted on in the European Parliament at the end of November.  

You can track updates from DSW by liking them on Facebook and following them on Twitter.  You can also help raise decision-makers’ awareness on Global Health R&D funding by signing this petition.

Check out this engaging video on the critical role played by the EU in research and development of Poverty-Related Neglected Diseases: Partnership, Innovation, and Leadership

Blog by Aris Koutentakis

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