The Treatment Action Group has released two new reports on tuberculosis, both valuable resources in the effort to combat this global TB epidemic.
The first report details the level of global funding for TB research and development; a total of $510 million was invested by 71 organizations, public and private, in TB R&D in 2008, an 8 percent increase from the 2007 total, the TAG report found. Despite that bump, the overall funding for TB is paltry for an epidemic that claimed nearly 1.8 million lives in 2007, the report says.
A couple other notable findings:
*For the first time since TAG began tracking this data, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation outstripped the U.S. National institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (part of the NIH) as the biggest funder of TB research and development. Gates devoted $165 million, compared to $105 for NIAID.
*TB drug development attracted the largest chunk of resources, at 35 percent. But even with two exciting new TB drugs in development, the resources for phase 3 studies and for post-marketing studies remains “grossly insufficient.” Read the full report on funding trends here.
The second TAG document is a “how-to” guide for building up community advocacy for TB control and care, particularly among HIV activists. Such efforts can help strengthen TB programs and better tackle the growing threat of HIV/TB co-infection. Click here to see the full report.