International Journal of Health Research and Innovation

Underfunding Health Research: Failure of Diplomacy or Lack of Political-Will?

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  • Abstract

    The recent report of the Global Consultative Expert Working Group on Research and Development: Financing and Coordination (CEWG) calls upon individual Governments to commit at least 0.2% of its Gross Domestic Products (GDP) to health research in general and 0.01% to research and development needs related to neglected diseases in developing countries. The 0.2% of GDP may allocate a total of 140 billion dollars per year to government-funded health research (calculations are provided in table 1). Moreover, the report recommends to all Member States to establish a legally binding agreement, pursuant to Article 19 of WHO's constitution, to provide effective and sustainable financing mechanism for health research. Many countries, however, are yet to accept these recommendations. Here we discuss the current difficulties facing CEWG implementations and provide a way forward that may be considered before the upcoming World Health Assembly (the main governing body of the WHO).