Investing in health innovation: a cornerstone to achieving global health convergence
article by Gavin Yamey and Carlos Morel.
The article is an editorial to the PLos collection on “Global Convergence”. As such, it introduces the concept of grand convergence as a “reduction in avertable infectious, maternal and child deaths to universally low levels” (p. 1). Followingly, the authors give a brief account of the articles that make up the collection.
The editorial highlights that grand convergence will be achieved only through intense efforts and investments over three lines. These would be scaling up existing health tools, health system strengthening to deliver these tools and, importantly, research and development (R&D).
The authors strongly stress the need for innovation in global health in all of the five conditions studied: HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, maternal and child mortality and neglected tropical diseases. Innovation needs to be met involve not only technologies, but also delivery systems, policy and implementation research, accessibility and financing and measurement of progress.
Finally, the authors underline the urgency of these investments: “only 1%-3% of the world’s health R&D is targeted at the ‘big five’ diseases that disproportionately affect low- and middle-income countries” (p. 3).
References deserving further study:
- Global health 2035: a world converging within a generation. Jamison, Dean T et al. The Lancet , Volume 382 , Issue 9908 , 1898 – 1955. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(13)62105-4.
- Why has under-5 mortality decreased at such different rates in different countries? Dean T. Jamisona, Shane M. Murphyb, Martin E. Sandbuc. Journal of Health Economics, Volume 48, July 2016, 16–25. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhealeco.2016.03.002.
- Vaccine research and development assessment paper. Hecht, R; Jamison, Dean T. In: Rethinking HIV: smarter ways to invest in ending HIV in Sub-Saharan Africa. Lomborg, Bjørn (ed.). 2012.