U.S. largest funder of health research

April 29, 2012 at 3:00 PM

WASHINGTON, April 29 (UPI) -- The U.S. government is the largest funder of global health research and development in the world, spending $12.7 billion over the past 10 years, a group says.

The report, released by the Global Health Technologies Coalition and Policy Cures, found each year the U.S. government provided around 45 percent of the total global investment and 70 percent of all government investment worldwide in global health research and development.

The U.S. funding helped lead to the development of more than half of the 45 new health products -- including vaccines, drugs, diagnostics -- in the last decade that have been used to save lives around the world, the report said.

In the last decade, the U.S. government more than doubled its yearly financial commitment to developing new global health products, from $685 million in 2000 to $1.4 billion in 2010. However, these investments represent just 0.01 percent of U.S. gross domestic product, the report said.

Federal agencies are working with partners in the non-profit, academic, private and philanthropic sectors to support development of 200 of the 365 products in the pipeline, many of which will become the next generation of lifesaving vaccines, drugs and other tools, the report said.

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